Review: Beating the Lunch Box Blues

I cooked a few recipes recently from Beating the Lunch Box Blues by J. M. Hirsch (link). I wish a lot more of his recipes gave proportions, if not exact measurements, but this book is full of great ideas. The layout is energized, and a lot of the recipes will work for grown-ups taking their lunch to work.

Two of the recipes I tried have already been posted online, so those links are shared below. Overall, I highly recommend this book.

Garlicky White Beans and Tomatoes: Hirsch’s idea to roast canned white beans with tomatoes was really clever. The original recipe called for chicken thighs. However, this recipe makes an excellent side dish without meat:

  • Mix 2 cans of white beans (drained) with 1 pint cherry tomatoes and 4 cloves minced garlic. Toss with 3 Tablespoons olive oil and 2 Tablespoons fresh rosemary; season with salt and pepper. Roast at 425F on a foil-lined pan for 20 to 25 minutes. We served this with fluffy quinoa.

Turkey Sloppy Joes (link): These were terrific the next day. The list of ingredients is a little long, but the tomato sauce with roasted red peppers came together quickly in the Vitamix blender. I omitted the anchovy fillets and used smoked gouda  instead of shredded cheddar. Hamburger buns are not necessary: the sloppy joe mix can be served over pasta.

Thai Curry Barbecue Chicken Thighs (link): Oh my goodness. This recipe makes a sauce from red curry paste blended with peanut butter. It’s just delicious, even without marinating. Serve with Greek Yogurt Coleslaw.