Thinking Outside The Boxed Lunch

Toss the brown bag and pack your mid-day meal with inspiration from the mediterranean sea to the coast of Cape Cod.

Story and Photos By Natalie Paramore

Beat the back-to-school blues with a few lunch ideas that can be packed up, made beforehand and even simplified for the kids. All it takes is a jolt of global flavor, a punch of energizing protein and a few indulgences along the way.

Greek Chicken Quinoa Salad

Serves two | Per Serving: 502 Calories, 27 Grams Of Protein  


1/2 cup red quinoa
1 chicken breast
3/4 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cup cucumber, quartered
1/4 cup kalamata olives, pitted
1/4 cup red onion, diced
1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons oregano


1. Cook the quinoa according to the package directions and set aside.
2. Bake or grill the chicken breast over medium heat until it reaches 165 degrees.
3. Whisk together the dressing ingredients and toss the mixture with quinoa, adding the tomatoes, cucumber, olives and onion.
4. Dice the chicken and add it to the quinoa.
5. Top with the feta cheese and serve.

For The Kiddos:
Separate the quinoa, vegetables and chicken, and add a side of ranch of their favorite dipping sauce.

Make Ahead
This salad will keep in the fridge for as long as three days.


Asian-Inspired Lettuce Wraps

Serves two | Per Serving: 324 Calories, 35 Grams Of Protein  


8 ounces beef flank steak
8 romaine or butter lettuce leaves
1/2 cup carrots, julienned
1/2 cup cucumbers, sliced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Cilantro for garnish

Dipping sauce
1/3 cup soy sauce
3 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, grated
1 tablespoon Sriracha
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Asian chili sauce


1. Sprinkle the flank steak with salt and pepper, and grill it over medium-high heat for six minutes on each side until cooked through.
2. Cutting against the grain, slice the flank steak into strips.
3. Whisk the dipping-sauce ingredients together.
4. Keep the vegetables, steak and sauce separate until ready to serve.
5. Using the romaine or butter lettuce leaves, assemble the wraps just before eating.


For The Kiddos:
Chop carrots and cucumbers into sticks and slice the steak into smaller strips. Add a dollop of plain, fat-free Greek yogurt for a different dipping-sauce option.


Lobster Rolls

Serves two | Per Serving: 414 Calories, 12 Grams Of Protein  


8 ounces of lobster meat, steamed
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1/3 cup celery, sliced
2 tablespoons green onions, chopped
1 ounce fresh lemon juice
Lemon zest from 1/2 a small lemon
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper (or paprika)
2 sweet mini sub rolls


1. After steaming, remove the lobster from its shell and chop the meat into bite-sized pieces.
2. Combine the mayonnaise, celery, onions, lemon juice, lemon zest, mustard, salt, pepper and red pepper.
3. Gently stir in the lobster.
4. Spoon the lobster mixture onto the sweet rolls just before eating.

For the Kiddos:

If they’re mini foodies, let the kids eat lobster! If not, don’t waste that beautiful, expensive meat
on picky kids. Instead, chop the celery into sticks and serve it with ranch alongside their favorite sandwich, like ham and cheese, made with the remaining sweet rolls. Add a healthy, antioxidant serving of blueberries for a truly Maine-inspired lunch!

Make Ahead
The lobster mixture will keep in the fridge for as long as two days.


Food & Drink