Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Weekly Lunchbox-Couscous with Tofu, Zucchini and Basil, Gouda Grilled Cheese,Turkey, Bacon and Bean Salad, and Banana Apple Bread

Couscous with Tofu, Zucchini and Basil
Here is our lunchbox for the week. We've got a couple of make ahead salads, my son picked the turkey and bacon one and it was delicious. Also, a loaded grilled cheese with apple to bring in fall. The banana apple bread was delicious and packed well. So, do your self a favor and spice up your lunch!
Gouda Grilled Cheese

Turkey, Bacon, and Bean Salad

Apple Banana Bread
Couscous with Tofu, Zucchini and Basil adapted from Lunch Lessons by Ann Cooper and Lisa M. Holmes
2 cups salted water
1/3 cup couscous
3 Tbls olive oil
1/2 cup firm tofu, diced
2 Tbls lemon juice
1/2 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup zucchini, diced small
1/2 cup red onion, diced small
3/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil
1/4 cup chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley
1 tsp grated lemon zest
1/2 tsp chili powder
1. Bring two cups of water to a boil.
2. Place raw couscous in a large bowl and add enough of the salted water to just cover the couscous. Allow it to stand for about 20 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed.
3. Drizzle 2 Tbls olive oil into the couscous and use fork to break up any lumps.
4. In a small bowl, combine remaining oil, lemon juice, and garlic. Pour over the tofu and set aside.
5. Add the zucchini, onion, herbs, zest and chili powder to the couscous and mix well. Drain the tofu and gently toss into the couscous. Adjust seasoning to taste.

Gouda Grilled Cheese by Mary Ann
2 slices whole grain bread
gouda cheese slices
thinly sliced green bell pepper
thinly sliced tart apple (I used Jonathans)
baby spinach
thinly sliced turkey tenderloin, cooked
Place 1 slice of bread on george foreman grill. Layer cheese, apple, green pepper, turkey, spinach and a few slices cheese on top. Place other slice of bread on top. Close top of grill and cook until cheese is melted and veggies are warmed.
Turkey, Bacon, and Bean Salad adapted from kids healthy lunchbox by cara hobday
2Tbls olive oil
4 oz turkey bacon
5 oz turkey breast (I used turkey breast tenderloin)
1 Tbls red wine vinegar
1 Tbls dijon mustard
14 oz can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup finely chopped broccoli
salt and pepper

1- The evening before, cook bacon in a skillet over medium heat, then add the turkey and cook until golden and cooked through. The turkey will take at least 3 minutes on each side. Drain on paper towels until cool and then dice.
2- In a large bowl, mix together the vinegar and mustard until well combined, then stir in the oil and set aside.
3- Combine the beans, red pepper, and broccoli and stir well. Add the bacon and turkey. Check the seasoning. Refrigerate overnight and stir in the dressing before packing.

Banana Apple Bread (Source: The Sweet Melissa Baking Book)
For the apples:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons firmly packed dark brown sugar
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
For the banana bread:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon kosher salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
¼ cup fresh orange juice
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extrac
t1 ¼ cups very ripe mashed bananas (2 to 3)
Before you start:Position a rack in the center of your oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly butter and flour a 1 1/2-quart loaf pan.
To make the apples:Preheat a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the butter and brown sugar and heat until bubbling. Add the apples and cinnamon and sauté until golden and tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the vanilla. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
To make the banana bread:In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and salt.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
In a small bowl, combine the orange juice and vanilla.
Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture in three batches, alternating with the orange juice mixture, mixing well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl after each flour addition. Stir in the mashed bananas until combined. Then stir in the reserved apples.
Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes, or until a wooden skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove to a wire rack to cool for 20 minutes before unmolding onto the rack to cool further.
*Serve slightly warm or at room temperature. The banana bread keeps well wrapped in plastic wrap at room temperature for up to 3 days. For longer storage, freeze well wrapped in plastic wrap and then aluminum foil for up to 3 weeks. Defrost (still wrapped) at room temperature.


Maria said...

The couscous looks so good! I really enjoy tofu and this recipe has it all! I love the banana apple bread too! I have apples and bananas!! Can't wait to make this one! I just love your lunch box posts!

Cathy said...

I am completely in love. How is it that I didn't find your blog sooner? I have picky children, and I love seeing some healthy, kid-friendly recipes so that we can mix up the daily peanut butter sandwiches. Thank you! Consider yourself "bookmarked!"

Aggie said...

Fantastic lunch as usual Mary Ann! I took your advice about looking through magazines with your son to pick out recipes, I did that with my 4 year old and he actually picked out a few and was excited about it!

The Blonde Duck said...

I love that apple banana bread. It looks sooo good!

Your kids eat a lot healthier than I do now. Eek!

Alexa said...

It all looks so good... Can you pack our lunches too? I use millet or quinoa instead of couscous (it's the wheat thing)... That salad looks gorgeous!

Alexa said...

Well, Mary Ann, it's my turn to thank you for the wonderful blog you have created here... I have an award waiting for you on my site. :-)

Jenny said...

Mary Ann,
You never cease to amaze me! Where do you fit in the time to make all of these gorgeous recipes every day! It all looks fantastic!

Prudy said...

Apple banana bread! What a good idea. I don't always feel like making banana bread this time of year but I would definitely make it with apples. The couscous and salad and grilled cheese all look so good. Seriously great work as always!

Steph said...

Do all the other kids get jealous of your son's lunch? It looks amazing!