Variety is the spice of life - & healthy eating

Posted: September 06, 2007

Want some variety in the lunch box? Try one of these easy recipes.

BANANA DOG

1 whole wheat hot dog bun

1 tablespoon creamy peanut butter (add more if needed)

1 banana

1 tablespoon toasted almonds or walnuts

Spread bun with peanut butter, top with banana, sprinkle with nuts. Makes 1 serving.

Source: Chef Jose L. Vargas, Mission Grill

TURKEY CRANBERRY WRAP

3 slices roasted turkey breast

1 whole-wheat tortilla wrap

1 teaspoon dried cranberries

1 teaspoon light mayonnaise

1 piece asparagus, blanched

(optional)

Spread light layer of mayonnaise on the wrap and on each slice of turkey. Place an asparagus in the middle, top with dried cranberries. Roll tightly, slice on diagonal, serve.

Source: Chef Vargas

PIZZA DIPPERS

8 ounces mozzarella cheese, cut

into cubes

6 ounces salami or summer

sausage, cut into cubes

(substitute turkey sausage to cut fat and sodium)

12 cherry tomatoes

1 small loaf Italian bread, cut into 12 thin slices (if they'll go for it,

substitute whole-grain bread)

12 6-inch wood skewers

1 1/2 cups prepared pizza sauce

Grated Parmesan (optional)

Alternate cheese, meat, tomatoes and bread on skewers. Serve with pizza sauce for dipping. If desired, sprinkle with grated Parmesan after dipping. Makes 2 servings.

Source: American Dairy Council

Pudding & yogurt fix-ups

A few extra minutes turns "plain old" pudding and yogurt into something special.

* Stir one 8-ounce carton of your favorite fruit-flavored yogurt into vanilla pudding. Cover and refrigerate about an hour.

* Pour pudding into individual custard cups. Add 1/2 cup vanilla yogurt; stir slowly with a table knife to make a marbled effect. Cover. Refrigerate about an hour.

* Add a few drops of maple flavoring to vanilla or butterscotch pudding mix. Cover and refrigerate about an hour. Top each serving with chopped nuts.

* Stir in some whole grain crunchy granola, some yogurt-covered raisins or peanuts into yogurt or pudding cups.

Source: www.whymilk.com

PEANUT NOODLE SALAD

cup water

cup creamy peanut butter

2 tablespoons light brown sugar

2 tablespoons soy sauce

4 cups cooked linguine or spaghetti (8 ounces uncooked pasta), cooled

2 cups frozen mixed vegetables*

1/4 cup chopped roasted peanuts

In large mixing bowl, whisk together water, peanut butter, sugar and soy sauce. Add pasta and stir with spoon or tongs until pasta is evenly coated. Add vegetables and mix well. Place individual portions in containers and sprinkle peanuts on top. Makes 4 servings.

*Do not thaw vegetables; they will help keep the noodle salad cool. Source: GladWare

TUNA SALAD 'SUSHI'

1 can (12 ounces) chunk light tuna in water, drained

1/4 cup light mayonnaise

1/2 cup chopped celery

2 large (10-inch) whole-wheat flour tortillas

6 carrot strips

In mixing bowl, stir together tuna, mayonnaise and celery, breaking up any large chunks of tuna.

Place half of the tuna salad on each tortilla in a line slightly below the center of the tortilla; make a line of carrot strips along the middle of the tuna salad. Roll into a cylinder, sushi-fashion. Trim ends and cut each roll across into 6 pieces. Pack in plastic container, cut sides up.

Makes 2 servings

Time-saver: Make sushi rolls the night before; wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate. The next morning, cut into pieces and pack. *

Source: GladWare

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