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Pittsburgh Parenting Blog by Sewickley Academy

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Summer Recipes: Summer Lunches

Summer Recipes_ Summer LunchesSummer isn't all breakfast and barbecues. Whether you're a working adult or a stay-at-home mom, you want to make delicious light summer lunches that will energize and motivate you while still staying within the bounds of your diet. Picking up a quick burger or microwaving a frozen dinner is no way to treat your stomach in the middle of the day. Whether you're packing your lunch cooler for work or packing the car for a family picnic in the park, we've got some great summer lunch options that will feel light and delicious in your mouth and keep you going strong until dinner time.

Artisan Sandwiches

Never underestimate the power of the sandwich. Chilled and packed carefully in your lunch cooler, the right combination of fresh ingredients on soft artisan bread can send your taste buds over the moon without breaking your calorie count. Look for lean, high-flavor meats like prosciutto, smoked turkey, and lean roast beef. These can be combined with fresh vegetables, grilled cheeses, and your favorite dressing varieties. 

  • Artisan bread
  • Lean high-flavor proteins
  • Fresh sliced vegetables
  • Leafy greens
  • Flavorful dressing
  • Grilled cheeses

Chicken Tostada

Tostadas are amazing once you learn how to make them for yourself. You can make them ahead of time and pack them stacked or make them on the spot anywhere you can oil and heat a small frying pan. Break rooms, camp stoves, and backyard griddles are all viable places to make a tostada. All you need to do is oil your pan surface and start the tortilla. From here, add a thin layer of cheese and then a layer of diced grilled chicken. Finish with fresh-chopped tomatoes, additional veggies to taste, and a sprinkle of cheese to hold it all together. Cook until the tortilla is firm and starting to crisp, then grab and enjoy. 

  • Olive oil
  • Stack of tortillas
  • Diced chicken
  • Diced tomatoes
  • Sliced avocado
  • Diced vegetables of choice
  • Shredded cheese
  • Salsa or guacamole 

Veggie Pizza

Everyone loves pizza, but they don't love what pizza does in terms of heartburn and calorie stacking. But pizza is just dough, sauce, cheese, and toppings which means that you can make healthy pizzas any way you want with a ball of pizza dough at home. You can make a far leaner (and lower sodium) pizza sauce at home starting with fresh diced tomatoes. Experiment with grilled and fresh veggie toppings instead of the traditional grease-cup pepperoni, bacon, or sausage. You can even mix it up with alternate cheeses, pesto instead of pasta sauce, and more.

  • Ball of pizza dough
  • Fresh diced yomatoes
  • Diced garlic
  • Oregano
  • Basil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Lean mozzarella (shred your own)
  • Sliced veggies

Pesto Pasta

Pasta is a lunch favorite because it's easy to pack and still delicious popped into your break room microwave or reheated in a pot and served for a weekend nosh. Pesto pasta can be eaten cold or warm, as an entree or a side, or just an energizing snack whenever you want a quick bite. The best part? All you need is fresh basil pesto and boiled pasta and you're good to go. You can, of course, also do this recipe with a lean homemade tomato sauce for a more classic flavor.

  • Cooked pasta 
  • Fresh basil leaves
  • Pine nuts
  • Grated parmesan
  • Garlic cloves
  • Olive oil
  • Lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper

Eating right this summer has never tasted so good. We hope you enjoy these light and flavorful lunches.

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Topics: Food