This is my first attempt at breaking the “turkey sandwich and carrot sticks” brown-bag lunch mold. I went on a Mediterranean food cooking spree this week so I thought it would be really easy to put it all together in a Meze lunchbox. Meze is basically just a collection of appetizers or small dishes… the Greek version of Tapas.
It’s scientifically proven that having a variety of foods is more stimulating to our appetite (this was my big research project in college) so if you’re sick of having the same sandwich with chips every day, a “variety box” like this might do the trick.
My meze lunchbox includes a bed of spinach, hummus, mediterranean white bean salad, dolmas, tzatziki and some left over cucumber slices. I also included a whole wheat pita in the price of the box, although I would carry that separately in a ziplock bag. What’s not included in the price is all of the breath mints you may need to get you through the rest of your work day. Greek food is garlic heavy, but worth it.
The hummus, white bean salad and tzatziki are all very quick and simple to prepare. The dolmas require a little bit more work. If you don’t want to spend part of your Sunday afternoon making dolmas, a quick seasoned and grilled chicken is a great substitute. Simply season a boneless, skinless chicken breast with lemon pepper and throw it into a counter-top grill (like George Foreman). Slice it up when it’s done and place about half a breast in each box. It can be eaten cold like chicken slices are on salads. The chicken should take only 10-15 minutes to make.
Total Recipe cost: $2.93
Servings Per Recipe: 1 lunchbox
Prep time: 10 min. Cook time: 0 min. Total: 10 min.
|1 cup||baby spinach||$0.17|
|1/2 cup||mediterranean white bean salad||$0.93|
|1 whole||whole wheat pita||$0.21|
|1/4 medium||cucumber, sliced (optional)||$0.05|
STEP 1: Line the bottom of a square “sandwich” size resealable container with one cup of spinach leaves. Pile each of the remaining ingredients on top of the spinach, keeping the dips in opposite corners. Package the pita bread separately to keep it from getting soggy. Refrigerate or keep on a cold pack until ready to eat.
NOTE: I would suggest making only a half batch of the Mediterranean bean salad if you are using it just for the lunches. Keep each item for the lunch box separately in the refrigerator and the assemble the boxes each morning to keep the components as fresh as possible.