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Make your brown bag lunch less boring

March 16, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
Over 65 percent of Americans now eat lunch at their desk, usually grabbing something fast or frozen. While that will certainly do in a pinch, one chef explains how to build a better brown bag lunch."Everybody's brown bagging because of the economy right now, so why not make it a little bit more creative," said Cooking Light magazine's Executive Chef Billy Strynkowski.

Chef Strynkowski says it doesn't take much build a better brown bag lunch. With a bit of dried fruit and a sprinkle of nuts or seeds, something that was once "just okay" now tastes gourmet.

Who knew apricots and cashews could be part of a turkey sandwich?

"Adding apricots to a turkey salad, or dried fruits, dried cherries, dried strawberries, just gives it a real nice different texture, like almost like a surprise POW in your mouth, which is really smart to do and they're really healthy for you," said Strynkowski.

Another way to make turkey interesting is to toss it in an Asian salad using peanuts, Napa cabbage and whole wheat noodles for a comforting combination.

"So when it all comes together, it's Ying and Yang -- a little crunchy, a little soft -- and when it all comes together with the vinaigrette it's delicious," said Strynkowski.

A new take on the old tuna salad sandwich is not only yummy but easy. A strong selling point for time strapped desk jockeys.

"Adding marinated pickled vegetables to your tuna salad -- at first it sounds a little weird, but it is so delicious," said Strynkowski.

Open the jar, slice some up and add them to the tuna for a sassy crunch.

Instead of chips, try pairing your sandwich with some pear or grape tomatoes.

"Why not have a real healthy lunch and it has a lot of flavor going on," said Strynkowski.

All of these options not only provide variety to the tried and true, but also give nutrition a boost.

"Nuts, dried fruits, pickled vegetables, spinach instead of lettuce, watercress instead of spinach -- so whatever you're going to do we're just trying to be a little creative, just so it's not so repetitive, lunch is different," said Strynkowski.


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