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Quick spinach lunches & recipe
Posted By Biggie On May 23, 2007 @ 11:34 pm In bento, corn tortillas or masa, for kids, glutenfree, leftover remake, meat, recipe, salad, sandwich or wrap | 19 Comments
Contents: “Lamburger” (ground lamb and shredded carrot burger) on English muffin with lettuce and cheese, mangoes and blueberries with a splash of lime juice, quick spinach and corn dish with sesame seeds and vinaigrette (recipe follows), and salad with watermelon, feta, pecans and fresh mint (sauce container with orange juice balsamic vinaigrette).
Morning prep time: 7 minutes, using leftovers, freezer staples and packing some items the night before. The grilled/sauced “lamburger” patty was leftover from a friend this weekend, so I just heated it briefly in the microwave to get the texture back to normal, and assembled the burger. The salad was leftover from dinner, so I had packed that and the dressing the night before. What was left was cutting the mango and making the fast spinach and corn dish. I could have packed everything the night before except the burger, which is best assembled the morning of.
Packing: The salad really needed its own container because of the salad dressing, so I went with a cheapie  three-tier 495ml box (170ml, 165ml and 155ml tiers), and a deep Lock & Lock box for the lamburger (too tall to fit into other boxes). I wrapped all of these in an insulated lunch cloth to keep the salad crisp and cool.
Contents of Bug’s lunch: Pork tamale and yogurt sauce with chipotle pepper, lime juice and garlic. Mango and blueberries with a splash of lime juice, and spinach with vinaigrette and roasted sesame seeds.
Morning prep time: 5 minutes. Last night after dinner I packed the leftover tamale and dipping sauce, and refrigerated them overnight. This morning the only thing left was cutting the mango and prepping the quick spinach dish. If I’d had my act together, the entire lunch could have been packed the night before.
Packing: The Lock & Lock containers have secure built-in dividers that keep the food separate with only minimal spillover, so the yogurt was okay in this and didn’t get into the spinach (I carried it, not Bug). Bug has a bottomless pit for tamales (he ate TWO last night at dinner!), so he was able to eat all of this — much to my amazement. To keep the yogurt  cool and safe, I packed it in an insulated lunch bag with an ice pack cut from a  flexible ice blanket.
I got the inspiration for this quick spinach dish from the Japanese cookbook “Obento Daijiten” ãŠã¹ã‚“ã¨ã†å¤§äº‹å…¸, where they flavor the spinach with black sesame seeds, soy sauce and a little sugar.
Quick Spinach Recipe
Variation: Add canned or frozen corn to the drained spinach for a color and texture contrast. I used the last of our leftover grilled corn.
Note: You can buy sesame seeds that are already roasted and ground, often quite reasonable at Korean markets. You can also toast a batch of sesame seeds pretty easily. If you don’t have a  sesame seed roaster, just put them in a pan over low heat and cover with a splatter screen (keep moving the pan around to keep them from burning).
Note: Organic frozen spinach is worth seeking out, especially if a child will be eating it, as spinach is one of the vegetables that retains a lot of pesticides even after washing. Consumer Reports has a good article on  “When buying organic pays (and doesn’t)”.
Lunch in a Box is nominated for Best Food Blog in the Bloggerâ€™s Choice Awards. If youâ€™d like to cast your vote for speedy lunch packing, click  here (you can vote for multiple blogs in the same category).
Article printed from Lunch in a Box: Building a Better Bento: http://lunchinabox.net
URL to article: http://lunchinabox.net/2007/05/23/quick-spinach-lunches-recipe/
URLs in this post:
 Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/lunchinabox/511385445/
 three-tier 495ml box : http://www.flickr.com/photos/lunchinabox/346929760/in/set-72157594150632817/
 Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/lunchinabox/511385447/
 cool and safe: http://lunchinabox.net/2007/05/08/food-safety-for-packed-lunches-updated/
 flexible ice blanket.: http://lunchinabox.net/2007/05/02/ice-blanket-and-inari-sushi-lunch/
 Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/lunchinabox/511385437/
 Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/lunchinabox/511385439/
 sesame seed roaster: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0001Z8PA6?ie=UTF8&tag=luinabo-20&linkCode=as2&camp=178
 “When buying organic pays (and doesn’t)”: http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/food/organic-products-206/when-buying-organic-pays-and-doesnt/ind
 here: http://www.bloggerschoiceawards.com/blogs/show/20676
 Need for speed: A mommy’s lunch manifesto: http://lunchinabox.net/2007/04/23/need-for-speed-a-mommys-lunch-manifesto/
 How to pack a bento lunch and use “gap fillers”: http://lunchinabox.net/2007/06/11/guide-to-bento-packing-and-gap-fillers/
 Choosing the right size bento box: http://lunchinabox.net/2007/03/07/guide-to-choosing-the-right-size-bento-box/
 Biggieâ€™s list of top speed tips, tutorials and equipment reviews: http://lunchinabox.net/top-tips/
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