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What’s For Lunch Today?

Highlights 4Cs

Curious, Creative, Caring, and Confident™
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These seven great midday meals will take the chill out of the air!
These seven great midday meals will take the chill out of the air!

You already know a good down coat and layered clothes keep kids snuggly warm when the temperature plummets. But they also need to feel comfy cozy indoors. Pick up a few late fall foods—orange or purple sweet potatoes, crispy apples, and ruby cranberries—and then check out the following info. Did someone say yum?

1. Ravioli with Peas and Pesto

What You’ll Need
  • 1 large package fresh four-cheese ravioli

  • 1 cup frozen peas

  • 1 cup homemade or store-bought basil pesto

  • Grated Parmesan cheese

What to Do
  1. In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook the ravioli until done, adding the peas for the last 4 minutes.

  2. Drain, then toss with pesto until the ravioli is well coated.

  3. Top with Parmesan cheese to taste.  

Tip: Toss in frozen peas and carrots for a pop of color.

2. Dried Cranberry and Turkey Sandwiches

What You’ll Need
  • 2 cups chopped roasted turkey (leftovers are fine)

  • ¼ cup dried cranberries

  • ½ cup light mayo

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • Whole-wheat pita bread

What to Do
  1. Blend the turkey and cranberries together.

  2. Coat the mixture lightly with mayo, season with salt and pepper.

  3. Halve pita, and fill each half with the mixture.

Tip: Layer in a thinly sliced cucumber for extra crunch.  Roast chicken and spinach wraps work, too.

3. Turkey Chili Slow-Cooker Style

What You’ll Need
  • 1 pound ground turkey

  • 1 small chopped onion

  • 1 28-ounce can whole tomatoes

  • 1 8-ounce can tomato sauce

  • 3 15-ounce cans of beans (mix and match kidney, black, and garbanzos)

  • 1 4-ounce can chopped mild green chilies

  • 1 tablespoon chili powder

What to Do
  1. In a medium-size pan, sauté the turkey and onion.

  2. Move the turkey, onion, and remaining ingredients to a slow cooker, and heat on low for 6 hours.

Tip: Top with grated Cheddar cheese and serve with cornbread.

4.  Speedy Chicken Noodle Soup

What You’ll Need
  • 1 quart chicken broth

  • 1 cup cooked chicken (grilled, precooked chicken tenders make it easy)

  • 1 cup cooked peas

  • ½ cup uncooked elbow macaroni

  • Chopped fresh parsley

What to Do
  1. In a large pot, combine all ingredients except the parsley. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes.

  2. Garnish with parsley and serve with thinly sliced Cheddar cheese and whole-grain crackers.

Tip: Use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth and a can of drained, rinsed white beans in place of chicken to give this soup a vegetarian twist.

5. Mexicali Sandwich

What You’ll Need
  • 2 ripe avocados

  • Whole-grain bread

  • ½ cup salsa

  • ½ cup shredded Cheddar cheese

  • Shredded lettuce

    What to Do
  1. Mash the avocados and slather on a slice of bread.

  2. Top that with the salsa, Cheddar cheese, shredded lettuce, and another slice of bread.

  3. Cut in half before serving.

Tip: Substitute Monterey Jack cheese for the Cheddar, and add some chopped ripe tomato along with the shredded lettuce.

6. Savory Beef Stew

What You’ll Need
  • 1 small sliced onion

  • 4 small carrots (quartered)

  • 3 stalks celery (sliced)

  • 2 pounds of cubed beef stew meat

  • 1½ cups tomato juice

  • ⅓ cup quick-cooking tapioca

  • 1 tablespoon sugar

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • Pinch of pepper

  • ½ teaspoon dried basil,

  • 3 white or sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks

What to Do
  1. In a large, ovenproof pot, combine the onion, carrots, celery, and stew meat.

  2. In a small bowl, stir together the tomato juice, tapioca, sugar, salt, pepper, and basil. Pour this over the beef and veggies.

  3. Cover and bake at 300°F for 2½ hours. Add potatoes.

  4. Cover and bake for another hour, stirring occasionally.

Tip: Serve with crusty bread for a warm and hearty late-fall lunch.

7. Cranberry, Apple, and Blue-Cheese Salad

What You’ll Need
  • 4 cups mixed baby greens

  • ½ cup crumbled blue cheese

  • ½ cup dried cranberries

  • ½ cup unpeeled, cubed apples

  • Balsamic dressing

What to Do
  1. In a large bowl, toss the greens, blue cheese, cranberries, and apples.

  2. Drizzle with dressing and toss again. Serve with whole-grain rolls.

Tip: Let kids help. They can rinse the greens and pat them dry with paper towels.

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