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Highlights from “52 School Lunches”

As you start gearing up for the new school year, you’ll definitely want to have Laura Torres’s 52 School Lunches amongst your set of school supplies. From “Fiesta Salad” to “Caramel Chocolate Brownies”, Torres provides the perfect solution for the busy mom who wants delicious, nutritious, quick and fun recipes to keep her kids happy and healthy.

Enjoy this selection of some of our favorites!

No-Prep Lunches

Sandwich on a Skewer

“Oops! Ten minutes until it’s time to go, and you’re out of bread. What to do? Make a sandwich on a skewer with all the fixings! Cold cereal make a fun emergency dessert.”

Lunch meat


String cheese

Fresh spinach

1. Slice string cheese into ¾” sections, and quarter a small tomato.

2. Skewer ingredients.

Leftovers into Lunch

Macaroni Chicken Salad

“This Macaroni Chicken Salad is best with homemade ranch dressing, but bottled ranch dressing works also. Use light ranch to cut back on fat. Cook a little extra pasta or rice for dinner the night before, use leftover chicken or turkey, and this lunch goes together quickly. Add some apple slices and yogurt dip for a well-rounded meal.”

8 ounces cooked macaroni

1 cup “Homemade Ranch Dip”

¾ cup cooked chicken

¼ cup chopped black olives

¼ cup chopped celery

1. Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl.

2. Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator.

Salad Stacks

Chef Salad Stack

“A classic combination that everyone loves!”

In a tall container, layer:

Fresh spinach


Iceberg lettuce

Chicken chunks

Fresh spinach

Chopped, hard-boiled egg

Bacon bits

Cheddar cheese

Place in a small, separate container:

Buttermilk or Ranch dressing

Wraps and Roll-up

Fruit Salsa Roll-up

“Satisfy a kid with a sweet tooth in a healthy way with this fruity main dish. Store the tortillas separately from the fruit salsa, and fill just before eating. Below is my favorite combination, but you can substitute any fruit you happen to have on hand. For a dessert or snack, this salsa is delicious on graham crackers.”

3 cups fresh raspberries, blueberries, diced strawberries, diced oranges, and sliced kiwi fruit.

2 teaspoons fresh lime juice

1 ½ tablespoons honey

¼ teaspoon cinnamon

6-inch tortillas

Cream cheese

1. Combine the lime juice, honey, and cinnamon. Stir into fruit. Store in single-serving size plastic containers.

2. Spread cream cheese on tortillas. Fold in half, and wrap in plastic wrap.

3. Assemble just before eating.


Whole Wheat Mini Calzones

1 teaspoon sugar

1 ½ cups warm water

1 tablespoon active dry yeast

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon salt

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

2 cups whole wheat flour

1 small jar pizza sauce

Desired toppings (ham, pineapple, pepperoni, olives, artichoke hearts, etc.)

2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Pizza Dough:

1. Dissolve sugar in the warm water in a large bowl. Add the yeast, and let stand 10 minutes.

2. Stir in the olive oil and salt.

3. Add 1 cup of the all-purpose flour and all of the whole wheat flour. Mix well. Turn the dough out onto a board coated with the remaining all-purpose flour. Knead the dough until all the flour is incorporated and dough is smooth.

4. Place dough in a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

5. Knead dough briefly to release air. Divide into 16 balls, cover, and let rise for about 45 minutes.


1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

2. Flatten each dough ball into a circle on a floured surface.

3. Place a spoonful of pizza sauce in the middle of the circle. Top with desired toppings and cheese, being careful to keep everything in the middle of the dough.

4. Fold the top of the circle down to the bottom, and seal the edges well.

5. Bake at 425 degrees until golden brown, about 10-15 minutes.


Orange Banana Peach

“Orange sherbet makes this smoothie just dreamy.”

1 cup orange juice

¾ cup orange sherbet

1 banana

1 cup frozen peaches

1. Pour orange juice into a blender.

2. Add sherbet.

3. Add banana and peaches.

4. Blend until smooth.

Smiles on the Side

Egg Critters

“Peppercorns and a bit of carrot or walnut slices can transform a regular hard-boiled egg into a cute critter.”

So give your student a surprise when they open their lunchbox tomorrow! And don’t forget: These are just seven of fifty-two fantastic school lunches to be found in Laura Torres’s 52 School Lunches.

Like the article? We bet you’ll love this book:

In 52 School Lunches Torres shares new ideas, twists on old standards, and inspiration for your kids’ lunches. She turns leftovers into lunch, provides some make-ahead recipes, and re-thinks …

52 School Lunches (App)

Laura Torres

Buy Now

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