Copyright 1998 Deborah Taylor-Hough
Lunches at home can be prepared easily in advance. Smaller servings of your regular dinner items can be served for a lighter noon-time meal. Many items can be frozen and then included in brown bag lunches, as well.
These freeze well. Fillings that work for freezing include cooked meat, tuna, sliced cheese, cheese spreads, hard cooked egg yolks and nut butters. Use day old bread; spread bread lightly with butter or margarine to prevent fillings soaking into bread; mixing jelly, mayonnaise or salad dressing into the sandwich filling helps prevent soggy bread. Tomatoes and lettuce get limp when frozen, so add these after removing sandwich from freezer. Frozen sandwiches will thaw in lunch boxes in about three to four hours, staying fresh and cooling other foods in the lunch box at the same time.
For lunches, cooked quiche can be frozen in individually wrapped slices. Serve warm (heated in microwave) or cold.
Homemade soups can be frozen easily in microwave-safe single-serving containers. Heat in microwave until thawed and hot.
Cookies and cakes can be frozen in individual servings and then placed still frozen into the lunch bag.
Basic "Use-It-Up" Quiche
You can use almost any leftover vegetable or meat in this recipe. If you have eggs, milk, rice and cheese, you can practically clean out your fridge right into your quiche pan. I always add the cheese last when making this quiche. The cheese makes a beautiful mellow-brown crust on the top. I usually add a bit of chopped onion to my quiches for flavor, and broccoli makes an especially nice vegetable quiche.
2 cups rice, cooked (white or brown)
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp soy sauce
1/2 lb any leftover vegetable, chopped (single vegetable or a mix)
4 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups milk, or light cream
1 cup cheese, grated (your choice: Swiss, Cheddar, Jack, etc.)
1/2 tsp salt (optional)
1/8 tsp pepper
Dash nutmeg, or ground mace
Mix together cooked rice, egg and soy sauce. Spread evenly to cover well- buttered quiche pan or pie plate. Bake rice crust at 350 F for 10 minutes. Remove from oven.
Place chopped vegetable in bottom of crust. Mix together: eggs, milk, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Pour over broccoli. Top with grated cheese. Bake at 350 F for 45 minutes, or until set. Remove from oven, and let sit ten minutes before slicing, if serving fresh; or wrap pie pan, label and freeze. Quiche can be served cold after thawing for a yummy hot weather treat; or heat the thawed quiche at 350 F for 20 minutes.
Deborah Taylor-Hough is the author of the bestselling Frozen Assets: Cook for a Day, Eat for a Month and A Simple Choice: a practical guide for saving your time, money and sanity. She also edits the Simple Times email newsletter. To subscribe, visit Debi online at: thesimplemom.wordpress.com
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