Revive your wallet and your taste buds with these fun recipes for fresh and local bagged lunches. Perfect for work, school, or lunch on-the-go, you’re sure to enjoy these ideas for creative packaging, tasty twists on classic recipes and simple upgrades that breathe new life into lunchroom staples.
Turn the ordinary into extraordinary by using gourmet ingredients for this upgraded BLT. Hit the Mount Pleasant Farmers Market to find some lush vegetables for this dish, like rich arugula instead of lettuce and a local red or green tomato instead of one from the supermarket. Crisp up some pancetta – Italian bacon – which can be found at any deli counter, such as the Lowcountry Butcher Shoppe at Boone Hall Farms. Serve on bread like ciabatta or focaccia for a flavorful, crunchy finish and top with some herb mayonnaise you can mix together yourself.
Mason Jar Parfait
Surprise the kids with breakfast for lunch and serve them this parfait in a fun twist-top jar. Any parfait is simple to make – just layer yogurt, fruit and granola – so it’s the fresh and local ingredients, in combination with the fun packaging that is going to make this lunch interesting. Try something new and use Greek yogurt in combination with any variety of fruits your family may enjoy. For an added bonus, try putting in a swirl of local honey in the mix; you can pick up a jar at Whole Foods.
Loaded Grilled Cheese
Grilled cheese is always a family favorite, but sometimes it can get a little boring. With some simple upgrades like adding bacon, tomato or a new kind of cheese, this sandwich can have heads turning. For an extra special pick-me-up, put some shrimp or crab from Mt. Pleasant Seafood into the mix.
Meat and Cheese Board
This dish is traditionally served on a cutting board at parties, but there’s no reason you can’t bring the party to work or school. Packed full of protein and dairy, this highly nutritious meal is filled with a variety of items to keep lunch hour interesting and to keep the portions under control. All meat and cheese boards start with just that – meat and cheese. To start, pack a few cured meats, such as pepperoni and ham and add some cheese to the mix, like brie, goat cheese or sharp cheddar. Then, add items as you please. For someone with a sweet tooth, pack some fresh or dried fruits and honeycomb. If you’re looking for a touch of salt, add olives or pickles. Lastly, throw a few nuts from Charleston Nut Company into your lunch sack for some crunch.
Caesar salad is a restaurant favorite, but it can be just as fun when it’s made at home. Combine these four simple ingredients – romaine lettuce, croutons, parmesan cheese and Caesar dressing – to make the basic salad. Then prepare fun add-ins like lobster or crab meat, or grilled shrimp from Simmons Seafood in Island of Palm, for a gourmet twist.
To make an ordinary sandwich extraordinary, simply change the bread. Try a croissant, bagel or biscuit for something unique. Or, deconstruct your sandwich and make it into a bite size treat on crackers.
Use a cookie cutter to make shapes out of sandwiches to keep the kids entertained at school.
Give your kids something to brag about at lunch with a new lunch bag or Tupperware. An Initial Impression in Mount Pleasant can personalize them for you to add an extra special touch.