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6 Tips for packing back-to-school lunches on a budget

It’s the start of a new school year, and that means new teachers, new friends, and new lunchtime struggles. While it’s easy to fill your kids’ lunchboxes with pre-packaged snacks, that doesn’t do much in the way of keeping their growing bodies healthy. Sending kids to school with healthy lunches each day doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive. “School lunches may not seem significant in a child’s life, but when you add up that they are eating them five days per week, it’s quite a lot of their calorie consumption,” said Dr. Nimali Fernando, a Fredericksburg, Virginia-based pediatrician and founder of The Doctor Yum Project. “Teaching them healthy lunch habits from a young age will give them the tools to build lifelong healthy habits.” Many pediatricians are concerned that children simply do not get the amount of healthy foods they need to begin with. The Centers for Disease Control…

This is the right way to pronounce ‘gyro’

The gyro. It’s a delicious sandwich typically made with thinly sliced lamb, tzatziki sauce, and onion rolled in a warm pita. Something that simple shouldn’t be so complicated to order. After all, it’s only four letters. But what’s the proper way to pronounce “gyro?” The word for this classic Greek sandwich was borrowed by the English language in the 1970s, but since then, Americans have butchered the pronunciation to the point we’re no longer sure how to say it. We can no longer order this classic Greek sandwich with confidence. Most people agree that gyros are delicious, but they tend to disagree on how to pronounce g-r-y-o. Is it GUY-roh? ZHI-ROH? Or maybe JAI-roh? Some say GEE-roh or JEE-roh. Luckily, this isn’t one of those situations where it depends. There is a clear right and wrong way. And the right way: YEE-roh. JAI-row is probably the most common way of…

Healthy avocado egg salad

This avocado and egg salad is one of my favorite homemade lunches because it’s healthy, tastes great and uses Greek yogurt instead of mayo! Tuna salads and egg salads are often passed off as healthy, but they’re so loaded with fatty mayo that you might as well have opted for a cheeseburger! This salad has only healthy fats from fresh avocado. Plus, it doesn’t have that gooey, wet consistency that mayo gives. Ew. I can hear the stickiness now. This salad is everything you want from a lunch — It’s easy to make ahead, it’s packed with protein, and it’s full of flavor thanks to the zingy Dijon mustard and smokey turkey bacon. Substitute the bread and arugula for a large lettuce leaf to cut carbs, if that’s your thing.  Either way, it’s the guilt-free lunch you need for healthy resolutions in the New Year! Healthy Avocado Egg Salad Ingredients…

Slow cooker Italian chicken, peppers and onions

When I gave up eating sausage, I knew Italian sausage sandwiches would present a problem. I always loved coming home on a Sunday to the smell of that big simmering pot of spicy sauce and peppers. What I always knew though, was that the sausage, strangely, was my least favorite part. Sure, the meat added heartiness to the sandwich, but the flavor and the spice could be replicated in a healthier way with veggies and lean chicken as the centerpiece. If you’re trying to eat healthier, you have to try this easy slow cooker recipe. Just toss in all of the ingredients and forget about it until dinner time. The peppers and sauce are delicious, and the sprinkling of fennel seeds will trick your taste buds, just slightly, into thinking it’s the original sausage recipe. If you like foods really spicy, consider adding even more hot pepper liquid. If you like…

Grilled artichoke spinach panini recipe

Whether served warm or cold, at the table or at the tailgate, spinach artichoke dip is always a hit. It’s always been one of my favorite appetizers, so I decided to try to make it officially into a meal. I had delicious success turning it into a loaf, so I thought, why not a sandwich! This recipe is bursting with delicious smokey grilled artichoke hearts, spinach and lots of gooey cheese, all piled high on toasty garlic bread — because garlic bread makes everything better. I used a panini press because it’s easier, but you can use a griddle or even a heavy pan on top of your sandwich to help give it a good squish as it’s cooking. Try this super tasty recipe for spinach and artichoke panini for lunch or dinner today. Grilled artichoke spinach panini Ingredients 8 slices of sourdough bread 1/4 cup butter 1 tsp garlic…

Turkey and cheese, pesto panini recipe

If you’re a bit of a food cheapskate like me, you probably skip right over panini on a menu. They’re undeniably delicious, but they’re outrageously priced — $17 for a warmed deli-meat sandwich?! You can make the exact same sandwiches at home — no exaggeration. You might spend the same amount on ingredients, but you’ll be able to make enough sandwiches to feed your whole family, or yourself for a week. Try this recipe for a warm, cheesy turkey and cheese panini with pesto. The pesto mayo and fresh baked bread make it taste like it came from one of those overpriced fancy sandwich shops, but you’ll be eater fresher and healthier, and of course, saving yourself some cash in the process. Turkey and cheese, pesto panini Ingredients 2 tbsp light mayonnaise 4 tsp basil pesto 4 slices of bakery bread, thin sliced (Sourdough is my favorite for this recipe)…

Zucchini Panini with corn and goat cheese

Ever since I got my panini maker I’ve been experimenting with all kinds of sandwich combinations. I’m convinced that pretty much everything tastes better inside a sandwich. But summer gives you an extra advantage — delicious, fresh produce. Not only is this zucchini panini fun to say out loud, but it’s loaded with fresh veggies and it’s so good for you. Stuff it full of whatever you have left from last week’s farmers market haul, and it will be that much more delicious. Add sliced tomatoes for the ultimate summer sandwich. Zucchini Panini with corn and goat cheese Ingredients 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 1/2 tbsp minced garlic 1 small zucchini, halved and sliced lengthwise 1 ear corn, kernels removed salt pepper 6-8 slices of bakery bread (depending how much filling you like in your sandwiches) 2 tbsp garlic butter (or just butter is fine), softened 1/2 cup goat cheese…

Copycat Bonefish Grill bang bang shrimp sandwich

I was only introduced to Bonefish Grill Bang Bang shrimp last summer in South Carolina. Sure, the casual restaurant chain can be found at locations all over the country, but there was something about the crispy, fried shrimp and the creamy, spicy sauce that felt perfectly suited for the Deep South. During the winters, I definitely long for the flavors associated with summer, so as the snow continues to fall in the Northeast, my craving for this crunchy shrimp snack popped up, and I had to have it. With no location nearby, I went to work recreating this favorite Bonefish dish. But no matter where or when you eat it, Bang Bang Shrimp is an incredible treat. Serve it as a movie snack, as an appetizer, or all by itself. I threw mine on a delicious, fresh sandwich roll with crispy lettuce and carrot sticks. If you’re wondering how it compares — this Bang Bang…

Here’s how your favorite chefs make grilled cheese

Although grilled cheese only requires three ingredients — bread, cheese, and butter — the sandwich has been reimagined all over the world, using ingredient add-ons and crazy new cooking methods. Whether it’s a smear of mustard spread, or a literal cook on the grill, there really is no bad way to make a grilled cheese — only better ways! National Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day is April 12, so spread the gooey love and share one of these chef-inspired sandwiches with your cheese-loving friends. INA’S ULTIMATE GRILLED CHEESE https://youtu.be/ueJjs-ckdyU If you’re a mustard fan, Ina’s special mustard, mayo, parmesan mix inside the bread will have you drooling. Add on her recommended equal parts shredded gruyere and shredded cheddar to a “good bakery loaf.” Oven-cooked chopped bacon bits finish it off before it gets grilled in the panini press. What you’ll need: Good bakery bread 1 cup mayo 1/4 cup dijon mustard 1/4 cup parmesan cheese…

Cranberry, spinach pinwheels make a perfect holiday appetizer

These cranberry tortilla pinwheel wraps are a perfect holiday appetizer. They’re just bursting with festive color. Red cranberries pop against the creamy white cheese and dark green spinach. The flavor is a perfect blend of sweet and savory, and they’re filling, too. If you need to feed a lot of people, these will help you get there. For a little crunch, try them with the addition of walnuts, too! Cranberry, Spinach Pinwheels Serves 4 as an appetizer  Ingredients  2 large spinach tortillas 1 package cream cheese (8 oz.), room temperature 3/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled 1 cup baby spinach leaves, loosely packed 3/4 cup dried low-sugar cranberries 1/4 cup green onion, thinly chopped 1/4 cup walnut pieces (optional) Directions Wilt spinach by zapping in the microwave for 10-20 seconds. Spinach will shrink in size and should be easy to stir with other ingredients. If spinach is still too fresh, microwave another 10-20 seconds. In…