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Delicious Back-to-School and Work Lunches

By Divian Conner

When my kids were younger, they loved the idea of taking lunches to school and of course, I loved making school lunches. The euphoria when walking the grocery store and choosing items for the week’s upcoming lunches was thrilling to me. All of the endless varieties of snacks coupled with super cute lunch box accessories made my heart flutter.

I would get the occasional side eye from my children when I would eagerly tell them about the animal toothpicks I had purchased or the rainbow silicone cupcake liners that were just the best. Even though they were not as excited as I was about what went into making their lunches, they were certainly excited to take them to school.

With the past year spent in a virtual learning environment, I am most excited about getting back into the swing of things and to make more amazing lunches for the last two peas of my pod and creating even more unforgettable memories.

Chinese Bakery-Style Hot Dog

  • Crescent or pizza dough

  • Hot dogs of choice

  • Shredded cheese of choice

  1. Wrap each hot dog with a thick layer of the dough. Using a knife, cut through the wrapped hot dog without slicing completely to the other side of the dough. Make sure the hot dog is sliced completely, just not through the other side of the dough.

  2. Once sliced, turn each slice under to face upward, arranging into shape. Place on greased baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees until golden.

  3. Add cheese and bake for until melted. Remove and allow to cool.

  4. Serve with toppings of your choice. We love ketchup!

Japanese Katsu Sandwich

  • Thick-cut pork cutlets

  • Italian-seasoned panko breadcrumbs

  • Salt and pepper, to taste

  • 2 eggs, beaten

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

  • Hawaiian sandwich bread

  • Tonkatsu sauce (recipe included below)

  • Red cabbage coleslaw (recipe included below)

  1. Sprinkle bread crumbs on a baking sheet and bake until browned.

  2. Season pork cutlets with salt and pepper to taste. Coat lightly in flour, then dip to coat with the beaten eggs. Make sure all sides are coated. Dip into the toasted bread crumbs, make sure the entire cutlet is covered, patting the bread crumbs down onto the cutlet.

  3. Place on a non-stick baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes or longer, depending on size of the cutlets.

  4. Cut the edges from the bread and spread one slice with Tonkatsu sauce.

  5. Top the other slice with the red cabbage coleslaw and place cooked cutlet on top. Slice in half and serve.

Tonkatsu Sauce

  • 2 teaspoons oyster sauce

  • 1 tablespoon ketchup

  • 1 teaspoon sugar

  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

  1. Mix well. Refrigerate leftover sauce.

Red Cabbage Cole Slaw

  • 1 cup of shredded red cabbage

  • 2 tablespoon mayo

  • ½ teaspoon sugar

  • ½ -1 tablespoon rice vinegar

  • Salt and pepper, to taste

  1. Mix well and serve chilled.

Sweet Chili Noodles

  • Cooked Udon noodles

  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce

  • 2 tablespoons honey

  • 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce

  • 2 teaspoons sriracha

  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil

  • Dried seaweed and sesame seeds to garnish (optional)

  1. Mix all liquid ingredients together and pour over cooked noodles. Coat noodles evenly and sprinkle with a mixture of chopped dried seaweed and sesame seeds.

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