Long Lost Lunchables

Upon waking up for breakfast the past few days it has been quite chilly in the southern parts of Louisiana with temperatures in the 50s and 60s.  (It doesn’t stay that cold; it gets to high 80s and 90s through the afternoon so we get used to dressing in layers in this neck of the woods.)  Due to the cool morning, I wanted some breakfast fare that would warm me up.  So I opted for warm old fashioned oats with a spoon of peanut butter, cinnamon sprinkles, and the last of my apple spice muffins.

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I had some hot chai tea along with my oatmeal and it did just the trick.

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Reading blogs is not the first time I’ve been known to eat foods just because I see others eating it.  A long time ago, (okay 10 plus years ago) back in high school, I had a friend, Leslie, who came to school with a homemade lunchable where she brought crackers, deli meat, and cheese for stacking.  I always liked the concept of lunchables; it is just fun to be able to manipulate your food and not have to worry about the hassle of forks and knives.  Well, the very next day I had to mimic her lunchable spread and have my very own.  Which it was very rare for me to bring lunch because my school had the BEST salad and baked potato bar.  So my need for a quick lunch as I packed it this morning led me back to high school for lunch.

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Today’s lunch was a tad more sophisticated than my long lost lunchables due to the inclusion of sliced cucumbers and spreadable cheese.  There is something slightly fancy about spreading cheese on a cucumber.  Or maybe it is just me. 😉

I did get some questions in the lounge about my lunch today.  But I liked it.  It brought me back to being a kid–stacking and eating my cucumber, laughing cow, and turkey atop a cracker.

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A few weeks ago I purchased a spaghetti squash with good intentions of trying it out immediately.  But hesitance stuck with me until tonight.  After work I headed straight to the grocery store to pick up what I thought would be ground meat for some meat sauce.  However, in the parking lot I googled a recipe for spaghetti squash and found one that revolved around Turkey Tetrazzini.  When I got in the store I had no such luck finding turkey breasts so I decided to do Chicken Tetrazzini instead substituting a few ingredients the original recipe called for.

Once home, I first had a snack.

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Pickled okra, tortilla chips, and spinach artichoke flavored hummus

I immediately preheated the oven to 400* followed by scoring the squash with a knife in about 7 spots, spraying a nonstick pan with cooking spray, and roasting the squash for 1 hour.  Using the following ingredients the meal came to a whole.

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Chicken Tetrazzini with Spaghetti Squash

1 spaghetti squash, roasted as stated above

1.5 lbs chicken breast tenders

3 tbsp. butter or margarine (Brummel & Brown was used)

3 tbsp. flour

1 bay leaf

Salt and Pepper

3 cups chicken broth

1/2 cup fat free half and half

1 tbsp. dry sherry wine

1/2 cup fresh grated parmesan, divided

Juice of 1 lemon

1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg

1 bag frozen peas

3 tbsp. Italian style bread crumbs

Directions:  While squash is roasting, season chicken with salt and paper and brown in pan sprayed with nonstick spray.  Once cooked remove to separate plate.  Using the same pan, add butter and flour whisking for 3 minutes on low heat.  Add broth and bay leaf, salt and pepper and simmer for 15 minutes stirring until smooth.  Add chicken, half and half, and sherry; bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes.  Add 1/3 cup of parmesan, lemon juice, nutmeg, and frozen peas.  Cut squash in half and remove center pulp and seeds.  Then using a fork, scrape the rest of the squash from the skins and put in greased baking dish.  Top the squash strands with the chicken mixture.  Sprinkle the remaining parmesan and bread crumbs on top.  Bake for 30 minutes in oven preheated to 350*.

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Roasting of Squash

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Browning Chicken

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Creamy Chicken Mixture

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Squash Strands seasoned with Salt and Pepper

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Pre-Bake

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Cooked

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Tasty lemony, creamy dinner and I do not miss the pasta!  Score!9-21-10 013

Question of the Night:  Did you enjoy your school’s lunches as a kid?  Did they provide healthy options or was it one lunch and take it or leave it type like at the school I work at now?

My high school had options–hot lunch, sandwich/pizza line, salad/baked potato bar, and smoothies.  If only it were the same where I am at now.  Seriously, I would go back just for the salad bar.  Ohhhh, memories.

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4 thoughts on “Long Lost Lunchables

  1. Pingback: Signs of Fall Abound « The Healthified Haven

  2. Pingback: Not Your Everyday Football Fare « The Healthified Haven

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