Julie Green: The Other Side of the Coin


Brown Bagging 101

No Julienning Required

For Mona Meighan, brown bagging is about more than just throwing together cheap and easy lunches.

When she sat down and penned What Are You Doing for Lunch?: A Friendly Guide to Brown Bagging as a Better Way to Lunch, she was mostly thinking of her son. Luke died suddenly at the age of 26 from undiagnosed diabetes (which she attributed to years of consuming a fast-food, sugary diet as a student.)

An education consultant, Meighan naturally wanted turn her tragedy into a triumpth by giving others "the tools to change their lunch habits." In our financially lean and physically obese times, brown-bagging seems like a logical answer to help our kids avoid processed foods loaded with calories and carbohydrates. As an homage to her son, she is also donating some proceeds to non-profits promoting healthy eating. 

Brown-bagging novice? Fear not. These recipes will save you both time and money. What I like about this book is that it's not oozing with culinary genius. There are no fancy sleights of hand here, no julienning or marinading or simmering over the stove—just a smattering of quick, easy recipes that any mom can sling together in a pinch. 

School mornings are stressful enough, and if you're anything like me, you don't like to think too hard about the food that your kids eat, even though you obviously want it to be healthy. Her recipes are picky kid-friendly, so you won't run the risk of returns.   

I give you the Pesto and Tomato Sandwich:

Add 3 Tablespoons plain or vanilla yogurt to 4-6 Tablespoons prepared pesto. Spread on 4 slices of whole-wheat bread. Add thinly sliced tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. (Place in a toaster oven for 2-3 minutes, if desired.)

Moreover, the Hummus Salad Wrap:

Spread ¼ cup hummus over two whole-wheat or flour tortillas and add 1 tomato, thinly sliced, 2 thin slices of Swiss cheese, and 2 lettuce leaves, cut up. Tightly roll the tortillas and spear with a toothpick.

You can learn even more ways to get organized and transition from summer to school on our Back-To-School 2014 page.