Ten-Minute Tomato Soup
1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes, in juice
1 rib celery, roughly chopped
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
1 to 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 to 1/3 cup cream
Puree the tomatoes, celery and broth in a blender until smooth. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Season with lemon juice and maple syrup. Stir in cream.
Transfer to a microwave safe bowl. Heat in microwave on HIGH until warmed through, about 4 minutes. (Alternatively heat the old-fashioned way in a pan.) Pour hot soup into an air-tight thermos. Pack in a lunch sack and send off to school.
Take-to-School Taco Bar
4 thin slices roast beef (about 3 ounces)
4 (6-inch) soft flour tortillas
1/3 cup shredded Cheddar, Monterey jack or “Mexican blend” cheese
1/4 cup Quickie Guacamole, recipe follows, or store-bought fresh guacamole
1/4 cup Speedy Salsa, recipe follows, or store-bought fresh salsa
2 tablespoons sour cream or plain yogurt, optional
Mini bottle hot sauce
Multi-compartment lunch box
2 ripe tomatoes (about 1 pound), halved
1/4 small red onion or white, halved
1 to 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves or fresh mint leaves, optional
1 ripe Hass avocado, halved and seeded
1 lime, halved
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup diced tomatoes, mango, or quartered seedless grapes, optional
Fold 1 slice roast beef inside each of 2 soft tortillas and sprinkle with cheese. Pack in the biggest compartment of the lunch box. Pack other compartments with guacamole, salsa, sour cream and other favorite toppings. Seal and send off to school.
Grate tomatoes on the largest holes of a box grater into a bowl all the way down to the skins. Discard the skins. Grate the onion into the tomato. Stir in olive oil. Season with salt, to taste. Serve with cilantro leaves on the side, or stirred in, if desired.
Scoop the flesh from the shell with a spoon into a medium bowl. Squeeze the lime juice over the avocado and stir to coat evenly. Add the salt. Use a fork to stir and mash into a chunky guacamole. Stir in tomatoes or fruit, if desired.
Mini Turkey Burgers
2 slices white sandwich bread (about 1 ounce each)
1 pound (93 percent lean) ground turkey
2 ounces cheddar cheese, coarsely grated (about 1/2 cup)
1/2 small onion, coarsely grated
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1 teaspoon olive oil
12 party-size rolls
Lettuce, sliced tomatoes, ketchup, and mustard, for serving (optional)
In a food processor, pulse bread until fine crumbs form. Transfer to a medium bowl; add turkey, cheese, and onion. Season with salt and pepper, and mix gently just until combined. Form twelve 2-inch patties (about 3 tablespoons each).
In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Cook patties until browned and cooked through, about 5 minutes per side. Serve on rolls with lettuce, tomatoes, ketchup, and mustard, if desired.