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Spicing Up Brown Bag Lunches
It’s time for parents to start packing school lunches again. We enlisted the help of some of Washington’s best chefs for easy and healthy lunch recipes. By MJ Lee
Comments () | Published August 13, 2009
Back to School Guide

Tips From the Pros
Greening Your Back-to-School Shopping List
What to Do After School
Back to School 2.0: Gadgets for Students
Great First Day Clothes for Girls
Great First Day Clothes for Boys
Spicing Up Brown Bag Lunches
Getting In To Top Colleges

Chef Vikram Sunderam with his daughter, Nidhi, and his son, Viraj.

Chef Vikram Sunderam of Rasika has a 14-year-old daughter and 10-year-old son. A typical brown-bag lunch for his kids includes a sandwich, fruit, granola bar, and fruit juice. “Sandwiches are quick and easy to make and ideal for kids because you can really vary the filling,” says Sunderam. “You can easily make them nutritional, too.”

Sunderam shares simple and flavorful sandwich and wrap recipes to mix up the old PB&J routine.

Cucumber-and-Chutney Sandwich

Makes 4 sandwiches


8 slices of whole-wheat bread, or any bread of your choice, buttered
1 cucumber, thinly sliced

For the chutney:
1 cup cilantro, washed and chopped
½ cup mint, washed and chopped
2 Thai green chilies
5 ounces ginger, peeled and cut
4 cloves peeled garlic
2 tablespoons lemon juice
½ teaspoon sugar
Salt to taste
Water, as needed

Blend all the ingredients for the chutney into a smooth, thick paste in a food processor. Use water to adjust the consistency while blending; it should be smooth and thick. Spread 1 tablespoon of chutney on four of the buttered bread slices, and arrange the cucumber slices on top. Repeat with the rest of the bread. Keep the sandwiches cold.


Grilled Chicken Wraps with Mint-and-Yogurt Chutney

Makes 4 wraps

For the mint-and-yogurt chutney:
1 cup cilantro
½ cup mint
½ teaspoon cumin seeds
2 Thai green chilies
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 cup full- or low-fat plain yogurt
Salt, to taste

In a food processor, blend all the chutney ingredients except the yogurt into a finely chopped but thick paste. Add a little water if the chutney is too thick. In a mixing bowl, combine the paste with the yogurt. Add salt to taste.

Preparing the chicken wrap:
4 8-ounce chicken breasts, grilled and cut into thin strips
½ head romaine lettuce, shredded
2 plum tomatoes, thinly sliced
1 bell pepper, julienned
4 tablespoons mint-and-yogurt chutney
4 8-inch whole-wheat tortilla wraps

Toss the chicken, lettuce, tomatoes, and bell peppers with the chutney. Fill each tortilla wrap and roll. Serve cold. 

>> Next page: Recipes from Cathal and Meshelle Armstrong

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Posted at 12:00 AM/ET, 08/13/2009 RSS | Print | Permalink | Washingtonian.com Articles