We're nearing the end of September, and the kids have been in school for a while now. Those first few days back in the classroom are novel. New pencils, backpacks, and Trapper Keepers. (Wait...do kids these days still carry Trapper Keepers? Specifically, Lisa Frank Trapper Keepers with unicorns and rainbows? I can only hope.) And then there's the lunchbox. I was usually schlepping a paper sack, but one year I got a shiny, pink Popples lunchbox, and I felt like the coolest kid on the block.
Back-to-school is exciting for those of us who make lunches, too. We're all gung-ho, filling our Pinterest boards with bento boxes, sandwich sushi, and octopus hot dogs. But the thrill has worn off by now, and it's bologna on dry white bread with a bruised banana thrown in as an afterthought. Maybe a Swiss Cake Roll, courtesy of one of my favorite kitchen heroes, Little Debbie.
While there's nothing wrong with bologna (it's a regular request at our house), add a little life back to your lunches with Curry Chicken Salad. It starts with leftover chicken. Grab a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store. Serve it for dinner with mashed potatoes from a box, and chop up the leftovers for this salad. Then stir in crunchy celery, sweet grapes, and rich pecans. A simple dressing includes protein-packed Greek yogurt and a touch of warm spice from curry powder. Serve it as a sandwich, salad, or with crackers for scooping.
It's not a burrito wearing a pirate's eye patch, I think the kids will still like it.
Lightened Up Curry Chicken Salad
2 cups chopped cooked chicken
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 cup quartered grapes
1/2 cup chopped roasted pecans
4 tablespoons light mayonnaise
4 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
Salt and pepper
Bread, crackers, or lettuce for serving
Combine chicken, celery, grapes, and pecans in a bowl. In a separate small bowl whisk together mayonnaise, yogurt, curry powder, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir dressing into salad ingredients. Serve on bread or lettuce or with crackers.