Paper-Bag Lunching, For Adults


Brown paper-bag lunches are not just for school kids. They can be for health-conscious adults, too.

A few sandwich tips: Spread a very thin layer of unsalted butter on the bread to keep it from getting soggy later in the day; carry lettuce, herbs and tomato slices in a small plastic bag, and just before eating, slip them into the sandwich; if you are gluten free, pack protein (chicken, cheese, meats, peanut butter, etc.) vegetables, pickles and rice crackers in separate bags, and assemble it at your desk.

If these suggestions don’t whet your appetite, perhaps one of the following sandwiches will. Bon appétit!

Aged Gouda Cheese, Red Bell Pepper And Onion Sandwiches(Makes 4 sandwiches)8 thin slices whole wheat, seeded bread

Unsalted butter to taste

8 thin slices aged Gouda cheese

2 large red bell peppers, halved, seeded, quartered and flattened with your hand

4 slices sweet Bermuda onion, sliced

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to tasteTo prepare:Lightly toast the bread.

Coat with a thin layer of butter.

Place cheese, peppers and onion on the bread.

Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Top with second slice of bread.

Cut in half.

Pack into a plastic sandwich bag.

Repeat with remaining ingredients.Roast Chicken Breast, Red Onion And Dill Pickles On Seeded Rye(Makes 4 sandwiches)8 slices seeded rye bread

Unsalted butter, to taste

Dijon mustard, to taste

8 slices red onion

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1 large roasted chicken breast, sliced thin

4 large garlic dill pickles, sliced thin and patted dry

4 Boston lettuce leaves, washed and patted dry

Optional: Gruyère cheese, thinly slicedTo prepare:Spread a thin layer of butter on one slice of bread.

Spread a thin layer of mustard on the other slice.

Place onion on the buttered side.

Season with salt and pepper.

Add pickles, chicken slices and lettuce leaves.

Top with cheese.

Close the sandwich.

Cut in half.

Repeat until all sandwiches are made.

Place in sandwich bags.Open-Faced Bacon, Lettuce, And Tomato On Tuscan Bread(Makes 4 sandwiches)18 crisp bacon slices, patted dry

8 thick slices crusty Tuscan bread, lightly toasted

Unsalted butter, to taste

Mayonnaise, to taste

8 Romaine leaves, washed and trimmed to fit the bread

2 large, firm ripe tomatoes, sliced thin

Optional: 4 slices roast turkey breastTo prepare:Fry bacon in a large skillet over moderate-high heat, until crisp on both sides.

Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.

Pat dry with additional paper towels.

Toast 2 slices of bread, until light brown.

Spread a thin layer of butter on bread.

Top both slices of bread with a lettuce leaf.

Add mayonnaise, tomato and bacon on one side.

Add turkey and bacon on the other side.

Serve open faced.

Repeat until all sandwiches are made.

If toting this sandwich, place each ingredient in a separate bag and assemble before serving.Herb-Crusted Seared Tuna, Avocado, With Herb, Sundried Tomato And Caper Relish On Toasted Brioche Roll(Makes 4 sandwiches)2 tablespoons Herbs de Provence

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Coarse salt, to taste

1 pound fresh tuna fillet, dark meat removed

Grape seed or safflower oil, for searing

4 brioche rolls, halved and toasted

Unsalted butter, to taste

1 avocado, halved and sliced, rolled in fresh lemon juice

For the relish:

1 small bunch fresh chives, chopped

5 sundried tomatoes, packed in oil, drained and minced

2 tablespoons capers, drained

2 scallions, trimmed and sliced

7 leaves fresh basil, torn

2 tablespoons olive oil, for blendingTo prepare:Crush Herbs de Provence and pepper in a mortar and pestle, until blended.

Generously pat the herb mixture onto the entire surface of the tuna.

Refrigerate, 30 to 40 minutes.

Coat the bottom of a heavy skillet over high heat with a thin layer of oil.

Add tuna.

Sear, until all sides are golden and the center is bright pink, about 1 minute per side, depending on the thickness and temperature of the fish.

Place the tuna on a plate.

Refrigerate for 10 minutes.

Transfer fish to a cutting board.

Cut fish into 1/4-inch-thick slices with a sharp knife.

Refrigerate until sandwich assembly.

Add chives, sundried tomatoes, capers, scallions and basil to a mini chop.

Chop briefly.

Add oil through the feeding tube, until the mixture is blended.

Taste and adjust the seasonings.

Toast the rolls.

Coat rolls with butter.

Arrange the tuna and avocado slices on the toast.

Spoon relish over the avocado.

Top with the other half and serve.

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