by Jim and Cheryl Hagy, Owners of Chef’s Market
In the catering world, it’d be hard to be a stranger to the boxed lunch. The grab-and-go packaging of a boxed lunch makes it an easy alternative for corporate meetings, but the presentation can be a bit lack luster. This month we are showing you a new twist on the old boxed lunch standby that’s special enough for graduation parties, baby showers, Steeplechase, Derby parties, ladies’ luncheons and spring picnics.
To create this out-of-the-box look, take a standard six-pack container designed for beverages and cover it with your favorite wrapping paper or scrapbook paper to fit the theme of your event. You can often even find these handled boxes in solid colors at craft stores to save time. Then designate each compartment with a meal accompaniment – wrap sandwiches, fresh veggies and dip, a mason jar salad, your favorite sweet treat, a drink and a napkin rolled with utensils. The presentation will be a hit, and your food set-up will be more compact without a bottle necking buffet line.
We’re helping you put together the menu this month by sharing a few of our coveted boxed lunch recipes, including our curry chicken salad recipe that makes a phenomenal wrap sandwich, our easy-to-prep cucumber hummus that pairs nicely with freshly cut veggies and our Italian Pasta Salad, that rounds out any luncheon with pizzazz.
We hope your spring is filled with joyous occasions, festive celebrations and some fun fresh takes on your springtime fare! Enjoy!
Chef’s Market Catering & Restaurant is a full-service catering company that continues to be celebrated as a leader in culinary skill and presentation, voted as Best Caterer in Nashville for the past five consecutive years. Chef’s Market offers catering and take-away options for both large and small events, from formal corporate galas to casual in-office get-togethers and outdoor affairs. Its Goodlettsville, Tennessee restaurant serves customer favorites for lunch and dinner Monday – Saturday. Visit chefsmarket.com for more information and menu selections.
(Makes 4 servings)
3 cups shredded cooked skinless chicken breast
3 Tablespoons dried currants
3 Tablespoons toasted pine nuts
½ cup mayonnaise
¼ cup sour cream
1 Tablespoon honey mustard
1 teaspoon curry powder
2 cups spring greens or fresh baby spinach
4 spinach tortillas
1 Granny Smith Apple, sliced
2 Tablespoons softened cream cheese
In a medium bowl, combine the chicken, currants, pine nuts and apple. Toss together.
In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, sour cream, honey mustard and curry until blended and smooth. Spoon it over the chicken mixture and toss to blend.
Spread ½ Tablespoon on the top of a tortilla. Place ½ cup of greens on each wrap, followed by 1 cup of chicken salad and ¼ of the green apple. Begin by folding in each side then begin rolling from the bottom so that the cream cheese seals the wrap. Cut off a diagonal and serve.
3 cloves garlic
¼ cup tahini paste
Juice of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 (15-ounce) can garbanzo beans, drained
1 English cucumber, sliced
Salt and black pepper to taste
1 pinch dill
Place the garlic, tahini paste, lemon juice and olive oil into a blender or food processor. Blend until the garlic is finely minced, then add the garbanzo beans and sliced cucumber. Purée until smooth, then season to taste with pepper and salt, blend to mix.
Refrigerate, and sprinkle with dill before serving. Serve with vegetables or pita.
Italian Pasta Salad
1 (12 ounce) package tri-color rotini pasta
¾ pound Italian salami, cut in julienne strips
½ green bell pepper, sliced
½ red bell pepper, sliced
½ red onion, chopped
1 cup Italian-style salad dressing
1 (6-ounce) can sliced black olives
3 (.7-ounce) packages dry Italian-style salad dressing mix, or to taste
½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
4 leaves of fresh basil chopped
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil; cook rotini at a boil until tender yet firm to the bite, about
8 minutes; drain and rinse with cold water until cool.
Combine pasta, salami, green bell pepper, red bell pepper, onion, salad dressing and olives in a large bowl. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.