Healthy Surf and Turf Bento Lunch

Ever wonder what The Associated Press’ national food editor eats for lunch? Read on for the details straight from our friend, J.M. Hirsch. When you’re done, be sure to check out his blog, LunchBoxBlues and be prepared to be really excited to get home and pack an amazing lunch for tomorrow:

For a satisfying, healthy adult lunch that will prevent the afternoon munchies, lean protein is key. Luckily, this can be fast and easy – and delicious – to pack.


Start with a side of edamame in the pod. You could steam them for dinner the night before and pack the leftovers, or just microwave them in about a minute in the morning. A sprinkle of coarse salt and they are ready to pack.

 For a robust main, try a surf and turf salad. Combine cooked shrimp (buy them frozen and thaw overnight in the refrigerator) with chopped leftover steak (from dinner) and diced mango. Toss with vinaigrette.

 For a grain, grab a container (sold near the hummus) of rice-stuffed grape leaves. Big flavor, but no labor. And if you use paper towels to blot off the olive oil they are packed in, the calories are cut dramatically.

 Even healthy eaters deserve dessert. For a treat you can feel good about, try non-fat vanilla Greek yogurt topped with berries and maple syrup.

 J. M. Hirsch is the national food editor for The Associated Press. He blogs about the trials, tribulations and triumphs of his son’s lunches at The site was the inspiration for his latest cookbook, Beating the Lunch Box Blues. His previous books include High Flavor, Low Labor: Reinventing Weeknight Cooking and Venturesome Vegan Cooking. He lives in New Hampshire with his son, wife and too many cats.

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