Summer is coming to a close and the kids are going back to school (in some places they are already back). Instead of packing the same old peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (many schools are going nut free anyway), why not try something new? I know my grandkids are always begging me to make them pasta salad for their school lunch.  Here are a couple of easy to make recipes to change up those boring school lunches.

Antipasta Salad With Salami

Ingredients

  •  2 cups farfalle or other short pasta
  • 2 cups chopped fresh spinach
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes (halved)
  • 4 ounces fresh mozzarella, cut into pieces (or any other hard cheese like feta)
  • 2 ounces salami, cut into pieces
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Cook pasta according to the package directions.  Allow to cool (rinse under cold water).  In a large bowl mix pasta, spinach,  grape tomatoes, mozzarella (cheese), and salami.
  2. Whisk together the olive oil, white wine vinegar, salt and pepper to taste.  Toss with pasta and other ingredients.
  3. Keep refrigerated

Soba Salad

Ingredients 

  • 8 ounces soba noodles
  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 6 tablespoons canola oil
  • 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 2 cups shredded cabbage
  • 6 scallions, sliced
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Cook the noodles according to the package directions. Drain and run under cold water to cool.
  2. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and slice chicken into strips.
  3. Heat 3 tablespoons of the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the chicken until cooked through, about 2 minutes per side.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk together  vinegar, soy sauce, ginger, and remaining 3 tablespoons of oil.  Add the noodles, chicken, cabbage, and scallions and toss.
  5.  Refrigerator until ready to pack into the kid’s lunch bag.

These 2 recipes are so good you will want to take them to work for your lunch.  And they are light enough that you or your child will not feel weighed down and sleepy after lunch.