RECIPE OF THE WEEK: Exciting, Not-At-All-Boring Brown Bag Lunches

Bonus points if you have an adorable lunch box.
Publish date:
August 18, 2015
xoFood, lunch, eating lunch at desk, Recipe Of The Week

Greetings my beautiful tropical fishes, and welcome back to your number one creative recipe destination: Recipe of the Week! You all went wildly above and beyond last week when I asked you to provide your favorite ramen recipes. Some were classy and some were delightfully trashy, but the most up-voted (from ROTW regular RinnyLush) was startlingly simple.

Oh God, I am so ashamed to admit it, but this is how everyone in my class (myself included) ate instant ramen at school:

1) Open bag and fish out flavour packet.2) Holding the bag closed, smash the noodles into oblivion.3) Dump the packet of flavouring into the bag.4) Shake the bag.5) Eat them as a dry snack.

:( This is not ramen.

Ah, an old classic, familiar to all. Who among us didn't assault their young, budding palate with a one-two umami punch of MSG and way too much sodium? (Not even David Chang was immune.) Shoving fistfuls of dry ramen in one's mouth and washing it down with a kiwi-strawberry Hansen's soda was practically a rite of passage at my school, and it was delicious.

The snack hasn't changed much; it's still the salty flavor blast we grew up on, and I didn't hate having an excuse to eat it again. So we add another trophy to Rinny's case, and it is a perfect pairing for this blast-from-the-past school yard snack.

That was fun, but it didn't satisfy my need for absolutely absurd ramen. So I scrolled down a bit until this little beauty from Lise Kaliher caught my eye.

My husband gets the Oriental kind, mixes in fruit punch Kool-Aid, spicy pork rinds, a cut up Slim-Jim and tops with sliced green onion and voila! You have poor man's "sweet and sour pork". Horrific looking but really the flavor is uncanny and no, he's not obese, lol

My husband says reduce broth to a cup and a quarter and use the pre-sweetened Kool-Aid.

I had to. It was a daunting task to be sure, but luckily I didn't have to go it alone, for this week I had the help of a very talented young lady with an adventurous palate beyond her years.

We prepared the dish as instructed, my Sous Chef (who wishes to remain anonymous) measuring and stirring with precision and flair.

Soon, our creation was ready to be tasted.

It was surprisingly good. The salty flavor packet of the ramen managed to balance the aggressive, synthetic sweetness of the Kool-Aid to create a sauce that actually was sweet and sour. It was almost alchemic. The Slim Jims added texture and meaty flavor, and the pork rinds softened in the sauce, taking on the appearance of pork slices. Overall, it was a fairly tasty experience that I will not soon forget.

But enough about me and my thoughts, what did Sous Chef think?

"It's actually not bad!" she proclaimed, slurping noodles as her mother (my aunt) looked on in thinly-veiled horror. Sous Chef then insisted that the rest of her family partake. Mom echoed our "surprisingly not bad" sentiments while Dad refused to play. Sous Chef happily slurped for a few more minutes, before deciding that "it actually gets kind of gross after a while."

I let Sous Chef pick the your trophy, Lise Kaliher, and she picked "Heart Attack" by Demi Lavato, which is kind of fitting.

Special thanks to my Aunt for letting me borrow the adorable Sous Chef for this article, now we must move on. This next topic comes to us from ROTW reader Janelle (whose Disqus name is JP) who wants your exciting ideas for brown-bag lunches. Basically, what Janelle and I want to know is how you combat "saddesklunch. Do you have a great non-soggy sandwich? Do you bento it? Do you have a way to fancy up a frozen burrito? Bonus points for adorable containers. I love adorable containers.