Teriyaki Rice Bites

Serves 1 (makes 10 bites).

Note: Small seaweed rectangles (nori, or sushi wrappers that have been toasted, seasoned and conveniently cut into small rectangles) are filled with a little sticky rice, teriyaki meat or tofu and a few strips of sweet pepper for a deliciously fun and gluten-free lunch that both teens and toddlers can enjoy. Sushi rice is a short-grain white or brown rice that gets slightly sticky when cooked. It can usually be found in the ethnic aisle of most grocery stores, where the seaweed snacks or nori sheets are also sold. From Meredith Deeds.

• 3 oz. leftover grilled chicken, pork, steak or tofu, cut into thin strips

• 2 tbsp. prepared teriyaki sauce

• 1/2 cup hot cooked sushi rice, brown or white (see Note)

• 1/4 red pepper, cut into matchsticks

• 10 seaweed snack rectangles or Seasoned Nori (see recipe)


In a small, microwave-safe bowl, combine the meat or tofu with the teriyaki sauce. Microwave until hot. Pack in an insulated container with the hot rice. Pack the pepper matchsticks and seaweed snack rectangles separately.

To eat: Place a tablespoon or so of the rice in the middle of the seaweed rectangle. Top with a couple of pieces of chicken and red pepper and eat.

To make ahead: It’s best to use freshly made rice, but you can also use rice that was made the night before and kept chilled. Reheat in the microwave, covered with a damp towel to keep moist.

Nutrition information per each of 10 “bites”:

Calories 38 Fat 1 g Sodium 180 mg

Carbohydrates 3 g Saturated fat 0 g Calcium 4 mg

Protein 3 g Cholesterol 7 mg Dietary fiber 0 g

Diabetic exchanges per serving: ½ lean meat.


Seasoned Nori

Makes 24 squares.

Note: Find nori (dried seaweed sheets) in the ethnic aisle of most grocery stores. From Meredith Deeds.

• 4 sheets nori (see Note)

• About 2 tsp. sesame oil

• Kosher salt


Heat a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Brush both sides of nori with sesame oil. Sprinkle lightly with salt. Place nori in the heated skillet and cook until edges begin to curl, about 5 seconds per side. Pile sheets on work surface. Using scissors, cut nori lengthwise in half. Cut each half crosswise into 4 rectangles. Store in an airtight container.


Tortilla Turkey Roll-ups

Serves 4.

Note: Salsa-spiked cream cheese is the glue that holds these roll-ups together, stuffed with turkey, spinach and sweet pepper strips. From Meredith Deeds.

• 4 oz. low-fat cream cheese, softened

• 2 tbsp. prepared mild salsa, plus more for dipping

• 1/2 avocado, peeled, pitted and sliced thinly

• 1 tbsp. lime juice

• About 2 c. fresh baby spinach leaves

• 1 red bell pepper, core and seeds removed and cut into thin strips

• 1 yellow bell pepper, core and seeds removed and cut into thin strips

• 4 oz. thinly sliced roasted turkey breast

• 4 (8-in.) whole-wheat flour tortillas


In a medium bowl, combine the cream cheese and salsa. Sprinkle the avocado lightly with the lime juice to prevent browning.

On each tortilla, spread a quarter of the cream cheese mixture. In the middle, make 2 single layer rows of spinach leaves. Place 1 row each of red and yellow bell pepper strips and avocado and top with a single layer of turkey. Roll up tightly and slice crosswise into 1-inch pieces. Serve with extra salsa for dipping.

To make ahead: The rolls can be assembled and wrapped tightly in plastic wrap the night before. Cut just before packing.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 278 Fat 11 g Sodium 845 mg

Carbohydrates 34 g Saturated fat 4 g Calcium 157 mg

Protein 13 g Cholesterol 29 mg Dietary fiber 6 g

Diabetic exchanges per serving: 2 bread/starch, 1 lean meat, 1 ½ fat.




Easy BÁnh MÌ

Makes 4.

Note: What makes this version of the Vietnamese classic sandwich so easy is that you can use any leftover meat you have on hand for the filling. Pickled vegetables make an appealing foil to the spicy mayo and meat tucked inside the roll or baguette. Daikon is a Japanese radish that looks like a large parsnip. It can be found in the produce section of most grocery stores, but if you can’t find it, just substitute with extra carrots. From Meredith Deeds.

• 1/2 c. shredded carrots

• 1/2 c. thinly sliced European cucumbers

• 1/2 c. shredded daikon radish (see Note)

• 2 tbsp. unseasoned rice wine vinegar

• 2 tbsp. sugar

• 1/4 tsp. salt

• 1/3 c. low fat mayonnaise

• 1 to 2 tbsp. Sriracha sauce

• 4 small hero rolls or 1 baguette cut into quarters and split

• 12 oz. thinly sliced cooked pork, steak or chicken

• Fresh cilantro leaves

• Fresh mint leaves

• Jalapeño, thinly sliced, optional


To make the pickled vegetables: In a bowl, toss together the carrots, cucumbers, daikon, vinegar, sugar and salt, and let stand at room temperature for at least 30 minutes. Drain in a colander.

To make the Sriracha mayo: In a small bowl, mix together the mayonnaise and Sriracha.

To make the sandwiches: Spread the mayo on both sides of roll or cut baguette. Layer the meat on the rolls. Top with the pickled vegetables, the cilantro, mint and jalapeño.

To make ahead: All the elements can be made the night before and refrigerated separately. Assemble the sandwiches just before packing.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 363 Fat 15 g Sodium 655 mg

Carbohydrates 27 g Saturated fat 4 g Calcium 37 mg

Protein 29 g Cholesterol 71 mg Dietary fiber 2 g

Diabetic exchanges per serving: 1 vegetable, 1 ½ bread/starch, 3 lean meat, 1 fat.


Quinoa Pancake Sandwiches with Nutella and Strawberries

Makes 12 (3-inch) pancakes or 6 sandwiches.

Note: These gluten-free pancakes freeze beautifully. Once cooled, freeze any leftover pancakes for up to a month in a zip-top bag with pieces of wax or parchment paper in between. Quinoa is a grain; Nutella is a hazelnut spread. From Meredith Deeds.

• 2 1/2 c. cooked quinoa (see Note)

• 1 c. milk

• 4 eggs

• 4 tbsp. vegetable oil, divided

• 2 tsp. baking powder

• 1/4 tsp. salt

• Nutella (see Note)

• Thinly sliced strawberries


In a blender combine the quinoa, milk, eggs and 2 tablespoons oil. Purée until smooth and transfer to a large bowl. (The batter thickens as it sits, which makes it harder to get out of the blender.) Stir in the baking powder and salt.

Heat 1/2 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat and cook, using about 1/4 cup of batter for each pancake. Make 3 pancakes at a time. Cook for about 3 minutes on the first side, or until set about 1/2 inch up the sides and golden brown on the bottom. Flip and cook for another minute or until completely cooked through. Remove to a cooling rack to cool completely. Use the remaining oil and batter to cook the rest of the pancakes.

For each sandwich, spread 1 tablespoon of Nutella on a cooled pancake. Arrange a layer of sliced strawberries and top with another pancake.

To make ahead: The pancakes can be made ahead and frozen for up to a month. Assemble the sandwiches with the frozen pancakes just before packing. They will thaw by lunchtime.

Nutrition information per sandwich with 1 tbsp. Nutella and 2 berries:

Calories 352 Fat 20 g Sodium 622 mg

Carbohydrates 33 g Saturated fat 4 g Calcium 195 mg

Protein 10 g Cholesterol 126 mg Dietary fiber 3 g

Diabetic exchanges per serving: 1 bread/starch, 1 other carb, 1 medium-fat meat, 3 fat.