When my friends and I were new moms, we started organizing lunchtime play groups for our kids. Here's one of the recipes I made for them. It's their hands-down favorite. —Shannon Brown, Omaha, Nebraska
When visiting our son in California, I sampled a delicious club sandwich. I came up with this recipe to capture the same flavor. One taste reminds me of that wonderful vacation. —Diane Cigel, Stevens Point, Wisconsin
Apples add sweet-tart flavor and crunch to this lightened-up chicken salad that's lovely mounded on melon rings. Writes Nancy Daugherty from Cortland, Ohio, "Curry powder gives this fruity chicken a unique flavor and golden hue."
"I first made this tossed chicken salad for my cousin's baby shower, and everyone loved it," remarks Beth Martin Sine of Faulkner, Maryland. "It was special enough for my youngest daughter's baptism luncheon, yet it's easy enough to put together for dinner."
From Lake Havasu City, Arizona, Dawn Hart shares an easy method for dressing up chicken. She rolls strips in a quick coating made with potato flakes and bread crumbs, then cooks them for a couple minutes in a skillet.
One summer I worked at a health food store that sold sandwiches. We were close to a college campus, so I made lots of these fresh filled pitas for the students. Crunchy with crisp vegetables and nutty sunflower kernels, they're a fast-to-fix lunch when you're on the go.
-Linda Reeves, Cloverdale, Indiana
“This wonderful summer recipe came from a friend,” writes Mary Ann Dell of Phoenixville, Pennsylvania. “With a variety of fresh garden veggies, it makes a nice meal in a hurry.” These piled-high sandwiches are gonna be a hit!
Joanne Beaupre combines orange juice, red wine vinegar and Dijon mustard in the tangy dressing that perks up her seafood salad. "I had tried a similar salad at a restaurant," she writes from Manchester, Connecticut. "I adapted this version for a fun lunch to take to work. It always gets comments."
Pita bread is the crust for these single-serving pizzas that get Mediterranean flair from olives, spinach and feta cheese. Breadsticks and a wedge of iceberg lettuce drizzled with salad dressing (pictured above right) make fine pizza partners. Or serve an appetizer of fresh vegetables with dip, then cap off the meal with lemon Italian ice.