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Sep 3, 2011 04:48 PM

Need make-ahead lunch ideas, please

I'm looking for some make-ahead ideas for lunch on Monday. Friends are coming from out of town; I've cooked for them for years so they've had all my go-to meals: chicken salad, make-your-own sandwich bar, or muffalettas. I need something that I can make ahead, leave in the frig, and let everybody serve themselves when they get hungry. I will definitely have fruit salad, and maybe some deviled eggs, but I'm blanking on anything interesting for the main course. Any suggestions?

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  1. Poached salmon? Cold chicken is you'd do for a picnic. Grill something like flank steak ahead of time.....and then have the slices for sandwiches or salads.

    1. Niçoise salade - everyone's got their own version; my favorite is good quality italian oil-packed tuna, steamed green beans, boiled potatoes, Niçoise olives, hard boiled eggs (or leave off if you're doing the deviled), anchovies, if your friends are game, then drizzled with a nice lemony/dijon vinaigrette. you could even add some couscous or quinoa to make it heartier.

      1. Taco bar!! Have fresh tortillas and various cooked meats that can be heated and topped with veggies and cheeses. Tacos and fruit salad sounds great!

        1 Reply
        1. re: Barbara76137

          Yum! Thanks to you all. Sometimes I need a little push to get out of my ruts. I'm going with the taco bar simply because I have all I need on hand and I don't have time to grocery shop today. I'll use the other menus another time. Greatly appreciated!

        2. Butterflied pork loin rolled w/ pesto; roasted or grilled; rested and sliced. Beautiful with
          a pasta salad w/ vegies and a lemon vinaigrette..
          A roasted tenderloin of beef. Roast bulbs of garlic alongside, and make bruschetta. They can spread the roasted garlic on the bruschetta (or even an untoasted sliced loaf of any good bread.) Serve alongside a blue cheese potato salad made w/ new potatoes, with some sliced heirloom tomatoes. Have a variety of mustards on hand, and maybe some tamed pickled balsamic onions.