Every summer, the Test Kitchens has an intern on staff. This summer our intern is Lacey who is from Clemson University in South Carolina. She’s majoring in Food Science & Technology with an emphasis in Culinology, which makes her a perfect fit here in the kitchens. As a part of her summer projects, she decided she wanted to write a blog. So without further ado, I’ll let Lacey take it from here!
Hi everyone! I have had the pleasure of being an intern in the Land O'Lakes Test Kitchens for the past three months, and I have enjoyed every minute of it! I have been exposed to all aspects of the department: foodservice, retail, as well as consumer affairs and customer concerns projects.
While I would love to stay and work here forever, I have one more semester of school left. August is such a big month for my family and me for one special reason: back to school time! August is the time for new school clothes, school supplies, and new classmates. For my three younger brothers in particular, that also means getting a new book bag and a matching lunch bag.
For me, as well as my brothers, lunch is our favorite meal of the day - mostly because it was the one meal we were able to make ourselves. As I got older, my mom would let me make my own lunches, which sometimes included a few too many sweets, but mostly sandwiches and a bag of chips. Unfortunately for me, my days of colorful lunch bags are far behind me, but that still does not mean I can’t relish the memories of making lunch.
Take a look at the bento boxes in this Test Kitchen article. Now I am going to show you how to use one! If you were unable to read the article, a bento box is a meal kit that takes inspiration from Japanese culture in which the meal is divided into smaller compartments. This allows for the diner to have a more customizable dining experience.
One of the recipes we have created for the bento box is a Chicken Salad BLT Bento Box. This recipe is a definite winner with my brothers because it has two of their favorite things: chicken and bacon. It’s very simple, and a good recipe to use leftover chicken.
First you combine the chicken, bacon, red onion, celery, and ranch dressing in a bowl.
Once the salad is mixed, begin assembling your box. For this recipe, I used a plastic food container with four foil baking cups as dividers, but you can use any style of bento box or plastic container that you have on hand. There are so many different types of Bento Boxes available in stores now!
Measure about 1/2 cup of the chicken salad into one of the four baking cups. In another cup, place 8 cheese quarters. The cheese quarters need to be similar in size to the size of the pita chips.
In another cup, measure about 1/4 cup of shredded lettuce, and in the final cup, add 4 sliced grape tomatoes. Place pita crackers in a snack-sized plastic resealable bag.
At lunchtime layer 1 pita chip and add a slice of cheese, a small amount of lettuce, a spoonful of chicken salad and top with a tomato slice.
I definitely believe this lunch is not only kid-friendly, but also adult-friendly. This will definitely get a pass with my younger brothers and parents alike. I loved eating the leftovers of this recipe!
Did you enjoy reading about this Chicken BLT Salad Bento Box recipe? There are also two other recipes for the bento box for you to try- just insert “bento box” into the search bar on any page of landolakes.com. Let me know what other combinations you create for the bento box!
Check back in a few days when Tami will share a chocolate lovers dream- a Mississippi Mud Cake.
Lacey is in an intern in the Test Kitchens at Land O’Lakes, and Mallory is a Product Specialist in the Test Kitchens at Land O'Lakes and writes for our Recipe Buzz® Blog.