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Malibu Beach Recovery Diet: School Day Recipes

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Malibu Beach Recovery Diet: School Day Recipes

Easy, recovery-friendly lunches that will won’t bore your taste buds

Some of you might be seeing the beginning of September ahead as the beginning of the lunchbox challenge.  Whether it is for you of for your children, (or if they got really lucky, for your significant other!), preparing a meal every morning for consumption a few hours down the road can appear daunting.brown bag lunch

Sometimes, I wish that my taste buds allowed me the Jared treatment (you know, the guy who lost a ton of weight by eating the same Subway sandwich three times a day!) but I was gifted with taste buds that have a definite repulsion towards repetition.

So….. what solutions can we find to this daily dilemma?  These quick fixes can be adapted to all age ranges depending on who you are treating to a Lunch Box Extraordinaire!

Once again, the best approach to this resides in preparation and longer term thinking.  If you are purchasing a lunch box, buy one that has small containers perfectly fitted for its size.  This enables you to stay away from zip plastic bags, except when you require them.  Second, make sure that you also have a small container to carry your dressing  so that you can expand your meal to salads without having them turn soggy on you because you have to premix the salad with the dressing.  And third, let your imagination guide you as well as the leftovers in your refrigerator.  Peruse the websites of restaurants that offer picnic boxes (the Hollywood bowl in Los Angeles is a great picnic/concert venue and most catering companies offer special picnic boxes for purchase for this occasion.  I shamelessly raid them for inspiration…) What is good for them is great for me!

Also, do not limit your lunch box packing to school or the office. They make a great solution for outings on the beach or just on your own balcony, and you will find that they are also a great way to portion your meals and make sure you follow the Malibu Beach Recovery Diet when you are outside your comfort cooking zone.

Three recipes today (and I will spare you the sempiternal chicken breast that accommodates everything) will help you in getting that inspiration going and I hope you enjoy them as much as I enjoy our conversations together!

Bon Appétit!


Homemade Healthy Granola Bars

Preparation: 15 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes

2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup agave
2 Tbsp creamy peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp salt


Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease a 9-inch square baking dish.
Spread the oats and coconut evenly across a baking sheet.
Toast oats and coconut in preheated oven until browned, about 10 minutes; transfer to a large mixing bowl.
Mix agave, peanut butter, vanilla extract, and salt in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook and stir until smooth. Pour the agave mixture over the oats and coconut; stir to coat. Spread the mixture evenly into the prepared baking dish.
Bake in preheated oven until beginning to dry, about 15 minutes for crunchy granola bars, less if you like them chewy. When the bars are baked, run a knife through the hot bars to score them where you will cut them later.  Cool completely and cut the bars completely.
You can add many ingredients to personalize these granola bars (peanuts, mini chocolate chips slivered almonds, pecans), Just remember that the dry ingredients total 2 cups in the recipe.  If you add more ingredients, just increase the wet ingredients in proportion.

Genius Pan Pasta

Serves 4

Pasta is delicious both hot and cold.  This recipe has the advantage of being super quick and extremely tasty.  No more waiting for the pot of water to boil.  The result is a pasta that is rich, al dente and, when cold, perfectly appropriate for lunchboxes or picnics.


12 ounces linguine (Dreamfields brand)
12 ounces cherry or grape tomatoes, halved or quartered if large
1 onion, thinly sliced (about 2 cups)
4 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 sprigs basil, plus torn leaves for garnish
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
Coarse salt & freshly ground black pepper
4 1/2 cups water
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese


Combine pasta, tomatoes, onion, garlic, red-pepper flakes, basil, oil, 2 teaspoons salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and water in a large straight-sided skillet (the linguine should lay flat).
Bring to a boil over high heat. Boil mixture, stirring and turning pasta frequently with tongs or a fork, until pasta is al dente and water has nearly evaporated, about 9 minutes.
Season to taste with salt and pepper, divide among 4 bowls, and garnish with basil. Serve with olive oil and Parmesan.

Farro Salad with Pesto and Roasted Summer Vegetables

Serves 4 to 6

This salad is comprised of ingredients that can be made the day before for another meal.  Save the leftovers and toss them all together at the last minute for an additional meal.


For the Roasted Vegetables

1 cup grape tomatoes
1 medium zucchini, sliced into half circles
1 medium summer squash, sliced into half circles
1 Tbsp melted coconut oil
1/2 tsp sea salt
black pepper, to taste

For the Farro

1 cup farro
3 cups water
1/3 cup pesto
2 cups fresh arugula

For the Pesto

1/3 cup hemp seeds
1/3 cup raw pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
2 cups loosely packed basil leaves
1 cup arugula
1 garlic clove
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp sea salt
black pepper, to taste


To Make the Roasted Vegetables:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Line a large baking pan with parchment paper and spread the tomatoes, zucchini, and summer squash across.
Drizzle the vegetables with the melted coconut oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss to coat.
Roast for 20-25 minutes or until tender, tossing the vegetables after 10-15 minutes.
Remove from oven and let cool for 5-10 minutes

For the Farro:

While the vegetables are roasting, rinse the farro thoroughly and pour it into a medium saucepan. Add in the three cups of water and heat on high. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 30-35 minutes or until tender.

Drain off any excess water and transfer the cooked farro to a large bowl.

Make the pesto while the farro and vegetables are cooking.

For the Pesto:

Aadd all ingredients to a food processor and process until smooth (approximately 2-3 minutes).  Slather on pasta, pizza, sandwiches, and veggies. Store leftovers in refrigerator.

To Make the Salad:

Scoop 1/3 cup of the pesto over the farro and toss to coat.  Pour the roasted vegetables and fresh arugula over the farro and gently toss.   Serve and garnish with pepitas, hemp seeds, and arugula, if desired.  Refrigerate leftovers.

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