Didn’t catch last month’s recipes? Here’s the scoop on this new series: Every month, we share four office lunch recipes that feature the same specialty ingredient (think apple butter, toasted coconut flakes, matcha.) The specialty ingredient is one that you may be hesitant to pick up at the store for fear of only using once and then relegating to pantry-placeholder status until (or well beyond) the use-by date. So, we recipe tested our way to a convenient excuse for you to work something new and entirely interesting into your office lunch routine!
New month, new lunch! This November we’re mixing up our default desk lunch with another specialty ingredient, apple butter. Many orchard-goers turn their apples into “butter” (or cider or dessert) this time of year, jarring the fruit to use once the apple season is over. Now is the perfect time to work this specialty ingredient into your office lunch! Before the recipes, let’s get to know the ingredient.
- It is a staple at Farmer’s markets and orchards but you should still be able to find some in the jam section at most grocery stores.
It is a highly concentrated apple sauce wherein the sugar from the apples actually caramelizes, turning the butter a rich brown color.
- It can range in color and taste depending on how it’s made (IE: how long it’s cooked down)Some apple butter is light brown and apply, while others are dark brown and almost caramel-ey.
There’s no dairy in apple butter – the term is just used to refer to the butter-like consistency.
Chickpea Salad with Apple Butter Dressing
While we love this chickpea salad as it is hearty and full of fall, this apple butter dressing could be drizzled over all of your fall salads!
1/3 Cup Apple Butter
3 Tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar
1 Tablespoon Whole Grain Mustard
1 Tablespoon Honey
¼ Cup Olive Oil
½ Lemon, juiced
2 Ounces Sharp White Cheddar
½ Butternut Squash
1 14 Ounce Can Chickpeas
½ Head Radicchio
¼ Cup Roasted Pecans
¼ Red Onion
1 Honey Crisp Apple, cubed
Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. Peel, deseed and cube the butternut squash. Cube the cheese. Thinly slice the radicchio. Roughly chop the pecans. Peel and thinly slice the red onion. Quarter, core and cube the apple. Drain the chickpeas and pat dry.
Place the squash and chickpeas on a sheet pan (you may need to separate them between 2 sheets pans if they are crowded) and drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper; toss to thoroughly coat. Roast in the oven, tossing halfway through, 20 to 23 minutes, or until browned and tender when pierced with a fork.
To make the dressing, combine all the ingredients in a small jar with a tight fitting lid and shake until combined.
In a medium bowl, combine the cheese, squash, chickpeas, pecans, red onions, apple and as much dressing as you desire. Toss to combine and transfer to a tall jar with a tight fitting lid. Top with the sliced radicchio. Store in the refrigerator. To prepare for lunch, gently shake the contents of the jar to mix the radicchio and dressing into the chickpea salad. You may want to add more dressing as the chickpeas and squash tend to soak it up.
Open-Faced Apple Butter, Ham & Gruyere Sandwich
We’ve taken the classic ham and cheese and added a few key ingredients that take it from default desk lunch to desk envy status!
1 Slice Multigrain Bread
3 Slices Ham
2 Slices Havarti Cheese
2 Tablespoons Apple Butter
2 Tablespoons Dijon Mustard
A few slivers sliced Red Onions
Preheat oven to 500 degrees. In a small bowl, whisk to combine the apple butter and Dijon mustard. Place the bread slice on a sheet tray. Spread as much of the apple butter condiment as desired onto the bread. Top with a few pieces of red onion slices and top with the ham and cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Bake 4 to 6 minutes, or until the cheese has melted. If you want to store the sandwich, let cool, wrap in foil and when ready to consume, warm the sandwich in a toaster oven until the cheese has melted.
Peanut Butter & Apple Dip
This here is a surprisingly filling, energizing recipe that is also extremely healthful – perfect as we get ready for the holiday season!
1 Cup Plain Greek Yogurt
¼ Cup Creamy Peanut Butter
½ Cup Apple Butter
1 Tablespoon Honey
1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
Combine everything in a bowl and stir to combine. Transfer to a jar and refrigerate. Enjoy with sliced apples, Asian pears, pita chips or celery sticks.
Apple Butter Muffins
We know you love breakfast for dinner, so we decided there’s no reason breakfast can’t work for lunch,specially when all you want in November is something hot, spiced, and flavored with the best of fall!
2 Cups Flour
¾ Cup Sugar
3 Teaspoons Baking Powder
1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
½ Teaspoon Salt
¾ Cup Milk
½ Cup Oil
½ Cup Apple Butter
½ Cup Sugar
8 Tablespoons Flour
¼ Teaspoon cinnamon
2 Tablespoons Butter
In a small bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. In a large bowl add the egg, milk, and oil and whisk until thoroughly mixed. Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix just until combined. Do not overmix!
For the streusel, in a medium bowl, combine the flour, sugar and cinnamon. Cube the butter and add it to the flour mixture. Using your fingertips, gently rub the butter into the mixture until it is crumbly.
Spray muffin tins with cooking spray and evenly divide the batter between the cups. Put a tablespoon of apple butter over top the batter, then using a toothpick, swirl the apple butter into the batter. Divide the streusel topping between the tins.
Bake at 400 for 15 to 18 minutes. The muffins are done when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.