Easy Real Food Lunch Ideas from Two World Renown Chefs

Are you tired of the same ole thing in your lunch bag day after day … hard-boiled eggs, celery sticks, an apple maybe?  A Real Food Lunch does not have to be boring or difficult using these two excellent ideas by World Renown Chefs, Cyril Renaud and Daniel Boulud.  

NOTE: I have added real food ingredient suggestions in ( ) to even make them easier. Also, veggies and fruits should be organic or local if they are on the Dirty Dozen List

Chef Cyril Renaud opened La Quenelle in New York’s Flatiron district. The new French restaurant takes the place of his creperie, Bar Breton, which previously occupied the same space. The Brittany-born chef, founder of the departed Michelin-starred restaurant Fleur de Sel, shares with Bloomberg Businessweek a version of his recipe for an endive salad served at La Quenelle. The dish has special meaning for Renaud, who sometimes makes it for his wife. It can be prepared the day before and is eaten cold. His favorite part: how the fruits play off the bitterness of the endives.

Cyril Renaud’s Endive & Orange Salad with Pan-seared Chicken Breast, Toasted Almonds, Apples, and Pears

1 chicken breast, cut into cutlets (grass-fed pastured chicken preferred)
3 endives
1 Tsp. toasted almonds
1 orange cut into segments
1 diced apple
1 diced Asian pear
1 Tsp. light soy mayonnaise (homemade whey mayonnaise can be substituted)
1 Tsp. chopped parsley
1 Tsp. vegetable oil (coconut or olive oil can be substituted)
In a sauté pan over medium heat, add vegetable oil and cook the chicken breast for three minutes on each side. Remove and put to the side.
Slice the endive and place in a bowl.
Add mayonnaise, diced apples, diced pears, and chopped parsley. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Mix well and place it in your “to go” box.
Add sliced orange segments and toasted almonds.
Finish by placing the chicken on top.
Daniel Boulud’s Rice Salad

(Corrects the location of restaurant from Tokyo to Beijing)
Few restaurateurs have enjoyed the success of Daniel Boulud, the French-born chef who oversees a constellation of upscale establishments across the world, from Montreal to Palm Beach to Beijing. His culinary footprint, however, is deepest in New York, the home of Daniel, DB Bistro, Bar Boulud, and DBGB Kitchen & Bar. His latest Manhattan-based venture is Epicerie Boulud, which opened its doors on the Upper West Side last year. Unlike his other restaurants, Epicerie Boulud is part oyster-and-wine bar, part walk-in grab-and-go market, with premade “box lunches” assembled around sandwiches made from Parisian ham, suckling pig confit, and Thai sausage, among other ingredients. Epicerie Boulud also sells an array of fruits, gelato, and cheeses.
Bloomberg Businessweek asked Boulud to reveal his version of the perfect bag lunch for the epicurean office grunts among us—a portable meal that’s better than leftovers in a ziplock bag, but also simple and easy enough that it doesn’t require experience with molecular gastronomy or a sous vide machine. It should be prepped at home and consumed at the cubicle. He chose a rice salad. “My mother made it on the farm, so it has the taste of home,” he says. “When she knew we would be busy outside all day, she made it in the morning and refrigerated it. It was a practical one-dish meal: veggies, starch, and protein, all in one. It’s refreshing and satisfying, but not something that weighs you down at lunch. It also stands up to being made hours ahead.” We’re sold. Here’s how to make it. Portion as you see fit. In typical French fashion, measurements are imprecise—you must feel it.
Basmati rice (brown rice can be substituted)
Egg (pastured farm eggs are suggested)
Canned tuna (wild caught, dolphin safe preferred)
Lemon juice or white balsamic vinegar (lemon juice preferred)
Salt and pepper
Basil or niçoise olives
“Combine a few cups of cooked basmati rice at room temperature with diced fresh tomato, celery, cucumber, and hard-boiled egg. Add some pieces of canned tuna fish, minced fresh chives, and/or basil and pitted niçoise olives. Dress with olive oil and a few drops of either freshly squeezed lemon juice or white balsamic vinegar, some grated lemon zest, and salt and pepper to taste—and you’ve got a refreshing, tasty, and healthy lunch.”
Mayo is an associate editor for Bloomberg Businessweek.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s