Up until this summer, I had never worked at a full-time job closer than 45 miles away. I was either planning ‘leftoverable’ meals for dinner so I’d have lunch for the following day, or I’d drop at least $5 a day to get a somewhat satisfying midday meal. Having a job is awesome, but having a job where you can come home on your lunch break is even better. Now that I’m home during lunch, though, I’m faced with a new challenge: What can I make, eat and enjoy in 40 minutes?
My favorite answer so far: mini pizzas, more specifically buffalo chicken flatbread and “loxish” flatbread. These personal-sized pizzas are filling enough for lunch or dinner, but you can get a week’s worth of them for what you’d spend on one meal out.
Buffalo chicken flatbread
♦1 slice flatbread or pocketless pita
♦1 chicken tenderloin, cooked and shredded
♦4 tbs. hot sauce
♦Squirt of lemon juice (official measurement)
♦1 tsp. oregano (or more, if you’d like)
♦1/2 c. mozzarella cheese (fresh is best, but shredded works, too)
Combine shredded chicken, hot sauce 1/2 tsp. oregano and lemon juice in bowl. Let sit while oven preheats to 350. Drizzle flatbread with olive oil. Add 1/4 c. mozzarella, then entire contents of bowl (chicken + sauce), additional oregano and top with remaining cheese. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until crust is golden.
♦1 slice of flatbread (or pocketless pita)
♦4 oz. neufchatel (fewer calories than cream cheese)
♦2 oz. smoked salmon/lox ♦1 tbs. green onions, thinly sliced
♦1/3 c. cheddar cheese
♦Sprinkle of garlic powder
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Warm neufchatel in microwave for 5-10 seconds. Mash green onions into neufchatel, and spead mixture on flatbread. Top with smoked salmon, cheddar and garlic powder. Bake for 8-10 minutes.
Total time? 15 for each.
Cost? (To make a work week’s worth) For buffalo chicken: $2.50 package of six flatbreads, $3.50 fresh mozzarella, $3 chicken tenderloins, $1.25 hot sauce. For “loxish”: $2.50 package of six flatbreads, $3 smoked salmon, $1.88 cheddar cheese, $1 green onions, $1 cream cheese.
Overall success relative to expectations? 9 out 10. If you’re a thin crust hater, these aren’t for you; otherwise, give them a try. I could eat these every day. So easy. So fast. So good.