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A Serendipitous Pair

January 29, 2015

Every week we take a peek inside the lunches of the luckiest kids in Brooklyn. Read on, suppress your jealousy, and get a little brown bag inspiration. 

Amanda's Kids' Lunch

For this year's Food52 Secret Swap, I received from Virginia Cascio, among many other exciting things, Rancho Gordo beans ("Yellow Indian Woman" is the variety -- strange name, but delicious!). Serendipitously, last week I received an email from writer Samin Nosrat asking Food52 to join her effort to celebrate beans in January -- #beanmonth. No nudge necessary -- I have lunches to make! 

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I simmered the beans with garlic (they were creamy and tender in an hour) and then tossed them with some McEvoy Ranch olive oil, thyme, and rosemary. It was a promising foundation for dinner (with grilled sausages and salad) and a complete lunch. When you have a good bean or grain dish on hand, lunch is a breeze. With the beans, I packed a little baby kale salad with April Bloomfield's Lemon Caper Dressing (leftover from our New Year's Eve party), a couple of wedges of Kinkead aged cows milk cheese from Sprout Creek Farm, a stack of crackers, and almond cookies from Whole Foods. Lots of shapes and textures to stimulate little minds.  

Looking more inspiration? Click here to see some of the twins' past lunches.

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Deborah Bier
    Deborah Bier
  • Rebecca @ Bring Back Delicious
    Rebecca @ Bring Back Delicious
  • AntoniaJames
Amanda Hesser

Written by: Amanda Hesser

Before starting Food52 with Merrill, I was a food writer and editor at the New York Times. I've written several books, including "Cooking for Mr. Latte" and "The Essential New York Times Cookbook." I played myself in "Julie & Julia" -- hope you didn't blink, or you may have missed the scene! I live in Brooklyn with my husband, Tad, and twins, Walker and Addison.


Deborah B. February 1, 2015
Heirloom beans are so above and beyond the dried or canned beans at the grocery. Amazing flavor and texture! Every one I've grown has blown our socks off!
Rebecca @. January 29, 2015
I'd call my parenting successful if our daughter grew up appreciating a lunch like this. And you know, getting into college would be good too.
AntoniaJames January 29, 2015
Rebecca, if it makes you feel better, my sons would never have appreciated that or just about any other lunch featured in this column. They wanted the same simple sandwich every day. They insisted on it. (I later learned that routine helps a lot of kids manage their stress - they've got so much else going on in their lives, especially the young goalies, catchers, etc. who acutely feel like their peers are relying on them to be great, many hours a week). To your point, they both got into college! And they both were working in paying jobs in their fields of choice, both highly competitive, within a few months after graduating. And they are both amazing cooks and bakers! And one of them (the economist) has a freezer full of homemade stocks, Tartine Bread boules, soups, beef Bourguignon and other make-aheads - the majority of them Food42 Genius recipes -- that would make your head spin. At age 22. So don't worry. Everything will be fine. ;o)
Rebecca @. January 29, 2015
Wow! Impressive! It sounds like you did a good job :)
AntoniaJames January 29, 2015
Oh, I pretty much let them raise themselves, as my mother did with us, giving them the things that they truly need, and not giving them the things that they don't (the latter always dealt with by consensus, once they reached a certain, fairly young, age). ;o)