Review: Beating the Lunch Box Blues by J.M. Hirsch

Review: Beating the Lunch Box Blues by J.M. HirschBeating the Lunch Box Blues: Fresh Ideas for Lunches on the Go! by J.M. Hirsch, Rachael Ray
Published by Atria Books on September 3rd 2013
Genres: Non-Fiction, Cookbook
Pages: 208
Source: Netgalley
Buy: AmazonB&NBook DepositoryChapters !ndigo

Longing for more than yet another limp salad? Tired of tussling with the kids over junk food lunch kits? Sounds like you’ve got the lunch box blues. J. M. Hirsch has the fix.

But it isn’t a cookbook. Because when it comes to lunch, nobody has time to break out a recipe to bang out a brown bag special. Busy people need lunch ideas. Lots of them. And those ideas need to be healthy, fast, easy, affordable, and delicious.

That’s what Beating the Lunch Box Blues is—an idea book to inspire anyone daunted by the daily ordeal of packing lunch. Jammed with nearly 200 photos and more than 500 tips and meals, this book is designed to save families time, money, and their sanity.

Whether you want to jazz up a grilled cheese, turn leftover steak into a DIY taco kit, or make pizza “sushi,” Hirsch has it covered. And because the best lunches often are built from the leftovers of great suppers, he has also included 30 fast and flavorful dinner recipes designed to make enough for tomorrow, too. Crazy good stuff like short ribs braised in a Rosemary-Port Sauce, Hoisin-Glazed Meatloaf, and kid-friendly classics such as Turkey Sloppy Joes and American Chop Suey.

With ideas this easy and this delicious, there’s no reason to let the lunch box blues get you down.


I love food and I love lunch. I spend a  lot time trying to come up with ideas to jazz up old boring lunches.  The book has a variety of recipes that range from easy to pack lunches to grilled cheese sandwiches, to healthy snacks, and all the way up to using leftovers. Most of the recipes are pretty basic so the take-it-or-leave it style is exactly what I need. I can easily customize it with the stuff I like, and take out what I don’t.  As with all good cookbooks (in my opinion anyway), it’s full of pictures! I like visuals, especially for cooking.

A handy book now that school is in full swing! Everyone is always in need of lunch, and even if your not going to school, this book has some lovely ideas for the office or really anywhere. The nice thing with this book is it works well in providing inspiration, and the very easy take it-or-leave it approach that allows for a lot of flexibility to accommodate everyone.

{* Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing a copy in exchange for an honest review.


About J.M. Hirsch

J.M. Hirsch is the national food editor for The Associated Press. He is on Instagram and Twitter as @JM_Hirsch. His previous books include Beating the Lunch Box Blues, High Flavor, Low Labor: Reinventing Weeknight Cooking and Venturesome Vegan Cooking. He lives in New Hampshire.

About Rachael Ray

Rachael Domenica Ray is a two-time Emmy-nominated television personality and author. She hosts the syndicated talk/lifestyle program Rachael Ray and two Food Network series, 30 Minute Meals and Rachael Ray's Tasty Travels. Ray has also written a series of cookbooks based on the 30 Minute Meals concept, and launched a magazine, Every Day with Rachael Ray, in 2006.

Prior to the launch of her talk show, Ray hosted two other Food Network shows, $40 a Day and Inside Dish.


Author: Cyn

noun. a bum OT, procrastinator. reader. eater. sleeper. music listen-er. movie go-er. Loves food too much.

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