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Lunch Whisperer Approved

Approachable meal ideas that keep lunch simple

May 7, 2021

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Story

Kristina Kuzmič is the inaugural Lunch Whisperer for the Hormel® Natural Choice® brand. She shares tricks, recipes and aspirational advice that make her family lunches a success and bring balance to her routine. The Lunch Whisperer helps inspire moments of connection that counteract the chaos of everyday life. When we provide easy lunch solutions and tips to make your life simpler, you can focus on what matters most—nourishing relationships with your loved ones.

  • Kristina is passionate and intentional about making meaningful time with her family, often over food. Whether it’s making an unforgettably flavorful meal for them that didn’t take hours or getting them excited to take part in kitchen preparation, she knows the value of these special moments and the importance of keeping it simple when and where she can. Kristina has countless inspired uses for lunchmeat, for example, and reaches for Hormel® Natural Choice® products to make recipes like these.

When Kristina creates a recipe she hopes will appeal to everyone in her family, she strives to include a combination of textures, flavors and colors. All those elements are at play in these recipes, with whimsical and eye-catching presentation that delivers on flavor, all made with Hormel® Natural Choice® products.

Hormel® Natural Choice® products are perfect for parents like Kristina, who don’t have much time but want to ensure they’re feeding their families nothing but the best. The line is 100 percent natural, which means it’s minimally processed – there are no preservatives, no artificial ingredients and no added nitrates. There’s something for everyone, every taste, every recipe. Quality lunchmeats come in a delectable variety of flavors, such as pecanwood smoked ham with sweet black pepper, uncured hard salami, and applewood smoked turkey with garlic and herb.

Take inspiration from these approachable meal ideas and embrace the opportunity to keep lunch simple with Hormel® Natural Choice® recipes.

Ham and Cheese Sushi Rolls

  • Hands-On Time

    5 minutes
  • Total Time

    10 minutes
  • Serves

    2
  • 2 slices bread, crust removed
  • 2 tablespoons cream cheese, softened
  • 2 slices HORMEL® NATURAL CHOICE® Smoked Deli Ham
  • 2 thin slices cheddar cheese
  • 2 tablespoons cucumber matchsticks
  • Toasted sesame seeds, if desired

Instructions

Place bread slices on cutting board. Using rolling pin, roll each slice of bread a few times to flatten.

Spread each bread slice with cream cheese. Top each with ham, cheese and cucumber.

Roll up, jelly-roll style to enclose filling. Use additional cream cheese to seal edges. Cut into sushi-sized pieces.

Roll in toasted sesame seeds, if desired.

Savory Ham and Cheese Rolls

  • Hands-On Time

    10 minutes
  • Total Time

    1 hour, 10 minutes
  • Serves

    12
  • 1 pound pizza dough
  • 1 (8-ounce) package HORMEL® NATURAL CHOICE® Smoked Deli Ham
  • 8 ounces sliced Swiss cheese
  • Glaze
  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 clove garlic, minced

Instructions

Heat oven to 350°F. Spray 9×13-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.

Pull dough into a large, thin rectangle and place on a floured surface. Cover dough with a single layer of ham. Top with a single layer of cheese. Starting with the long side, roll into a large log. Gently pinch the seam together and roll over so that the seam is face down.

Cut log into 12 equal slices. Place in prepared baking dish, cut side up. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature 30 minutes. Spoon glaze over each roll. Bake uncovered 25 to 30 minutes or until browned.

Glaze directions:

In small saucepan over low heat, combine glaze ingredients. Stir until butter has melted and mixture is smooth.

Ham and Cheese Sandwich Kabobs

  • Hands-On Time

    5 minutes
  • Total Time

    10 minutes
  • Serves

    2
  • 2 slices whole grain bread
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 4 slices HORMEL® NATURAL CHOICE® Smoked Deli Ham
  • 2 slices cheddar cheese
  • 4 grape tomatoes
  • 4 cucumber slices
  • 4 skewers

Instructions

Spread bread with mayonnaise. Layer ham and cheese on 1 bread slice. Cover with remaining bread slice. Cut sandwich into 12 squares.

Arrange sandwich cubes, grape tomatoes and cucumber slices onto skewers.

Chef Salad

  • Hands-On Time

    15 minutes
  • Total Time

    30 minutes
  • Serves

    4
  • 1 head romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 2 hard-cooked eggs, peeled and quartered
  • 1 (8-ounce) package HORMEL® NATURAL CHOICE® Oven Roasted Turkey, sliced
  • 1 (8-ounce) package HORMEL® NATURAL CHOICE® Smoked Deli Ham, sliced
  • 1 cup halved grape tomatoes
  • 1 cup sliced cucumbers
  • Fresh Herb Vinaigrette
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs (such as basil, parsley, oregano or thyme)
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped red onion
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

Instructions

In 4 individual serving bowls, arrange all ingredients except dressing. Serve with dressing.

Fresh Herb Vinaigrette Directions

In tightly covered container, shake all ingredients. Shake before serving. Store tightly covered in refrigerator.

Hoagies

  • Hands-On Time

    15 minutes
  • Total Time

    20 minutes
  • Serves

    4
  • 2 hoagie rolls, split
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 cup jarred sandwich mix giardiniera, drained and chopped
  • Kosher salt and pepper, to taste
  • 8 slices HORMEL® NATURAL CHOICE® Smoked Deli Ham
  • 8 slices HORMEL® NATURAL CHOICE® Hard Salami
  • 4 slices Provolone cheese, cut in half
  • 1/3 cup pepperoncini pepper rings
  • 1/4 cup sliced red onion
  • 2 cups shredded lettuce

Instructions

Spread cut sides of each roll evenly with mayonnaise. Top mayonnaise with giardiniera. Season with salt and pepper. Top bottom half of each roll with half of ham, salami, cheese, pepperoncini and onion. Cover with lettuce and top halves of rolls. Roll each sandwich tightly in parchment paper and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate up to 8 hours before serving.