Back to School Lunch Ideas! (lol)

Welcome to our regular recipe column from teacher and stand-up comedian Sarah Whitmore.

Remember school? That was fun, huh? Well, now we have home.

Parents, now that you are teachers again (practically tenured!), it’s time to get resourceful. Take curriculum planning to the next level by auditing your fridge. Even a cursory inventory should provide materials for science enrichment.

Master Teacher

Once you have extracted and assembled your teaching manipulatives, ask open-ended questions like:

  1. I wonder how these once crisp and unyielding carrots became so very pliant and flexible. . .
  2. Are carrots hiding something? What’s their secret? Cold yoga?
  3. If ancient Egyptians healed their infected wounds by packing them with moldy bread—considering the state of our strawberry jam—how can we not come up with a cure for COVID-19?
  4. If Zoom is school, is a handful of almond butter a sandwich?

One thing is certain: vegetables cannot possibly get more vegetably than in early autumn. And since we are home again (and again, and again) for lunch, why not this delicious and nutritious veggie-filled comfort food for your students?

So, clean out your refrigerator, put on your mask, and head over to the farmers’ market for sweet autumn corn, ripe, rosy peppers, and bright chard. A flavorful rotisserie chicken brings this incredible meal together quickly.

Basically, we are pouring a stew into a pie. I bake this in a big earthenware bowl, which accommodates plenty of stew so the pie doesn’t dry out.

I rarely make pie crust. There are too many excellent, prepared crusts available. Besides, once we want pie—how patient are we?

Photo Credit: Sarah Whitmore

Zoom Pot Pie


  •        3 pie crusts
  •        2 big shallots
  •        2 cloves garlic
  •        2 tablespoons olive oil
  •        1 tablespoon butter
  •        ½ cup white wine
  •        1 cup chopped carrots
  •        ¼ cup tamari
  •        1 bunch chard or kale
  •        3 little summer squash
  •        1 red pepper
  •        1 bunch Italian parsley
  •        2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
  •        1 ½ cups green peas
  •        1 cup fresh corn
  •        1 teaspoon dried turmeric
  •        2 ½ cups chicken broth
  •        1 cup whipping cream or high-fat coconut milk
  •        1 rotisserie chicken


  • Preheat oven to 350


  • Combine 3 thawed pie crusts using a little ice water, flour and butter
  • Roll out enough dough, ¼ inch thick, to cover the bottom of a deep pie pan or baking vessel

Photo Credit: Sarah Whitmore


  • Chop veggies and herbs
  • Cut fresh corn off the cob
  • Chop the meat from the chicken (include some crisp skin)
  • Add olive oil and butter to a large, heavy-bottomed pot
  • Saute shallots until lightly browned
  • Stir in minced garlic
  • Add ½ cup wine to de-glaze pan
  • Add veggies and herbs
  • (except the corn!)
  • Add 2 cups broth
  • Add 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • Add the chicken
  • Cook at a rapid simmer about 18 minutes
  • Remove from heat
  • Add corn and 1 ½ cups heavy whipping cream, stir to combine
  • Add salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste.
  • Let cool for 15 minutes

  Into the Oven:

  • Roll remaining dough into an over-sized disc a little over ¼ inch thick
  • Pour cooled stew into the baking dish
  • Cover the pie, trimming excess dough
  • Shape crust edge
  • Cut shapes like leaves from excess dough to beautify and hide holes in the crust

Bake 30-35 minutes or until golden brown


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