Monday, March 28, 2011

Ideas to Make Lunchtime Easy!

Lunchtime can be hard or boring, depending upon how limited your diet has become. I thought I would post a few ideas of things we have done and hope that you will add your ideas below. Here's to making lunchtime fun again!

Egg salad with crackers and/or sliced veggies. Cucumber slices, carrot and celery sticks, bell pepper sticks and jicama sticks all make great scoopers for egg salad.

Black beans and rice. If you have time to cook up a pot of black beans yourself, you can bag them and freeze them for later use. Or used canned black beans because they are EASY! Use left over rice from dinner the night before, or put on a pot of brown jasmine rice at snack time which will be hot and ready for lunchtime! Don't forget to add salsa and sour cream and a dash of lemon juice if you have it on hand.

Leftovers....a no-brainer, but sometimes we think leftovers are only for dinner! We do a COTF meal, where we put out all the bits and pieces and everyone gets to pick what they want, no matter how weird the combination.

Snack for lunch - one of my kids favorite meals! We start out with a traditional snack item, say bugs on a log, and then Mommy rummages through the pantry and fridge looking for other typical snack foods...when they finish one thing, I offer another til they are full. Makes for a zany, fun meal!

Banana Split Oatmeal
- amazing what happens when you take regular old oatmeal and serve it in a banana split dish and allow the kids to pick whatever frozen fruit, nuts or fresh fruit toppings they like. Bonus points if you have whipped cream for the top!

Daddy Lunch - my husband does not eat as much bread as he used to, so he will often fix a lunch plate of sliced lunch meat, sliced cheese and a veggie. The kids love this too, and often roll up their veggies in the meat slices, creating strange combinations that make Mommy cringe!

Euro Lunch - Grapes, goat cheese, crackers, olives, fresh bread - you get the idea...anything that you think you would enjoy if you were on an European Tour

Millet and lentils - We did this one quite a bit last year...I would put on a pot of french green lentils and a pot of millet mid-morning and we would have a nice, hot lunch ready for us when it was time to eat. Top with EVOO and a bit of coarse ground kosher salt...yum!!! Can sub any grain you like...rice, quinoa, etc...

Nachos - I was first introduced to nachos when I was in highschool and have loved them ever since. We use refried black beans, shredded cheese and any leftover meat that happens to be hanging out in the fridge. You can make a big pan and bake it in the oven on foil and then slide the foil to the middle of the table for a free-for-all, or do individual plates and micro for a minute or two. Again, don't forget the toppings....salse, sour cream, jalapenos...whatever you have on hand!

OK, now I am hungry! What ideas do you have to add to the list?