Friday, September 01, 2006

Lunch Ideas

At the Choosing Home blog, they have requested lunch ideas. So I decided to list a few.
I certainly am in agreement with this statement:

It’s like this - breakfast - no problem. (Especially during the winter) Supper - no problem. But, that little meal shoved there in-between is SO hard to figure out. What’s a mom to do ? On the days that we have sufficient left over from dinner the night before, it’s not such a big deal - BUT on those other days….

Lunch used to be much easier when (a) the kids were younger and ate less for supper so we'd have more leftovers and (b) the kids were younger and didn't mind repetition. Now it's harder.
So here are some of my ideas. I'm much more scheduled during the school year than in the summer. Summer tends to be whatever you can find in the fridge. But during the year, I try to be more organized.

I've done lunch menus in different ways. For a long time, I had 5 choices, one for each day of the week and I rotated through that for months. It stopped working a few years ago. Now, on my monthly menu calendar, I either put ideas along the bottom or side that I can choose from or I put something on each day. Putting it on each day is a lot more exhausting so I don't tend to do it every month. But even having some ideas along the side helps.

Here they are, in no particular order:
-tomato soup (we like ours with cheese & fresh spinach thrown in at the end) or mushroom soup and grilled cheese sandwiches
-burritos (my kids aren't big on beans so they'll have a little bit of meat while I enjoy the beans!) -baked potato with toppings
-homemade soup (in the winter)
-curry, using a little bit of leftover meat. They particularly like it with toppings - coconut, apples, pineapple, sunflower seeds, bananas, etc.
-meat and/or cheese sandwiches - not too often but occasionally
-peanut butter & jam sandwiches
-mini pizzas - I make them with english muffins or the personal size pizza crusts if they were on sale. Also, I sometimes use salsa or red pepper jelly (for the adults) under the cheese
-fresh biscuits with tuna salad
-tuna or cheese melts
-chef salad with ham, cheese & hard-boiled eggs (or whatever else is in the fridge)
-pitas with fillings
-vegetable stirfrys - I try to include some sort of protein if we do this. We're not big tofu eaters but sometime I'd like to try it some more
-fresh bread and soup or stew
-homemade macaroni & cheese (my kids don't really like Kraft dinner so I only keep it on hand for emergencies)
-spaghetti - we often have extra sauce left over so I just cook up some more pasta. If you mix the sauce with the pasta, it makes the sauce go farther
-perogies (we're extra blessed when a friend gives us homemade perogies but the storebought ones are good too)
-scrambled eggs & toast

When I make soup, I often throw in a handful of red lentils. They are the kind that cook up almost translucent and they are not easily visible with the rest of the vegies, etc. It adds just that extra protein and vitamins without anyone really noticing.
Hope that gives some ideas - I know I'm reminded of all the options that are available!

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