Monday, January 25, 2016

Lunch....What to have for Lunch?

One question friends ask me often is what I do for lunch. When it was just Max and I and I was working, we'd both take leftovers because there always were some but now that we have more mouths to feed and I haven't added too much extra to my recipes, Max always gets first dibs on leftovers. 
Since staying at home, I've struggled to really get myself to eat a good lunch. I want good food but I either need time to make it (which doesn't always happen) or I just can't think of anything that sounds good. The struggle is real let me tell you!!!
Anyways, since being pregnant and starving and since the kids are in school 3 half days a week, I've had more time to think about lunch for myself and its a necessity that I eat a good one. I've come up with a list of options and thought I'd share them with you all.

What's for Lunch???

Taco Salad
Chinese Chicken Salad
Chicken Taco Salad
Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese
Corn Chowder-make ahead and freeze in small portions
Pastina Soup
Chicken and Rice Soup-make ahead and freeze in small portions
Chicken and Noodles-make ahead and freeze in small portions
Split Pea Soup-make ahead and freeze in small portions
Pasta with Spaghetti Sauce
Chicken Salad with Crasins
Tuna Salad
Egg Salad
Cheese and Crackers with Fruit or Veggies
Hummus and Tortilla chips and cut up Veggies
A variety of salads from my Salad Pinterest Board

  • If I make a pot of soup with lots of leftovers or a soup that only I like, which I usually half the recipe for anyways (Corn Chowder, Split Pea, etc) I package them into quart sized ziplock bags and freeze them laying down flat until frozen. Then I stack them in a plastic container in the freezer. Then when I feel like a certain thing, I just pull out the bag, place it in some water and let it defrost. You could also pull it out before you head to work and then heat it up there.
  • Cut up some lettuce earlier in the week and put it in a bag with a damp paper towel. Then cut up some other veggies and put them in separate containers. Emily Ley calls it the Sunday Chop :) Too much liquid from all the veggies can make a mess but having stuff separately packaged will help you not have any soggy salads. You can do the same with some of your fruit.
  • Buying frozen tortellini or ravioli and splitting them into single serving sizes (since they are normally packaged for families) then just cook up what you want and use a jared sauce you like or a frozen sauce you have on hand. Something else I do, is if I have left over veggies from the night before, I just toss the tortellini with the veggies, some olive oil, garlic salt and some parmesan and it's a great lunch. 
  • If you have a salad you like to eat often and make a dressing for it you like, make extra and store in a mason jar that way you have a dressing already made on hand when you want it. I eat Chinese Chicken Salad often so I always have the dressing in a jar waiting for me.
  • If making Tacos or grilling up some chicken breasts, I always take out a bit extra meat to plan for a lunch for myself. If you aren't sure when you will eat the meat, package it again (once cooked) in a single serving size and freeze it until you are ready to eat it. Slice up the chicken breast so that it defrosts faster and is already ready to put on a salad. I also do this if we have some leftover meat that has been sitting in the fridge a few days and no one seems to be eating it. Cut it up or slice it (steak, grilled chicken) and package for a salad another day.
  • Keep some of your favorite cheeses on hand for a quick salad. I like feta and dry goat cheese on salads. I keep those on hand since they last awhile in the fridge and then I can throw a salad together with fruit or veggies we have from the garden or the store. Add some nuts and a vinaigrette and you have a great salad!
I hope this helps you get some ideas for lunch. It's always a challenge for me and I tend to forget myself when taking care of the kids but having these little short cuts have helped me a ton! It takes a little prep work at one point but then you are set for a while!

What do you have for lunch? Any ideas to share?

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