Share Your Lunch: What Do You Like to Eat?

I think I could use some more lunch ideas. Leftovers from dinner would be excellent, but they are completely gone. Save me from snacking on almonds and raisins all day.

My lunch criteria:

1. Require no more than a few minutes to make, or can be prepared in advance.

2. Bonus if it can be eaten with one hand.

3. Involve no peanut butter whatsoever.

Lunches I’ve been eating lately:

1. Chicken salad made at the beginning of the week and kept in the fridge. So good if it has apple and raisins in it.

2. Hamburgers grilled in advance and waiting in the freezer. I reheat it in microwave for a minute and there is no loss of the “hot of the grill” taste.

3. Smoothie. Especially now that warmer weather is here.

Share your lunch ideas in the comments, please. What are you having?
About Rachel

I write about practical tips that will help you simplify at home. Connect with me on Pinterest and Twitter.

Comments

  1. sweet potatoes. easy and yummy. i love soup for lunch too.

  2. Add a little Curry to that chicken salad sometime…it is SO good. Changes things up a bit. Another alternative to chicken salad is turkey salad with mayo and Craisins. Yummmm…. Or a turkey sandwich with pesto and Craisins…surprisingly delicious.

    Michelle´s last post…lunch.

  3. Ugh–I feel you on this one! Lunch is my least favorite meal because I never know what to make for myself. I don’t mind routine for breakfast (cereal? oatmeal? toast & eggs?) but by the time lunch rolls around, I don’t want the same-old, same-old, so I end up procrastinating or like you, snick-snacking to tide me over to whatever I’ve planned for dinner. Please share any new lunch ideas you get–I need more inspiration! Thanks!

    carmen´s last post…Decision-Making: Out of Fear or Faith?

  4. If you’ve already got hardboiled eggs, you can make a Mexican Egg Salad sandwich…
    http://wisdomofthemoon.blogspot.com/2010/04/mexican-egg-salad-sandwich.html

    Wendy´s last post…Joey and Raven

  5. Most people eat overnight oats for breakfast . . . I like them for lunch myself!

    Em´s last post…Lost Focus

  6. Annie’s mac and cheese. The individual servings are great b/c I can fix and heat it up in a snap.

    Toni Turbeville´s last post…MEATLESS MONDAYS : Pizza Night!

  7. When I’m in a pinch and don’t have leftovers, I often make my son and I eggs-in-a-nest. Simply butter a piece of bread on one side, cut hole in the middle, crack an egg into the hole and fry until done on both sides. So easy and good and you even get your protein! :)

    Lydia´s last post…Weekly Spending Summary

  8. Quick question: any reason you can’t eat what Lane is eating? Why don’t you make more of that??

    I prepare lunch each day. Either leftovers (I cook a lot at supper for that reason), a salad that I start preparing at breakfast or something made at lunchtime, like quesadillas. But none of these require only a few minutes – sorry.

    • We all try to eat the same food for dinner, but she usually does better to have a few small portions throughout the day instead of one lunch. Plus she likes a lot of peanut butter.

  9. Denise C. says:

    I will eat leftovers or fruit. (I had left over lo mein today- YUM!)

    I *adore* cheeseburgers. The photo posted is making me salivate. :)

    My kids adore these “sushi rolls” for them. I de-crust them, and roll them flat with a rolling pin (a glass would work too) I spread peanut butter, you can use almond butter, or another equivalent. Jam, honey or agave on them. Roll it up and slice them. I serve them with yogurt or applesauce and goldfish.

    Have a happy Monday!

  10. Tuna (salad) on crackers…especially good with a little piece of tomato on top of each one!

    Love your blog!

  11. I am loving some sprouted garbanzo hummus with veggies lately. Or just big salads with whatever we have plus a homemade salad dressing that I make up about once per week. My fallback in a pinch is always some raw cheese, a few carrot slices, and some fruit and nuts.

    Shannon´s last post…What Real Food Bloggers Really Eat: Sara of Edible

  12. I have frozen butternut squash ravioli. I portion it out in the morning, plop a pat of butter on and then nuke for a minute or two at work. I also have sugar snap peas and a cookie. :)

  13. Today was refueling after a workout: one slice wheat bread with mustard, Boar’s Head turkey and provolone, and a slice of romaine; Anjou pear; broccoli with a little Lite Ranch; some Kettle brand potato chips; and a Squirt soda to drink. :) Fun question!

    Erin´s last post…Why Do You Do What You Do?

  14. Lots of quinoa—-love it! Black bean or refried bean and cheese tacos. Tons of fruit, veggies, and green smoothies. I have made tons of stuff from http://weelicious.com/ GREAT recipes.
    My toddler loves wraps or anything she can hold in her hand. We are vegetarian. HUMMUS.

    I also have made quinoa loaf, mock meatloaf muffins and other “casseroley” things that can be made on the weekend and heated up during the week.

  15. our most frequent lunches: lipton Noodle soup, velveeta macaroni, trader joe’s ravioli, bean burritos, egg salad or another form of hard boiled, grilled cheese (sometimes with turkey or ham)…. with fruit or raw veggies or a salad.

    tacy´s last post…What is the Big Deal About TV?!

  16. Ooh, I’m curious to know what everybody says. I was feeling rather proud of my lunch today because it was so pretty. :-p

    Since I’ve discovered real (!) cheese, I eat a couple of small slices of that (usually mozerella), with whatever produce I have on hand. I love cucumbers, so sometimes it’s that with strawberries, apples, w/e. The color makes me ridiculously happy.

    Will have to try chicken salad. My other favorites are tuna salad on crackers (feels so much more adult), pasta, leftovers, etc.

  17. I’m getting some great ideas from all the comments. Thanks! I usually do left overs or chicken salad, or pasta salads. We like turkey sandwiches too.

    Rana´s last post…Look for the Designer Label

  18. Lunch is probably my least favorite meal, but I always WANT it so bad.

    Typically it’s a rotation of quesedillas (I always like to add in smoe bacon (or bits, if I don’t have the real thing on hand). Sometimes I’ll put in onions, tomatoes or other veggies. But just plain cheese with some spices is always a good backup.

    Grilled peanut butter and jelly. It takes away the bad parts about peanut better and melts it.. oh man. Or just grilled cheese.

  19. I like to make wraps—I use tortillas–sometimes the flavored ones like basil and tomato–put spinach, deli ham or turkey, black olives, pepper jack cheese and spicy or honey mustard–roll up and so good.

  20. A cheese sandwich. I can’t get away with feeding these to my husband (who believes if there’s no meat, it’s not really a meal), but I love them!

    Bonus if I have chips to eat with it – double bonus if there are brownies or cookies for dessert!

    Amy´s last post……for as long as we both shall live

  21. Today I am having a coffee for lunch.

    Terrible isn’t it?

    I use to have a habit of drinking Carnation Instant Breakfast for a quick lunch. Not enough down time between class and work.

    Definitely becoming a smoothie fan though

    • Oh, me too – right as I’m reading this, I’m drinking my “lunch” while I catch up on blogs :).

      BUT, one thing I’m hoping to do soon is make some bean and cheese burritos to freeze and re-heat when I need them.

      I also like to have chopped up veggies, chicken, and chickpeas at the beginning of the week to make power salads throughout the week. But that gets boring after awhile. Maybe I will make some of these other ideas and rotate one each day.

      Jenni @ Life from the Roof´s last post…Spring Break

  22. I like to make a big batch of chili, then whenever I don’t have leftovers to grab for lunch at work, I grab a dish of frozen chili. I often leave it on my desk to thaw during the morning and then heat it up at lunch. Spicy, filling, and nutritious if a bit high in sodium. Add in a yogourt and a piece of fruit and I’m set.

    Otherwise, I find wraps are very quick. Throw on some meat, cheese, honey mustard and lettuce, roll up and away I go.

    Lettuce takes time to wash and dry. I’ve started doing a trick I learned from my great aunt. When I get it home from the grocery store I separate each leaf and wash the whole head. Then I put a layer of paper towel (I’m sure cloth would work too) on the bottom of a big-ish plastic container, put in a layer or two of lettuce, more paper towel, more lettuce and so on. The paper towel soaks up the moisture so the lettuce doesn’t get soggy but it keeps the moisture close so the lettuce doesn’t get wilty. I end up eating a lot more lettuce when it is ready to go!

    When I’m really short on time and don’t have chili in the freezer, I put some yogourt in a bowl, add pecans (or other nuts), add a big handful of granola and away I go. High in protein with a good amount of fibre. And so yummy!

  23. We had a greek salad with a piece of chocolate angel food cake after. I had to bribe my five year old with the cake to get him to eat the salad, but it was worth it because he’s now asking for that salad again….. Usually we have a black bean burger with avocado on top, and maybe some fruit. But this month’s Body and Soul magazine inspired me to try several new salads this week. With the weather warming up, it’s time!

  24. Usually, I eat left overs and the kids have quesadillas or bean burritos. They love them! Today, my daughter and I are having openfaced turkey melts. Just put turkey, tomatoes and cheese on a slice of crusty bread and put it under the broiler for a couple minutes. Makes plain sandwich ingredients taste pretty good!

  25. I love veggie wraps. I’ll wash lettuce ahead of time, and store it similarly to how Alicen mentioned. I’ll also wash and cut up bell pepper strips ahead of time. Then during the week I grab a lavash bread (I buy them at Trader Joe’s), swipe on some garlic hummus, add a slice or two of provolone, some bell pepper strips and some lettuce, roll and eat!

    • Oh, and the lavash breads also make great flatbread pizzas, grab one, add a little tomato sauce and cheese and some veggies, and throw under the broiler.

  26. I usually have leftover dinner for lunch the next day, but last night my in-laws were passing through town and took us out to dinner. We have extra bread in the house that I need to use up (I over bought for my daughter’s tea party birthday party on Saturday) so my son has a cheese sandwich, and my daughter and I have turkey and cheese in our lunch boxes. Then we have grapes, a yogurt, and a mini chocolate cupcake (also left over from the tea).

  27. How interesting. At lunchtime today I almost wrote a tweet asking people for lunch ideas. Great minds, eh?

    It seems there’s not major stereotype to follow on it’s structure, unlike dinner (5-a-day + protein + starch).

    I’ll generally have fruit with a sandwich or leftovers or perhaps just make up somethign – cheese on toast with hame + sweetcorn, porridge with raisins and grapes, a plate of carrot/cucumber/grapes/apple etc. Sometimes I feel like having a really healthy lunch (fruit salad much?) And I find having any form of fruit with lunch gives me an energy (sugar) boost to get through the 1-2pm lull.

    Rose´s last post…Summer

  28. I absolutely LOVE boiling chicken or using leftover chicken from enchiladas etc. Add a little olive oil or plain yougurt and mashed up avacado. Add some spices and have on a whole wheat tortilla, wrap, or on top of greens. Yumm!

    jeana´s last post…Learning Through Teaching :Autism

  29. Teachers’ lunches last about 25 minutes around here. My sister and I teach at the same campus, so we bring bits and pieces to share, or take turns “catering”. Maybe the lunch doldroms can be solved with a short lunch date. Try turkey sausage pigs in the blanket. I make a huge batch and then store in ziplocs in the fridge. I dip mine in French dipping sauce….

  30. Egg salad today

    jill´s last post…The Pursuit of Happyness

  31. I usually try to bring leftovers for lunch at work. Many times I will actually portion out my lunch first. I started doing this when there were consistently no leftovers at night and no one seemed to complain about there not being enough. It also helped me choose smaller portions at dinnertime!

  32. I have to eat a decent breakfast and lunch or I (as my husband puts it) lose my mind. So this is something I have to really plan for and can’t let go.

    Over the weekend I always make a couple of cold salad/spread type things–greek salad, pasta salad, black bean corn and pepper salad, some sort of bean dip, etc. Then each day for lunch I kind of do the salad bar ting–some of a couple of salads and/or spreads, and some whole grain bread, toasted or not. The salads hold all week, there is enough variety to work for both my husband and me, and lunches are healthy and homemade.

    As you can see, I really prefer cold lunches–even in the depths of winter (and I live in Wisconsin).

  33. An avocado-tomato-mayo sandwich on whole wheat bread. It’s the first thing I think of eating when spring hits for some reason. That and bean salad. :) {My kids refuse to eat this though. Oh well.}

    • Mmmm! This is one of my favourites too. Always toasted though! My son like it too minus the tomato!

      I also enjoy open face tuna melts or soup and toast (although not so much in the spring/summer!)

      Jen´s last post…Little People

  34. CORNDOGS. Yes, they take 20 minutes to cook in the oven (on my pizza stone, so no dirty dishes!), but the crispy outside with the cold tangy mustard? Mmm.

    Lisa Middleton´s last post…gDiapers are the winners. I think.

  35. Lately I’ve been having low fat yougurt, with some kind of wheat cracker along with a fruit and/or veggie.

    I also like the frozen ‘morning star’ veggie burger patties that can be defrosted in the microwave in just a min. or two.

    heidi @ wonder woman wannabe´s last post…Monday Musings :: Finding Happiness and Peace

  36. My son likes what he has always called (for whatever reason!) a “combo.” He would eat it every day if he could! It is actually just raw veggies (and sometimes a fruit: he doesn’t like fruit very much), sliced or cubed cheese, and buttered bread. I will eat this, too: it’s easy to eat one-handed. However, I am not as fond of raw veggies, except as salads; so occasionally I will just steam the veggies and drizzle a little toasted sesame oil over the top. Or make a sandwich with the sliced veg, add the sliced cheese on top, and then broil.

  37. Are you doing dairy right now? I live on cheese quesadillas for lunch. Sometimes I change it up and use other stuff (black beans and mashed sweet potatoes go nicely together inside tortillas) but mostly I love cheese.

    Megan@SortaCrunchy´s last post…It’s Make Week!

  38. My husband is really into veggie sandwiches. I chop up lettuce, tomatoes, red pepper, jalapenos and cucumbers on the weekend then at lunch all he has to do is get out the multi-grain bread, spicy mustard and whip himself up a sandwich. I also make him a side of Firecrackers on the weekend to go with the sandwiches (place an entire box of wheat saltine crackers in a large airtight container and top with 1 cup of canola oil, 1 packet of buttermilk ranch dressing mix and 2 tablespoons of crushed red pepper flakes…toss the crackers around until evenly coated…they are delicious!!)

  39. My go to lunch is white beans from the can and whatever greens I have on hand, like kale or braising greens, mustard greens, etc.
    I heat up a little olive oil, add minced garlic, open the can and heat up the beans for about 2 minutes. Then I add the greens until they are wilted. Voila! I add a little salt and lemon. Yum!

  40. I’m not usually a big sandwich person, but I love putting things in tortillas for lunch – easy as a quesadilla or as more of a wrap. Either way I true to include veggies and protein all in one little package. Here’s one of my lunches from last fall: http://appetiteforconversation.blogspot.com/2009/11/lunch.html. Today I’m eating leftover pasta, but I think I’d rather have that!

    Appetite for Conversation´s last post…Smelly Garlic

  41. New discovery: California Sandwich. Lay out two slices of whole grain bread. On one piece place a few slices of your favorite cheese. On the other put several slices of avocado. Shake salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes over cheese and avocado. If you have a lemon slice, squeeze a little juice over everything. Put sprouts (or lettuce) on top of avocado. Carefully cover with cheese-covered slice. Enjoy! I had this today with brie.

  42. We always seem to have tortillas and I just throw anything in there and grill it for a minute–brie and apple/pear; a slice of ham/turkey &cheddar; beans & cheese.

    Tracey´s last post…Clip It, Clip It Good

  43. Wow, all these ideas sound so good!

    I usually have leftovers for lunch too… but two recipes that come to mind when I don’t have any leftovers are:

    1. A Fried Egg With Jam Sandwich –
    A friend introduced me to this one, and it’s pretty good! Toasted bread spread with a little jam and butter with a fried egg in between.

    2. My Mom’s Tuna Pasta Salad –
    (I sub salmon in for the tuna these days) Some lettuce, a can of salmon, a dollop of mayo, some diced apples, maybe some celery and some cooked (and rinsed in cold water) rotini pasta… mix it all together, and it’s so good. It’s even better when you can chop the ingredients and cook the pasta the night before… then you can just mix it up the next day for lunch!

    • Love both of your ideas. I love tuna pasta salad. My mom used to add peas to ours. I am going to have to try the salmon next time. Sounds yummy!!

  44. I’m a vegetarian, so I often make up some tofu egg salad and it lasts through 1 week. I’ve also tried making a batch of soup, but get tired of eating it every single day–especially if no one else will help me out; next time I might freeze into smalled batches. Echoing earlier comments: quesadillas and leftovers are great. Lately I also have salad ingredients prepared in my fridge ahead of time (grated carrots, sliced olives, etc.); then I just have a huge bowl of salad and maybe a roll or piece of bread.

    Wendy´s last post…this moment

  45. Turkey sandwiches can be made in advance, or my favorite breakfast that can work as a lunch too is an egg over easy on buttered whole wheat toast. Most of it can be eaten with one hand if you save the yolk for the last bite :-)

    Other grab and go’s I eat at my desk are carrots in hummus, apple slices in cottage cheese or apple with a slice of cheese. I find if I don’t add some fat to my lunch I’m hungry again in an hour.

    Kait Palmer´s last post…Drinking Wine From a Dixie Cup

  46. TBALTs! Turkey Bacon, Avocado, Lettuce & Tomato sandwiches

    Lots of my lunches look like this – Hard Boiled egg, cheese stick, sliced red pepper or other finger veggie, applesauce or some finger fruit

    Bean & Cheese burritos – I fix a pot of beans over the weekend and eat on them all week. Mash them on to a corn tortilla & put some cheese on top so it’s easy to eat with one hand without “spilling the beans”

    Today I had – Flavored Tuna Packet on crackers – One package makes two meals for me, plus finger fruit (strawberries today) & veggies (red pepper slices)

    I love to see the other ideas! Thanks!

  47. Hi Rachel,

    I absolutely know how you are feeling! I wrote a whole post on healthy foods to grab on the fly because I needed a game plan for ways to get good nourishment in when I had no (or very little) time for prep and often had only one hand available!

    Here are some of my idea: http://www.wellgroundedlife.com/2010/03/16/getting-healthy-foods-in-on-the-fly/

    Lisa @ WellGrounded Life´s last post…Interview and Giveaway with Sherri from Serene Journey

  48. Today I made deli sliced roast chicken sandwiches with spinach and cheese. The chicken was just leftover from husband’s grocery shopping in the weekend. My 4 year old ate her half-sandwich then asked for another half! The 2 year old even ate almost all of it. Served with a side of grapes and apple juice and a small, small piece of chocolate for dessert… gotta have dessert!

    Mag @ funktion rambunktion´s last post…birthday cake

  49. I eat a lot of bean salads for lunch – they’re cheap and usually pretty quick (although 5 minutes might be pushing it). Today I had a chickpea salad with red onion, lemon juice, parsley, and olive oil. It’s really good by itself, and you can just throw a bunch of it together at the beginning of the week and keep it in the fridge, doling out lunch portions each day.

    I am also a big fan of just making a large portion of something on the weekends, i.e. spicy beans and rice, etc., and then eating it for lunch everyday… but those recipes typically a little longer to make than the bean salad mentioned above.

  50. I usually like to pre-made lunch the night before, as having 2 little ones does not give me time to cook during day, specially if it takes more than 5-10 minutes. If I do not have anything leftover, I like to make savory rice crepe for lunch, it is healthy and quicker. Now, I am off to read other comments to get ideas, as I too can use some ideas for lunch.

    Zengirl: Heart and Mind´s last post…We are what we eat, really!

  51. My favourite go-to lunches:
    Soup – anything leftover from whenever in the week plus a slice of bread and fruit.

    Tomato-Cheese buns – bread or my personal fave, ciabatta buns, topped with cheese (like chedder, mozza, havarti) and a slice or two of tomato, then sprinkled with oregano, basil and parsley or chervil. Pop in a 350 oven until toasted. Yummy! Or turn them into mini-pizzas with some sauce and other topping. Tortillas work well too.

    Pasta & peas – any pasta and any cheese sauce will do. I’ve done it with homeade sauce or packaged boxes (like Annie’s). Sometimes I make the sauce with yogurt instead of milk or butter. Add in some frozen peas, sprinkle of flax (I put ground flax in almost everything) maybe some chopped up ham, pureed cauliflower works in the sauce too. Except my girls won’t eat it without ketchup. But this is by far their favourite lunch.

    Sometimes I just eat a plate of “stuff”: cheese, fruit, slice of bread, maybe a slice of prociutto or ham, yogurt, glass of water or San Pellegrino with a shot of lime if I’m feeling fancy.

    And once in a while we just eat a yummy piece of bread with Nutella on it. Or cream cheese and chocolate sprinkles. As long as we’ve had a healthy balanced breakfast and a dinner chock-full of veggies, I harbour no guilt about this. I love Nutella!

    Mag @ funktion rambunktion´s last post…birthday cake

  52. My 4 yr old loves chicken salad with either tortilla chips or bagel chips. He likes it plain – a little mayo and a little dill. For my sandwich, I add dried cranberries and some slivered almonds, a little salt and pepper, too. SO good!

    Sometimes I use the canned chicken (same I use in chicken salad) to make oven taquitos. Put whatever you want – cheese, some pureed veggies (shhhhh), seasonings, and roll them up, brush with olive oil and bake. So good and crunchy.

  53. Because of extensive food allergies I have to make most of my foods from scratch. My “fast food” lunches are soup frozen in portion sizes that I’ve prepared from a slow cooker (usually chicken and veggie). You can take it out the night before and thaw in the fridge to make reheat time in the micro quicker. Though this is definitely a better winter idea than summer.

    Rachel O´s last post…Lily & Callum

  54. I’ve been craving salads lately–maybe it’s the warm weather–and it’s pretty easy if you keep pre-torn lettuces on hand, cherry tomatoes, and hardboiled eggs (for protein).

  55. I do a lot of stir fry type lunches. Leftover rice, add in whatever is handy, soy sauce and your done. I’ve made this in TONS of different veggie/protein combos.

  56. My staple lunch is a veggie wrap. I take one whole-wheat tortilla, spread with hummus, then top with spinach or lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, avocado … any veggies I have on hand. I then finish it off with salsa or a homemade salad dressing I have on hand. Yummy and nutritious!

    Shalene´s last post…Meal-Planning Mondays

  57. Pitas with hummus, homemade greek salad or egg salad are my staples.

    Emily@remodelingthislife´s last post…Murder, Messes and Memories

  58. I make a big pot of veggie soup and keep it in a pitcher in the door of the fridge to remind me that it’s there. it doesn’t take a lot of prep time and it feeds me [and the occasional family member] for a week. great with quesadillas or crackers or leftover baguette etc.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/gwen/4360348252/

    I’m also planning to make some of this pasta salad after I get this week’s groceries:
    http://coconutlime.blogspot.com/2010/04/parm-olive-pepperoni-pasta-salad_19.html

    gwen´s last post…Featured on an etsy treasury

  59. wraps and chicken caesar salad

    pam´s last post…Gymnastics

  60. I read most of the comments and got some great ideas. I don’t think anyone mentioned tortellini. You can buy it refrigerated or frozen and cook a batch over the weekend. Top with pesto and store in refrig. for when you need it. YUMMO.

    suzanne´s last post…Monday’s marvelous & masterful moments!

  61. Love these ideas. I’ve been eating lots of chicken salad (but hadn’t thought of adding raisins, thanks! I usually do just apples, celery and red onions.

    I’ve also been eating this great, super simple Sweet Potato lunch, from Six One Seven:
    http://sixoneseven.blogspot.com/2010/02/my-new-favorite-lunch.html

  62. I am often running a wee late in the morning so these may not sound quick but they are: a baked potato nuked for 4-5 minutes while I get ready. I slap on some butter, cheese, bacon bits, salt and pepper and put the lid on. At lunch I just reheat and it’s grand! Another fave is to take a small tortilla, slather on some refried beans, cheese, and fajita seasoning, top it with another tortilla and heat it up at work. The best thing for a long day though, is oatmeal. In the morning I sprinkle on some sugar and cinnamon, and add raisins to it. At work I just add a bit of water and nuke it for 2 minutes. This one stays with you! Bonus: all of these are very cheap options which is all I can afford anyway! Hope this helps!

    • some ideas from my post are:

      a tabbouleh salad made from couscous or bulgar wheat with vine ripe tomatoes, dill, mint, red onions, lemon, olive oil and a sprinkling of sea salt served with a dollop of homemade tzatziki

      a thai noodle salad with a yummy peanut and lime dressing

      a quiche inspired by a french cafe, filled with fresh vegetables and enjoyed with ripe fruit drizzled in balsamic vinegar

      a green smoothie made with spinach, banana, cacao powder, almond milk and spices

      a chilled whole-wheat pasta salad with tomatoes, zucchini, cucumbers and slices of grilled chicken

      a platter of maki made of nori and brown rice wrapped around delicious yam or avocado, sprinkled with toasted sesame seeds

      a toasted baguette with rosemary ham, thin slices of pear, brie cheese and a balsamic glaze served with a spinach salad

      a whole-wheat roti filled with spiced grilled salmon, turmeric-hinted rice, mango chutney and raisins

      a steaming bowl of homemade soup made from carrots, apples and butternut squash served with a toasted wedge of rustic artisan bread

      a warm serving of risotto filled with wild mushrooms and garlic

      a leafy salad with argula, spinach, kale, dried cranberries, chevre, pine nuts and homemade honey vinegrette

      a grilled panini with proscuitto, red onion, spinach, feta and roasted red peppers

      robyn´s last post…the weekend: moments of true delight

  63. I had a “BLAT” yesterday (instead of just a BLT). Whole wheat toast, organic tomato, organic spring lettuce mix, nitrate free bacon (whatever that really means) and slices of avocado. Yum! It was really good..I know the bacon isn’t that great for me, but it was so good. The rest was healthy. I also eat a lot of chicken salad on crackers or with avocado slices. I eat a lot of hummus and multi grain pita chips too.

  64. I have to confess– I have been eating “Oatmeal To Go” which heats in 15 seconds in the microwave. Add an orange– I’m full until dinner time.

    mrs.e´s last post…Tuesday Tunes- "My Best Days Are Ahead of Me"

  65. Breakfast for lunch is always good in the form of a bacon, egg and cheese burrito. This is the best way to feed my 3 and 1 yr olds right now. They can’t knock it off the spoon/fork and it holds heat relatively well. Also it is a one pot meal in my non-stick wok. Slice up some kiwi and we’re all good. I also like frozen peas because you can put them in the micro and they are done in two minutes. Another fave is tuna with miracle whip and apple chunks(yes, put the apple chunks in the tuna I swear it is the best) on whole wheat bread/crackers. The munchrats also love mini farfalle with canned diced tomatoes and parmesan. Mini pasta cooks up really quick and the “sauce” is heated through by the time it’s ready so it’s a good option for our lunch.

  66. My kids like it when I make them “burritos”. A flour tortilla, spread with refried beans, some mild green chiles, cheese, salsa & whatever veggies are on hand. Things like tomatoes, corn (I just pour in frozen kernels), sweet pepper strips, olives, grated carrot or beet, julienned cucumber, sprouts, what-have-you. Sometimes I’ll add some meat, this is a good way to stretch the leftovers if you have 3 people to feed & only 1 leftover chicken breast, or a bit of taco meat. I wrap them up, put them in a container & the kids eat them cold.

    Pancake sandwiches are always fun, I try to make extra pancakes when we have breakfast for dinner, then spread them with jam & cream cheese & slap them together. I’ve been known to put in plain pancakes, cut into strips, with a small container with maple syrup for dipping.

    Every lunch also contains a variety of cut-up veggies (sometimes with dip, sometimes not), some sort of diary item (yogurt, cheese, milk), a piece of fruit & some sort of a ‘treat” (usually a granola bar – about the only pre-packaged thing that makes it’s way into their lunches…but I recently got a really good granola bar recipe so maybe that will be on it’s way out too – or maybe a muffin or a cookie or some crackers or a small container of breakfast cereal).

  67. It’s always interesting to hear and learn through our cultural differencies. In Greece, lunch is the main food of the day, like your dinner, it’s when all the family gathers around the table.
    So your type of lunch is actually our breakfast/snack-until-lunch-is-ready.
    Anyway, I really like eating pies (cheesepie, spinachpie, applepie you name it). I spend only an afternoon preparing them (I make the fyllo from scratch), my son loves them and they last for a 2-3 days.
    Another easy to make when we are at home dish is fried eggs or omelets with homemade french fries.
    Salads are a great alternative, too, esp in the summer.

  68. Man! You should have enough to go on here for the next year!

    We are big on grilled chicken cut up with salads

    Also Broccoli Salad (classic recipe with bacon and something crunchy).

    Steamed Veggies with salad dressing as a dip.

    Wraps (I’m sure this has been WAY covered in the responses above)

    Also sometimes I just love to snack on raw veggies and fruits, with some crackers and cheese!

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  69. make a sandwich wrap (like turkey, or tuna) filled with good spinach and vegetables. They have whole wheat and flax wraps selling everywhere now. I also stock up on fruit and vegetables every week, pack a container of fresh fruit and make myself a vegetable tray with some healthy dressing. I find that I will eat that and only have a little room left for the wrap. Make or buy hummus and a pack of mini pitas, awesome snack and very filling since hummus has so much protein.

  70. A scoop of rice and beans (prepared earlier in the week)a scoop of salsa,and shredded raw carrot. delicious!

  71. You’ve gotten some great suggestions, but one I didn’t see is this: why not bake a quiche at the beginning of the week and have a slice each day with something on the side? The quiche will last in the fridge for at least 3 days, and you could vary a salad or soup or something on the side. You can also freeze the quiche in individual slices and reheat easily. I need to be better about this too!

  72. My criteria is: starch, protein, and produce… builds a good meal. So yesterday for lunch, I had an open-faced melted mozzarella on naan bread sandwich with fruit on the side (I also ate a big spoonful of natural peanut butter… but I guess you don’t have to:).

    Christine´s last post…How to make a killer weekly sched.

  73. I’ve been making sour dough bread lately so some hummus and that is delish and fast.

    homemade pizza (if the dough is made – you can even freeze it – its super fast to put the toppings on and bake it)

    sardines mashed up w tom and onions and mint, delish. here’s the recipe http://parentplanet.wordpress.com/2010/03/27/sardines-good/

    Nina´s last post…tt – expectations

  74. Great post. With no ideas I end up eating poorly for lunch. The healthy lunch I eat most often is high-fat yogurt, granola and fruit. I end up snacking on crackers and cheese later on.

  75. Easy to eat at work lunches for me include:

    Yogurt with granola
    Apple and peanut butter
    Hard boiled egg
    Granola bar
    Instant oatmeal

  76. glorious question because look at all these suggestions i get to try!

    i second (or third, or 15th) the snack lunch idea of some veggies, a little cheese, some crackers and hummus and a piece of fruit. i had that today, actually.

    i am loving soy milk/frozen mixed fruit/banana smoothies right now, and have been known to eat those for breakfast, lunch or dinner as well as for a snack when i’m craving something sweet. (not all on the same day, of course.)

    this weekend i made tofu fried rice and ate off of it for a few days. brown rice, scrambled egg, green beans/corn/peas (whatever frozen veggies i had on hand went in), firm tofu in bite-sized pieces, onion, garlic, soy sauce all cooked in a wok in a bit of canola oil. so yummy, and the kids loved it.

    i’ve also been heating a baked potato in the microwave and topping it with pinto, black or white beans and drizzling with infused (tasting) olive oil that i mixed up. add salt and pepper and eat with veggies. definitely filling!

    i also posted about a pita sandwich i made a couple months ago that was really good. simple, but good: http://ourhenryhome.blogspot.com/2010/01/yum.html

    happy lunching, and, again, thanks for posting this question!

    Sarah´s last post…He comes for dancing.

  77. I’m a big fan of a small container of hummus, some carrots, and a bagel (seems like others are big fans of hummus, too!).

    Also, roasting some veggies at the start of the week, then cooking about a cup (dry) of whole wheat pasta in the morning and loading it with veggies and some feta works well. Crack some pepper before you seal the tupperware lid, and it reheats nicely.

    Jacquie´s last post…La Traviata

  78. Jolie Newman says:

    I have been making a combination of brown rice, sauteed onion, sun-dried tomatoes, black olives and capers. I make it on Saturday or Sunday and then munch on it over the course of the week. I also like to add a little parmesan or feta cheese on top. YUM!

  79. Pasta salad. I keep pasta in the fridge and throw in various things as the mood arises- feta, olives, fresh bell peppers, sliced pepperoni…the combinations are endless, and I top it all off with a vinaigrette.YUM.

  80. English muffin split, smear each side with mash avocado, top with thin sliced turkey, and provolone cheese. Nuke or broil for few seconds to melt cheese. YUMMO! I eat one every day for lunch when I have the ingredients. Bulgar salad, tuna with- little mayo, dill relish, onion, and apple chunks on ritz crackers, mozzarella over apple slices (good with grapes too), or broil a corn tortilla (that has been sprayed with Pam) until crisp, top with light layer of ff refried beans, lettuce, cojato cheese, and a tomato. i also keep a few amy’s burritos on hand just to have something fast and easy. Love all the ideas and sharing!

  81. Ok, so first of all I can’t thank you enough for this post. I opened a word doc and just did copy and paste about 25 times I swear! I am a total lame-o when it comes to lunch. I am going to be brutally honest here and admit that I eat (hangs head in shame) mcd every. single. day. for lunch. I’ve got lots of baggage to go along with it, which I will spare you all from. But I am thrilled ot have found these inspiring ideas. I do have a couple of questions….
    1) chicken salad. I am the kind of person who will fork over $12/lb at Whole Foods or $7 at our local grocery b/c I can’t figure out how to make it. So how are you all making your chicken salad?

    2) quesadillas…I’ve tried these before and they just come out a flippin mess. Any suggestions? tips? Thank you all so very much.

    April´s last post…I’m here. Just a little quiet.

    • For the chicken salad: Cut up some roasted chicken into cubes (Or open a can of chopped already-cooked chicken, or take some boneless skinless chicken breasts, toss them in a casserole dish with a little bit of water and bake at 350 for 45 minutes or so), add some celery, grapes, apples, whatever you like. Mix in some miracle whip or real mayo (start with a little bit and add more until the texture looks right). I like mine with a bit of pepper and onion powder, also very good with some fresh or dried dill.

      For the quesadillas – there are probably MANY ways to make them, but I’ll share my way. Take a tortilla, put it in a frying pan on low-medium heat, put on some grated cheese, add your chicken/beans/veggies or whatever you want all cut up, put more cheese on top of that and put on a second tortilla. When the first side is crispy, put a plate over the frying pan, hold the bottom of the plate and flip the frying pan upside down. Take the frying pan off the top and put it back on the stove. Put the plate down close to the pan and pull the quesadilla off the plate and into the frying pan. Do it slowly and the tortilla will slide easily from plate to pan.
      Once it is crispy on that side, you’ll be ready to take it out and eat! Yum!

    • We start with a whole roasted chicken from Whole Foods as a shortcut.

      Add chopped apple or celery for crunch, raisins or grapes for sweetness, maybe some chopped walnuts or pecans. Stir in enough mayo until you think it’s enough. Season with salt and pepper.

  82. I like to have salmon salad. Just like tuna salad, but I feel like it’s healthier with all those omega-3s and less mercury. I mix a can of wild salmon (no bones or skin!) with Smart Balance mayo, salt, pepper, and sometimes some diced celery. Put it on some bread with spinach and tomato, and voila! It’s super yummy.

    Beth´s last post…Cake Night: Japanese Cheesecake

  83. Hi Rachel

    Just wanted to let you know that I really enjopy following your blog and that I have given you an award. Please check out my blog – http://threelittlearrows.blogspot.com/

    Blessings! Kathi

  84. I make my own frozen meals by individually portioning out leftovers from dinner. Then I’ll add a piece of fruit and maybe a yogurt. And Annie’s frozen Mattar Paneer is a really yummy store bought frozen meal…

    Juice´s last post…Cecilia’s Not Feeling The Love

  85. I, too, struggle with lunch. Many times, I don’t seem to eat a meal because I can’t get a moment to fix mine anywhere close to lunchtime. My favorite emergency fix is a Luna bar and apple/pear. Plenty of fiber and protein, and each can be held with one hand, survive a long morning or errands and park, or be eaten while driving. At home, we have Greek or added fiber yogurt, something whole grain, and maybe some fruit. Anything else I prepare ahead just seems to get thrown away at the end of the week because our plans change or something comes up.

  86. Salad
    Burrito
    Wrap (Chicken with bell peppers, cucumber, lettuce is a favorite)
    Gazpacho (All the benefits of a smoothie, except you’re using veggies instead of fruit.)

    I had a great salad in France once that I make a lot in the summer now. It was simply tuna, kidney beans and corn mixed together, no mayo or sauce. You just open the three cans, mix and let sit in the fridge all week. It sounds weird, but it’s very good.

    Meghan´s last post…Are You Freaking Kidding Me: Keep Your Shirt On Edition

  87. Beans and rice, of course.

    Jena (Organizing Mommy)´s last post…Good friends can even be crabby together

  88. I 2nd the beans & rice comment but i also add salsa and throw it into a tortilla. Warm up for a few seconds. yummy…. I am a vegan so i don’t do cheese but you could add cheese to mix too.

  89. I take country style ribs crockpot for 4 hours on high with beef broth, then take out shread, add BBQ sauce and place in a pan and cook a few minutes till sauce is heated, add home made hamburger buns and yummy dinner or lunch the next day….

  90. I love “squirrel food” for lunch….a variety of nuts and seeds. I pair them with veggies and maybe a yogurt dill dip I made. Cottage cheese with fruit is always a good addition. I’ll eat anything from garbanzo beans and seeds to pickled herring on some healthy crackers with a slice of cheese to go along with. Sometimes I’ll have left-overs. Either way, it’s a nice break from cooking.

    BTW, what a lovely blog you have created!

    Julie @ Practically Spent´s last post…What Did You Do Wednesdays – Avoiding Aging

  91. Baked Potatoes are great for lunch. I like to add leftover roasted vegetables and a little goat cheese. I also like to use plain greek yogurt instead of sour cream. It’s so much better for you and you can’t really tell the difference.

    I love to make panini’s for lunch. It’s a great way to use leftovers. You can make a vegetable panini with basil pesto and shredded mozzarella.

    Check out these panini recipes: http://www.williams-sonoma.com/search/results.html?activeTab=recipes&words=panini

    Just found your blog, love it!

    Chef Laura at Home
    http://www.facebook.com/cheflauraathome
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