I didn’t get quite as many fantastic lunches packed as I’d hoped to with my goal, but I got in a few solid ones in January and made use of my animal food cutters I got for Christmas.
Orange/blueberries/cherries/cucumber/turkey and avocado sandwich/honey roasted peanuts/chocolate SomerSaults/Bugles
Cherries/string cheese/orange/cucumber/avacado/almonds/chocolate SomerSaults/Special K popcorn chips/Sweet Potato and Kale Frittata with Goat Cheese
Orange/cherries/grape tomatoes/cucumber/carrots/wafer cookies/strawberries/cucumber/carrots/Creamy Chicken Spaghetti Casserole
I returned from my family’s Christmas with leftover ham, so I made and froze these sandwiches to eat for quick lunches later.
Ham, Swiss & Mustard Sandwiches
8 hamburger buns
sliced Swiss cheese
1/4 cup softened butter
2T chopped onion
1t poppy seeds
1t dill seeds
- Mix butter, mustard, onion, poppy seeds, and dill seeds into a spread.
- Spread mustard mixture on both sides of 8 hamburger buns (use all the mustard).
- Add ham and 1/2 slice Swiss cheese to each bun.
- Wrap individually in foil and bake at 250 for 15-20 minutes until cheese is melted.
- Sandwiches can then be consumed, or cooled and frozen in their foil in a plastic bag.
- To reheat a frozen sandwich bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes or remove foil and cover and microwave until thawed and warm.
- I have also stored the mustard spread in the fridge and made fresh sandwiches for a few nights in a row.
My Labor Day Weekend was pretty chill with lots of relaxing, but I did get in quite a bit of cooking. (All photos are from the blogs the recipes came from.)
First I made Skinny Veggie Lasagna from Pinch of Yum. I always find lasagna a bit daunting because I remember my mom slaving over it, and worrying about breaking the lasagna noodles as they came out of the water. This one uses oven ready noodles which are genius (no boiling), so most of the time preparing was spent chopping veggies. I think I used way more veggies than the recipe called for, but it was delicious.
The next recipe was Autumn Chicken Stew from Gimme Some Oven. It may have been a tad bit hot outside for stew, but this was so tasty and really got me in the mood for fall and all my favorite soup recipes. Nate was helping chop veggies for this and I went to throw in the apples and he said “Apples?!?” Fruit in a chicken and vegetable stew is a little weird, but I think when he ate it he didn’t mind too much. I will say if you’re not a fan of hot or cooked fruit this one probably isn’t for you.
And finally the crockpot whipped up an old favorite, Pioneer Woman’s Drip Beef. We made drip beef tacos with flour tortillas rather than making sandwiches, but as expected they were fantastic.
Did you try any new recipes over the long weekend?
The garden got a bit of a late start this year with all the late frosts, so it’s pretty mellow for the most part (peppers, tomatoes, okra, basil, mint, cucumber, watermelon). I did dump a bunch of compost in the garden and some sort of squash plants have sprouted. I’m curious to see what they make.
We’ve picked a few things. The carrots and garlic were actually left over from last summer/fall. There was some lettuce too, but it was really bitter tasting.
Last night I pinched off a bit of basil and made a caprese salad. I’m looking forward to the garden tomatoes being ready so the caprese salads are extra tasty.
What have you been packing for lunch lately? Most of these lunches are from a month ago. I’m going through a bit of a lunch packing lull and have been having lots of days where I throw a loaf of bread and jar of peanut butter in my bag rather than spending a little time packing up something. I guess it’s time to look back over everything I’ve packed and get some good ideas going again!
Turkey pita (I found these cute mini pitas that fit perfectly in my bento box!)/dried apricots/almonds/carrots/cucumber/cherry tomatoes/strawberries/pineapple
Breakfast burrito (corn, breakfast sausage, egg, cheese)/honey roasted peanuts/carrots/strawberries/mango/tomato
Toast/caprese salad (soon there will be fresh basil rather than dry!)/dried apricots/carrots/apple/strawberry/cucumber
Cadbury mini eggs/mango/tomato/cucumber/edamame/saltines/triscuits/cheese/garlic herb cheese/pepperoni/almonds
Pasta salad with tomato, cucumber, spinach, goat cheese, and olive oil balsamic dressing/cherries/peach/carrot/garlic herb cheese/triscuits
Ground Turkey Meatballs (mine were actually ground chicken)/dried apricots/almonds/carrots/apple/clementine/string cheese/chocolate macadamia nut cluster
Mexicali Salad with pita/graham cracker/almonds/clementine/pear/carrots/cucumber
Pasta with goat cheese, chicken, asparagus & mushrooms (added bell peppers)/apricots/almonds/kiwi/apple/cucumber
Chicken, corn, tomato, zucchini quesadilla/avocado/orange/Summer Macaroni Salad with Tomatoes and Zucchini
French Toast/ants on a log/string cheese/edamame/kiwi/almonds
Hamburger patty with lettuce, cheese, tomato, avocado/wafer cookies/strawberries/cucumber/carrots
Do you have a food or meal that’s a go-to when you don’t know what to cook or eat? One of mine is things in tortillas. I’ll often throw some chicken in a skillet with some salsa and whatever else I have on hand, and then wrap my skillet contents up in a tortilla.
Last night I threw together some black beans, mushrooms, and red bell pepper. Once that was all heated up and cooked a bit I spread some goat cheese on the tortilla and topped it off with some avocado. It’s not always the case when experimenting, but I thought this one turned out pretty tasty.
This other tortilla is an old camping dessert favorite from Girl Scouts. I believe the original recipe was called Smackos (probably because they’re lip smacking good!), but someone in my troop misunderstood and we giggled like junior high girls and called them Spankos. It’s basically a dessert quesadilla, and the possibilities are endless (marshmallows, butterscotch chips, bananas…..). Mine has peanut butter, Nutella, apples, coconut, and peanut butter chocolate swirl chips.
I blogged about the amazing Monbento lunch box a while back and Nate surprised me with one for Valentine’s Day! I am a big fan of it and use it almost every day. My co-workers will comment on how I always have good lunches, so I thought I’d just share a little of what I’m having. And a few recipes too!
If you Google or search Pinterest for bento you will find some pretty spectacular themed lunches (seriously click the links to Google and Pinterest). My lunches are nowhere near that fancy, but I’ve been having fun making some really tasty ones.
Some of what I’ve read about bento lunches emphasizes small amounts of a variety of foods, so I’ve been trying to include several fruits and veggies in smaller amounts rather than one or two in a larger amount.
Homemade Pad Thai with chicken (This was easy and tasty; I can’t wait to make it again.)/almonds/Cadbury Mini Eggs/clementine/pear/string cheese/carrots/cucumber
Spiced Black Bean, Grilled Avocado, and Goat Cheese Taco – turned burrito (I don’t think I’ve posted about this one before, but I’ve made it several times. It’s like a taco from a fancy restaurant.)/steamed carrots/pineapple/mango/edamame/string cheese/pistachios/Cadbury Mini Eggs
Broccoli Quinoa Casserole (This was ok, but I probably won’t make it again. I preferred Quinoa in this.)/pineapple/mango/carrots/edamame/string cheese/honey roasted peanuts/Cadbury Mini Eggs/graham cracker
Ham egg and cheese roll up/steamed broccoli/mango/pineapple/carrots/edamame/string cheese/pistachios/graham cracker/Cadbury Mini Eggs
Pineapple and Canadian Bacon pizza/carrots/clementine/pear/cucumber/almonds
Pasta with broccoli and cheese/clementine/strawberries/pineapple/mango/spinach salad with pecans, goat cheese, avocado, and olive oil balsamic dressing
One of my former roommates Steph requested more recipes on the blog so that she’d have some ideas for things to cook. So here you go Steph! I’ve made all three of these in the past two weeks, and they’re all on my list to make again. All the photos are from the original recipe/site, so click on through!
Zucchini, Black Bean, & Rice Skillet
This one is simple and filling. I just used regular tomatoes rather than the fire roasted tomatoes this one called for, and it definitely could have used a bit of extra flavor. Next time I’ll either add some salsa, Mexican type spices, or Italian spices.
Quinoa Black Bean Burrito Bowl
My family made a really good Asian Quinoa salad at Thanksgiving, so ever since I’ve been wanting to try Quinoa in something else. This was delicious, and I love when you can add whatever sounds good to a recipe.
Baked Spaghetti Squash
Honestly I like this recipe for her method of baking the squash which doesn’t require pre-cutting it. I stop at the end of step two, throw some cheese over my bowl of squash and call it good. I just baked a 4.5 lb squash last night, so maybe I’ll give step three a try tonight.
I’m a sack lunch kind of girl and probably bring my lunch 99% of the time. That being said I do get burnt out on packing my lunch from time to time, so I like to think up ways to make myself excited for my lunch and make the lunch packing easy.
Currently I’m obsessed with Bento Boxes. One of my co-workers had a really cute one and after seeing it I started hunting around. The one she has is monbento it’s a French company (Japanese idea French design – can’t go wrong there!) and they ship from France, so after the exchange rate and shipping costs they come to be quite expensive. However Amazon carries a few different colors of the basic box, so as long as you’re not picky you can get one for closer to $30.
The monbento site is pretty awesome with all its choices though.
- You can make your own set and pick the color of each piece
- They sell square molds for your hard boiled eggs so that the egg will fit in the corner of your bento box
- They sell rectangular silicone mini pans so that your quiche or cake or bread will fit perfectly into your bento box
I definitely wouldn’t mind having one!