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.
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
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!
I’ve been cooking a ton lately and trying to be healthier. Don’t get me wrong this isn’t a diet of any kind because I’m not a dieting person, but just an effort to eat balanced meals. All the cooking has also helped with packing lunches because I have tasty leftovers ready to go!
I’ve been trying to use up things in my pantry that have been around for a while, so generally I find a recipe which I have most of the ingredients for and then just make it work. Since I haven’t been following the directions my meals may not have turned out anything like they were supposed to, but I feel like these are recipes that can be modified and still turn out ok! Plus these were all pretty fast to make. (All images are linked to the blogs they came from.)
What have you been cooking to kick off your new year?
It got legitimately cold this past Sunday, and I was in the mood for soup. I’ve made a couple of pots of Chicken Tortilla in the past month, so I changed it up and made this meaty one instead. For me soup is a perfect lazy evening meal because it can be thrown together with already cooked portions of meat from the freezer and multiple cans of veggies out of the cabinet.
Black Bean Soup
1 lb ground beef
1 can black beans rinsed
1 can black bean or lentil soup
1/2 c. picante sauce (or more)
1. Brown the beef and drain off the grease.
2. Add meat, beans, soup, and picante to a pot and heat on stove until bubbly.