Lunches are one of the most difficult meals for me. I find it so hard to keep things interesting without falling back on boring old sandwiches, mac n cheese and (heaven forbid) last night’s leftovers! I’m so glad we are homeschooling because I really do not like making packed lunches, so it’s a real labour of love for The Man when I make his lunch and pack ones for the kids on the days we are out.
Because I have such a hard time with lunches, I try to keep an arsenal of lunch ideas and options in a list, on the ready so I don’t stand there scratching my head and wondering what on earth I’m going to make. Though I’m definitely the pickiest out of our bunch (as in, the kids are usually just happy to be fed and don’t really care too much if it’s PB&J for the third day!), it’s nice to add some variety to the same old same old.
I’m guessing I’m not the only one that struggles with this because hey, all the iHomeschool Network writers are sharing their favourite lunches today! So in case I’m not alone and you’re in the same boat, here’s a helping hand with lunch :0)
10 Lunches You Can Put On Repeat
Minis Pizzas or Pizza Loaf
For our birthday parties as kids, we would always make our own mini pizzas! It was such a blast and though a little messier (and definitely an at-home lunch option), it’s definitely worth the effort. To keep it simple, use english muffins instead of dough, add ham and grated cheese, then place under the broiler in your toaster oven!
My friend Trina is brilliant in the kitchen, and she came up with this amazing Portable Pizza Loaf recipe!
Think cinnamon rolls, but as pizza. It’s super fast to make and the perfect portable lunch!
Chicken or Turkey Salad
Summer is the season of salads! I love a good salad – and on the bad days, grabbing a few leaves of lettuce sometimes has to do. But if I can keep some prepared salads in the fridge, ready to go, I’m in good shape!
For a more substantial salad, we love Turkey or Chicken salad. It’s fresh, tasty, filling and pretty customizable in the flavours.
Delicious Lentil Salad
Another amazing salad recipe is this delicious lentil salad from my friend Laura. She made it once when she came over for supper with her family and I could have eaten the whole bowl myself!
- 1 can lentils, drained and rinsed
- 4 oz or more crumbled feta
- 1 sweet red pepper, chopped
- 2 green onions, sliced
- 1 clove garlic, minced (optional)
- 2 TBSP lemon juice
- 1 TBSP olive oil
- 1/4 tsp thyme
- salt and pepper to taste
Combine lentils, feta, red pepper and onions in a bowl. Whisk remaining ingredients together and pour over top, tossing to coat.
Chick-Fil-A Chicken Bites
We need Chick-Fil-A in Canada. Or perhaps it would actually not be as cool if we did have it here and we’d get tired of eating there. Because I’m pretty sure I’d go there EVERY.DAY. For something or other. But for now, I have to settle for the times we drive by on our trips down in the states.
Oh, but then there’s these great Chick-Fil-A copy-cat recipes and wait, yes, they’re actually good! So if you’re stuck on a lunch idea, try making these Chick-Fil-A chicken bites (make some in advance and send along in a packed lunch with french fries or the lentil salad.
Bagels boring you? Try making tuna melts! Spread a bagel with tuna, add some cheese and melt under the broiler.
I distinctly remember my uncle being over doing work at my parent’s place one day and he made these for us! They’ve been a favourite of mine ever since.
Sauteed Veggie Goat Cheese Open-Face Sandwiches
I just realized I have a lot of friends named Laura. And aside from that, they all have some great recipes! This idea is from another friend named Laura. It’s not so much a portable lunch, but more like a rainy day at home or Sunday afternoon hot lunch.
Saute veggies – peppers, onions, zucchini – in a little olive oil, just until softened.
Mix pesto with mayo and spread on a ciabatta bun (or other crusty bread).
Spread the veggies on the mayo, add chunks of goat cheese or feta.
Broil until lightly browned and the cheese is gooey. Oh yummy!
Kielbasa and Pickles on Rye
My kids are a fraction Polish. And it often shows up in their food choices! Such as a love of good pickles. While I’m more of a Bicks Pickles girl, half the family LOVES the Moishes pickles from Costco – they’re packed in brine, less crunchy and more smooshy with a very sharp taste – a real gourmet pickle!
One of the kids’ favourite lunches we learned from their Grandma is kielbasa and pickles. Slice a kielbasa (we prefer turkey) and the pickles of your choice, butter some light rye bread and layer the kielbasa and pickles on top. Done!
Who doesn’t love eggs? Easy, filling, tasty and so many options! Fried eggs, scrambled eggs, hard boiled and poached! We love making homemade egg mcmuffins and scrambled eggs and toast for lunch (or breakfast and supper for that matter!).
If you want to add a bit more oomph to your eggs, try and omelette! I worked out the best way to make an omelette a while ago – it’s pretty quick and not as hard as some people think!
This is typically what we do on a Sunday after church, but it’s great for any day!
Cut up your favourite veggies, sandwich meats, cheese, pickles, fruit and whatever else you can think of adding. Serve with hummus, dip, crackers or crusty bread.
Another Polish favourite! You can buy them pre-packaged and frozen, boil and fry in a little butter. Or, if you have a bit more time on your hand, make them from scratch! The filling options are endless – potatoes and cheese, potatoes and bacon, meat and cheese, blueberries.