As a kid I wasn’t really a fan of the PB&J sandwich. That led to plenty of household head-scratching when it came to what went into my lunch box, and my midday meal was often a thrown together last-minute jumble of random things from the fridge.
As a grown up I've come to appreciate the PB&J (strawberry jam only, please!) and while I love routine in other parts of my life, having the same lunch every day is not a routine I enjoy! Thankfully, I’ve figured out a few simple ways to make lunch exciting every day of the week.
- Whole wheat tortillas are a great stand-in for bread. Fill with hummus and veggies, or peanut butter and dried fruit, then roll up and slice in half (or pinwheels for little hands).
- Quesadillas are easy to prepare and can be filled with a variety of options. Try mozzarella and pepperoni for the pizza lover, or load up with cheddar cheese, black beans and salsa.
- Buckwheat noodles (also called soba) are delicious cold. Dress them with a spicy peanut sauce and add crisp veggies.
- How about an antipasti lunch? Cold tortellini, salami and cheeses paired with fresh fruits like grapes are satisfying and fun for nibblers.
- Keep up the small bite theme with crostini and a variety of spreads and dips.
- Make brunch your lunch when you combine smoked salmon, cream cheese and cucumbers on mini bagels.
- Use leftover rice to whip up a batch of vegetable fried rice, made easy by using pre-cut frozen vegetables.
- Make mini Hawaiian pizzas with bagels or English muffins, using ham leftovers and juicy pineapple.
- Spring rolls are always a refreshing and portable no-cook option.
- Make a quiche ahead of time and slice into portions for easy packing. It tastes great cold and holds up well in reusable containers.
Still need lunch inspiration? Try one or more of these recipes the next time you brown-bag it:
What are some of your most inspired lunches?