A lackluster plate is one bite away from a lackluster day. Enter five plates that feed you in exactly the way you need, whether you’ve been eating the same bowl of oatmeal since March or your kids (and you) need a lunchtime shakeup. Every plate is just a starting point — get inspired by even more recipes, tips and swaps to add new flavors, new techniques and plenty of vibrant fruits and veggies to your day. Go ahead, pick your plate!
1. The “Breakfast for Dinner Is a Lifestyle” Plate
Dinner for dinner is great, but breakfast for dinner feels like you’re pulling a fast one on a “real” meal. And it isn’t all pancakes — breakfast can be nourishing, a veritable buffet of protein, vitamins and antioxidants. Try these recipes and ideas for breakfast-inspired plate fillers to round out your day.
2. The “Ran Out of Kids Lunch Ideas in April” Snack Board
“What’s for lunch?” Answer that familiar chorus with a snack board to end all snack boards no kid can resist. Make a batch of the dips and cut the vegetables on Sunday night so you’re ready whenever the crowds get hungry. Might need extra — you’re going to want to get in on this. Try these board-building recipes and ideas to get started.
Even more ideas:
Top Greek yogurt with freeze-dried fruit “fairy dust”: Smash freeze-fried raspberries or strawberries on a cutting board with a rolling pin. Spread on or dip with graham crackers.
Don’t forget the dippers and crunchers: blue corn chips, Persian cucumber spears, multicolored carrots, celery sticks and animal crackers.
3. The “I Need to Fuel My Optimism” Plate
When you need a pick-me-up, your lunch or dinner probably needs one, too. Color might boost your mood, brighten your day and put some pep in your step. Build your plate with these recipes and ideas for the go, go, go good stuff.
4. The “Greens But Not Salad, Please” Plate
If January had a spirit food, it would be greens. Raw, chopped and tossed with dressing isn’t the only way to enjoy our cruciferous friends. Try these non-salad ways to get more greens onto your plate.
5. The “Lunch Can’t Always Be PB&J” Plate
Making lunch easy and, more importantly, interesting, relies on a simple formula: Take a handful of ingredients and combine them, then combine them in different way the next day. And the next day and the day after that. Put your storage container set and a Sunday evening to good use and roast a few kinds of root veggies, sauté ground turkey or sear off some tofu and cook a couple varieties of grains. Add the fresh stuff day of: sliced avocado, herbs.
Here are three combos we love: