Wednesday, November 9, 2011

5 easy (and somewhat healthy) lunches

It's a common dilemma. Mealtime is fast approaching and you're trying to figure out what to make for lunch while keeping the toddler out of mischief as well as interacting with the baby. The dishes are still piled from breakfast and after cutting, coring and simmering apples all morning, you don't feel all that creative or motivated to make lunch. 

Or maybe that's just me.

We had leftovers for lunch. It was quick, healthy and simple to prepare. 
I try to have to a menu plan for suppers and a general plan for breakfast but lunches often escape me. 

Here's my list of ten lunches that work well if you're feeding a toddler, yourself or anyone else. 

Hummus and corn chips. 
This is the best recipe I have come across and it's super easy. My Kilmo-girl loves it and it's one of the few meals that she can eat completely with her hands. Add some carrot sticks or cucumber slices for further dipping and eating fun. Buy red, blue or white corn chips. Que Pasa is the brand I always buy and love because the corn is not genetically modified and the oil is cold-pressed. I feel great about feeding it to my family as well as making the conscious choice with my food. 

Whole wheat pancakes with homemade fruit compote
Pancake batter lasts for awhile in the fridge so you can make up a batch and serve it up several times. The whole wheat flour gives a nutty flavor to the pancakes as well as having fiber so you are full and have energy for the rest of the day. I love to top the pancakes with a fruit compote, the natural sugars of the fruit really shine and give a sweet taste without having too much sugar. Compotes keep in the fridge really well and can also be used to flavor yoghurt or top oatmeal.

I love soup. It is one of my favorite meals to prepare and eat during the autumn and winter months. Minestone, chicken noodle, clam chowder and hamburger vegetable are a few of my favorites. They all freeze well and can be warmed up for lunch after a busy morning. 

Boiled eggs and muffins
 Making a big batch of muffins along with a pot of soup has been added to my weekly routine. I love the flexibility muffins offer, they can be served up for breakfast, lunch, supper or snacks. I make mine with whole wheat flour and skimp on the sugar so they're more of a whole food then a dessert. This time of year I love pumpkin and apple muffins. Kilmeny loves this kind of lunch since it is eaten with her hands and whatever she doesn't eat at lunch gets served up for a snack. 

Bean and rice dip with corn chips

This is one of those meals that just came together on a whim and I've continued making it. Each time it's a little different and that's part of the beauty of cooking. Basically it's equal parts cooked kidney or black (or both) beans (I cook the beans  until they are quite soft and start to get mushy) and rice, enough salsa to give it a good dipping consistency, fresh cilantro (this is what makes it pop), and some cheese. I've used both cheddar and feta with great taste results. It's also yummy without the cheese making it a good non-dairy lunch. Add some sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Serve with corn chips. This also freezes well and thaws quickly making it a great quick meal or snack or oh-my-goodness-I-forgot-to-make-you-a-lunch option for your husband.  Who, me? 

 And my favorite option. Quick and simple. We often have little bits left over from the night before that satisfy both Kilmeny and I and my fridge doesn't have (too) many containers of random food.  

What would you add to the list?


  1. This post so made my day. Lunchtime around here can gets pretty loony - especially if a morning outing runs late and naptime is looming. It's been getting better now that my eldest spends most of her mornings in preschool; once we get her home, she and her brother usually manage to amuse themselves until lunchtime. Bliss! (provided I don't squander it on the computer).

    Here's my favourite quick lunch:

    Cottage cheese topped with sliced tomatoes and freshly cracked pepper with bread & butter on the side. Add some snap peas or cucumber slices and voila! Lunch in served. :)

    P.S. I'm totally trying that bean & rice dip for my husband - if there aren't any leftovers, he's usually stuck opening a can of chili or heading to subway. Thanks for passing it on. :)

  2. Such good and hearty ideas, Breanne. :-) Today I was wicked and ate potato chips and jelly beans and an apple. :-) I also like cold quiche, deviled eggs, and French toast with peanut butter and maple syrup. :-) In fact, that sounds so good I need to make some right now. :-)

  3. Great ideas!! Lunch has always been my nemesis as well... I've just started purposefully making enough supper to do leftovers the next day, and that has been working really well.
    A variation on the pancake idea... I've found cooked pancakes warm up beautifully in the toaster, so will sometimes make extra pancakes for breakfast and store them for lunch sometime in the next couple of days - can I get your recipe for fruit compote??
    Mmmm, Que Pasa chips are the best!!! :-D

    Another one I'll do occasionally for lunch is Russian Pancakes - 2c milk, 2 eggs, 1/2 tsp salt, 2c flour (I like to do half and half), pop in the blender, cook like crepes, roll with a bit of cinnamon/sugar, jam, or just butter...



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