A week’s worth of easy lunch recipes

groceries
For many parents, the last thing we have time for is packing a lunch. But we’re here to say, don’t give up just yet! Of course, there are standby favorites like PB&J, but if you’re looking to mix it up, here’s a week’s worth of meals you can knock out in a hurry.

To get started, try these flexible recipes. Be creative and substitute ingredients as necessary to accommodate your child’s eating habits. The goal is simple, healthy and delicious!

 

Sunday:

  • Hard boil enough eggs to use in 2 lunches.
  • Scoop watermelon and honeydew balls; toss with pineapple juice to retain color and freshness.
  • Cook one serving of shell-shaped pasta and then drain, cool and store in an airtight container. (2 oz. is about one serving.)
  • Make mini meatballs using your favorite meatloaf recipe; bake and then freeze in single layer.  When fully frozen, store in airtight bag.
  • Chop red, yellow and green bell peppers (one each).  Store in airtight container
  • Trim a small handful of broccoli florets into bite-sized pieces.
  • Make cashew butter in food processor by blending 2 1/4 cups of raw, unsalted cashews, 1/4 teaspoon salt and about 1 tablespoon of canola oil. (You want just enough to make a thick paste. You could also use a splash of lemon juice or orange juice.)
  • Make 1 cup of trail mix by tossing together various nuts, coconut flakes, dried blueberries, cherries and other favorite dried fruits; add a few chocolate chips for extra flavor.

Monday: Mexican Black Bean Pinwheels

  • Spread cream cheese on whole wheat tortilla. Sprinkle black beans, diced bell peppers and cheddar cheese over the top.  Roll tightly and cut on bias.  Wrap and refrigerate overnight.
  • Include 1 serving of Salsa for dipping.
  • Add melon balls and blueberries drizzled with honey for dessert.

Tuesday: Shells and Veggie Pasta

  • Toss 2 oz. of pasta, bell peppers, corn kernels (frozen is fine), broccoli, halved cherry tomatoes, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper.  Drizzle with scant amount of Italian salad dressing.
  • Add melon and strawberry skewers with a single serving of vanilla yogurt for dipping.

Wednesday: Italian Meatball Soup

  • Sauté one onion, 4-5 carrots and 3 celery stalks in soup pot until softened.  Add a bag of chopped kale or spinach until wilted.  Add meatballs and enough low sodium beef broth to completely cover (about 1/2 cup per serving).  Simmer until heated through.  Season to taste with parsley, salt and black pepper.
  • Make a chopped salad by tossing mixed greens, chopped hardboiled egg, cheddar cheese, grated carrots and sliced green onions.  Drizzle lightly with favorite dressing.
  • Pack with apple wedges tossed with pineapple juice to prevent browning.

Thursday: Turkey and Swiss Pinwheels

  • Spread roasted red pepper hummus on tortilla; cover with thinly sliced roasted turkey breast. Top with Swiss cheese slices and chopped lettuce. Roll tightly, chill overnight and then slice into 1” pieces in morning.
  • Peeled hardboiled egg, rolled in lemon pepper seasoning.
  • Use half of the trail mix (1/2 cup serving) for dessert or snack.

Friday: Banana, Cashew Butter Bagel

  • Spread toasted bagel with cashew butter; top with thinly sliced bananas. Slice into quarters.
  • Pack celery and carrot sticks with ranch dressing for dipping.
  • Use the other half of the trail mix and combine with vanilla yogurt parfait for dessert or snack.
    • Layer yogurt and trail mix in container, starting with yogurt and ending with trail mix

Get discounts on all the healthy ingredients you need using Healthy Blue Xtras. You can also win a $25 giftcard from Healthy Blue Xtras for back to school essentials!

 

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