What’s for LUNCH?

After twenty years, I’m packing lunches again.  It’s a lot more fun this time around!

My tips:

* when I bake lunchbox treats, I wrap brownies/cookies individually and freeze for intermittent use.  They thaw by lunchtime.  

* when making PB and J, I always spread the PB on both pieces of the bread.  This keeps the jelly from sogging up the bread.

* when making a wrap, I always lay a dry lettuce leaf on the tortilla first; this prevents the tortilla from getting sogged up by whatever else is added.

* I always make lunches the night before.  If leftovers from dinner are involved (and they frequently are), I pack lunches right after dinner, saving the effort of pulling food out again after the kitchen is cleaned up.

* ALWAYS include an ice pack in your lunch bag to keep food fresh.  

(Note: these portions are for adults, but can certainly be adjusted for youngin’s.)

Here we go…30 lunches for 30 days…and then some!

1.  Whole grain tortilla wrap with lettuce, onions, and leftover steak strips, carrot/pineapple/raisin salad, grapes and a BALLPARK BROWNIE


2.  A BIG DIPPER meal (the main item is dipped up with crackers or chips): Tuna salad (with celery and water chestnuts), Triscuit dippers, cinnamon/sugar apples, (coat apples with lemon juice to keep them from browning), mini peppers stuffed with savory cream cheese, and chocolate-covered raisins.


3.  Confetti pasta salad (any pasta with any dressing and any chopped additions – this one has red pepper, cukes, white beans, leftover chicken, and Frisee lettuce), strawberries & kiwi, and a mango/yogurt smoothie pop (will thaw by lunchtime.)  Find these pop containers here: NORPRO Ice Pops.

4.  Whole grain tortilla PB & grape J pinwheels, canned beets/green beans toss, sliced oranges, and a pumpkin muffin.

5.  Cheese cube/red pepper skewers, roasted potato salad (light on the mayo), “ants on a log” (I peel off a bit of the back curve of the celery so the sticks don’t roll around), and mandarin oranges.

 6.  TORTILLA STACK, cucumber spears, grapes and a blueberry muffin.


7. WYH (whatever you have) salad – this one is greens, red pepper, mushrooms, cukes, celery, and carrots –  canned beets, bean dip (canned refried beans mixed with some salsa), pretzel sticks, kiwi and Fig Newtons.

8.  Morning Star veggie burger with bacon strips and grated mozzarella on a toasted whole wheat sandwich thin, carrots & celery sticks, cinnamon/sugar apples with raisins.  Sprinkle apples with lemon juice to keep them from browning.

9.  Whole wheat pancakes with peanut butter and a smear of Nutella, a frozen banana/yogurt smoothie pop (will thaw by lunchtime), a boiled egg/cubed cheese/leftover bacon chips stack, watermelon, and whole wheat/zucchini/chocolate-chip cookies. 

10.  Tomato/basil wrap (this one contains brown rice, beans, and sauteed cabbage all flavored with taco seasoning), a green/kalamata olive and cubed feta salad (buy them all separately and shake together), sliced radishes, a banana and a cupcake.

11.  Roast beef (leftover) sandwich bun, WYH pasta salad (this one has peas, green beans, red beans, feta and frisee lettuce), celery brooms with peanut butter/honey for dipping, and grapes.

12.  Baked potato with toppings: roasted broccoli, bacon crumbles, sauteed mushrooms, and grated cheddar (all leftovers.)  A boiled egg for protein.

13.  Chicken strips on lettuce with a smear of mayo, brown rice with butternut squash and cabbage, honeydew melon, and a BALLPARK BROWNIE

14.  WYH salad (this one is mixed greens with mushrooms, radishes, cukes, Craisins and walnuts), red peppers, cinnamon/sugar chopped apples (sprinkled with lemon juice to keep them from browning), and a fruit/nut bar.


15. Hawaiian tuna salad (chunk canned tuna, drained chunk pineapple, celery, and water chestnuts with a sauce of 1/4 C .mayo, 2 t. soy sauce and 1/4 t. lemon juice – sprinkled with sesame seeds), a veggie tortilla stack (leftover baked carrots, butternut squash, sauteed cabbage, and feta, topped with chick peas and a little cheddar), and SQUIRREL NUT MIX.

16.  Leftover meatloaf and fried potatoes, carrot sticks, canned pears, and mini walnut/zucchini muffins. 

17.  Chicken (leftover) and cheese croissants, 3-bean pasta salad, and fresh pineapple.

18.  Barley with refried beans, roasted red peppers, and feta (all leftovers), soft corn tortillas, cucumber spears, and a baked apple (from PINTEREST.)

19.  Veggie Croissant (layered lettuce, roasted red pepper, mushrooms and zucchini – pack roll separately to prevent sogginess), boiled egg, mandarin orange smoothie pop, and cantaloupe.

20.  PB & strawberry J, cherry tomato/leftover bacon salad, radishes, a banana, and whole-wheat/zucchini/chocolate-chip cookies.

21.  Leftover salmon on a bed of greens/cukes/peas/almonds, BBQ chips, and mango chunks. 

22.  BIG DIPPER Chili-Mac (ground beef, tomatoes, pasta, corn and cheese) with tortilla chip dippers, cukes & watermelon skewers.

23.  Ballpark egg salad (eggs, relish, green olives, red pepper) on a toasted whole wheat sandwich thin, oriental brown rice (just rice with soy sauce) with mixed bell peppers/mushrooms/peas, watermelon, and a whole wheat/zucchini/chocolate chip cookie.

24.  Taco meat/brown rice/salsa wrap, red peppers & radishes, banana, and Fig Newtons.

25.  Quinoa with black beans/peas/feta, cinnamon pineapple, radishes & red peppers, and a mandarin orange corn muffin.  (You might be picking up that my family loves red peppers, radishes and celery.)
26.  Chicken salad/spinach wrap, BALLPARK HUMMUS, celery broomsticks for dipping, SQUIRREL NUT MIX, and cantaloupe.

27.  Whole wheat pasta with edamame, butternut squash, bell peppers, almonds, and a vinaigrette dressing; waffle pretzels, and an apple. 

28.  Meatballs tossed with leftovers (quinoa, cucumber, grated cheese, and a little shredded lettuce) Frito chips, celery with peanut butter, cinnamon/sugar apples, and a mandarin orange/corn muffin.

29.  Romaine salad with cukes and radishes, brown rice with leftover veggies, kiwi, and Chex mix Monkey Munch.
30.  PB & strawberry J on whole wheat, leftover baked potato/cheddar stack, baked beans, and pineapple/blueberry mix. 

31.  Homemade vegetable/barley soup in an easy heat-up Ball jar, whole-grain Saltines, string cheese/pitted date skewers, and canned peaches.

32.  Morning Star veggie burger strips, carrot sticks, ranch dressing for dipping, canned beets, peach/yogurt smoothie pop, and kiwi. Dressing travels in a small, plastic, re-purposed spice bottle.

33.  A light RAINBOW meal – contains all the colors of the rainbow.  Red, orange, and yellow peppers, green and purple lettuce, peaches, and blueberry/raspberry skewers. Raspberry vinaigrette dressing and Triscuit crackers.  Craisins could be added to the salad as well.  🙂

34.  Potato salad, hard-boiled egg, cukes/red pepper mix, and grapes.

35.  Strawberry/yogurt smoothie pop (thaws by lunchtime), baked sweet potato sticks (leftover), whole wheat pancake/peanut butter sandwich, and sugar/cinnamon apples.

36.  Veggie tortilla wrap (leftover) and snow peas, carrots with chocolate peanut-butter spread (my new discovery – yum!) and an in-season pair.

37.  BIG DIPPER Taco salad (lettuce, ground beef, black beans, red beans, corn, grated cheese, and Catalina dressing), Doritos dippers, and a plum. 

38.  Leftover roasted chicken, peppers & olive mix, peach/blueberry skewers and oatmeal/raisin cookie.

39.  Tuna salad pita (with celery, water chestnuts, sweet pickles and lettuce) black beans, cukes, watermelon, and a fruit bar.

40.  Leftover homemade mac and cheese with chopped sausage patties stirred in, mixed tropical fruit, and a whole-wheat blueberry muffin.

41.  Chicken sausage/cheese skewers, quinoa with black beans, carrots, and feta, pretzels, and two snack donuts.

42.  Spinach salad with white mushrooms, feta, black olives, and frozen edamame tossed in at the last minute (will thaw by lunchtime), pita bread triangles, and a naval orange. 

43.  Salad made from leftovers from last night’s dinner: fettuccine, roasted broccoli, chopped bacon, walnuts, and chopped lettuce; fuji apple, and a fruit bar. 

What’s your favorite?


14 thoughts on “What’s for LUNCH?

  1. All of those look WONDERFUL!! I eat veggie burgers and morning star bacon strips. I never thought to make a sandwich out of them. I will definitely get the popsicle thing. Christopher will like that. Unfortunately he doesn't have a way to heat up his lunch. But I see some things to mix and match. Thanks for your hard work in putting this together.


  2. Jen, if you're in Florida, you can certainly stop in for lunch!

    Danielle – I emailed you…making a smoothie is really more a method than a recipe. You can do anything with them! And there are companies who sell lunch compartments on line, all kinds of fancy boxes…I've found small butter tubs and Rubbermaid containers works just fine. I even have one repurposed denture cup I use! I get a lot of little containers at thrift stores for 50 cents!


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