Monday, February 25, 2008

Lunch Ideas

A friend asked me to post some ideas to make lunch a little more exciting. When I am done she might be sorry, but here goes!

TIPS FOR TUNA

Bugs Bunny Favorite- In a small bowl combine 1/2 cup shredded carrots, 1/2 cups raisins, and 2 Tbs. orange juice. Add to basic tuna recipe: 1-6 1/2 oz can tuna, 2 Tbs light mayo or plain yogurt, 1/2 very small chopped onion, and 2 tsp. lemon juice. Toss with 1,2 cup shredded romaine lettuce. Roll in a spinach tortilla and cut in half.

Supreme Bean- Combine 1 cup drained black beans to basic tuna recipe(above). Roll up in whole wheat tortilla.

Crack-up- Add 1 chopped hard-boiled egg and 2 Tbs. finely chopped dill to basic tuna recipe. Spread on 8 crackers and top with 8 crackers.

Baked Potato- Bake a couple potatoes in the microwave (they have ones that are pre-wrapped at the store) and top with Bacon bits, shredded cheese, broccoli, chili, cottage cheese, sunflower seeds or whatever you want.

Peanut Butter Ideas

Banana-Rama- Top 4 rice crackers with 2 tsp fruit spread. Top 4 more crackers with 2 tsp pb. Slice a banana and drizzle with lemon juice. Place banana on fruit spread and top with other crackers.

Apple Bites- Mix 1/2 cup smooth pb, 1/4 cup golden raisins, and 1/4 cup wheat squares cereal. Thinly slice an apple without cutting into the core. Drizzle apple slices with lemon juice and spread pb mixture on half the apple slices- top with remaining slices

Berry Patch- Break 4 graham crackers in half to make 8 squares. Top all squares with 1 tsp pb and place sliced strawberries on 4 crackers. Cover with remaining crackers.

Pita Pizza- Put the toppings and sauce and cheese inside a pita or cut it in half lengthwise and make it that way.

Pasta or Rice- Cook pasta or rice in advance and mix with tuna or chopped chicken or beans, any veggie-tomatoes, green beans, celery, carrots, peppers, zucchini, and then mix with some salad dressing-italian, balsamic vinaigrette (my fave), sesame ginger, greek or ranch

Eggs-Scrambled or Hard-boiled or an omelet or frittata- eggs are good for anytime of the day

Mini-Bagels- these are sometimes fun for kids to put sandwiches on. play around with the filling. You could do pesto, mozzarella, and fresh tomato slices; cheese cubes, peppers, romaine and salad dressing (in a pita too)

Ham and Cheese Hot-dog- Stack 3 pieces of low-fat ham and wrap around a cheesestick, place in a hot-dog bun and spread a little mustard on top. serve with pretzels, fruit and milk

Finger Foods- Serve cubes of cheese, grapes, hummus, crunchy breadsticks, baby carrots, other veggies to dip and whatever else that kids can eat with their fingers

Mandarin Chicken- mix 1/4 cup mandarin oranges, 1/3 cup shredded chicken breast, 1/3 cup steamed broccoli and 1/4 cup chow mein noodles.

Macaroni Salad- 1/4 cup pizza sauce, 1/3 cup peas, 1 cup macaroni noodles, and 1/4 cup diced mozzarella cheese

Taco Salad-1/4 cup salsa, 1/3 cup rinsed black beans, 3/4 cup chopped lettuce, 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese, and 1/3 cup baked (or not) tortilla chips-broken up

Ham and Cheese Roll-ups- Unroll a can of refrigerated cresent dough (I use reduced fat) , divide into 8 triangles, and spread a little mustard down the middle of each. Wrap a small slice of cheese inside a piece of ham, place on the mustard and roll into a cresent. Bake accordingly. I always serve this with edamame.

Burritos

Bean and cheese roll-up Spread refried beans on a tortilla, cover with shredded cheese and put under broiler until the cheese is melted. Cut with a pizza roller into 8 pieces and then roll those pieces up into cresent shapes.

Baked Ravioli with Dipping Sauce- this is a recipe that I tried a few years ago and it is worth the time!

Chicken Noodle Soup

Spaghetti-os

Macaroni and Cheese with veggies

Most of the recipes above are for 1 serving so double or triple according to how many people you are feeding

Some of these ideas may take a little more thought beforehand and a little bit more effort but it is worth it to get out of a rut.

Also there are some really cute kid cookbooks that have great, fast and easy lunch ideas, as well as ideas for any other time of the day. Some of my Favorites are:

Sesame Street C is for Cooking

Better Homes and Gardens- Kid Favorites Made Healthy

BH&G- Junior Cookbook

Pillsbury Junior Cookbook

Anything by Annabel Karmel especially Lunch Boxes and Snacks

You can get them for a good price at Amazon

There you have it!

2 comments:

Audrey said...

You should make a book! I am printing this list and putting it on my fridge. Lunch is so hard for me to think of new ideas. By the way, Scott said his favorite recipe of all time is your Chicken with Edamame and Mango Salsa. (That is really saying something, for Scott to say that it is his absolute favorite.) I made it for him again tonight!

Jaime said...

thanks , that looks great. gives me more options. i can't wait to try mandarin chicken. thanks for cookbook ideas also!