Monday, August 15, 2011

Meal Plan Monday: Lunch Special

On Mondays I usually elaborate on our Dinners but this week it's all about Lunch!
Lee's Lunch to be exact, me, I just eat what ever is in the cupboard or fridge (one of the luxuries of being a housewife) but for Lee his lunches are planned and packed!

Half of the time he has a microwave at work to re-heat his lunches, but when he's "on site" he has no available appliances, so a cold lunch is what on order.

My general take on Lunch is "Cook a lot for dinner, send leftovers to work with Lee" but that's not always possible, especially when there's no way to warm it up or when your husband is particularly hungry, eats all his dinner and essentially all his lunch too!
But thanks so the technological marvel known as Pinterest I've had A LOT more lunch inspiration.

  • There's always the Sandwich Standby! But I like to make it a little "fancier" than a plain old ham sandwich with mayo (although that's pretty Yummy too). One of Lee's favorites is  SHRIMP and AVOCADO. It's super easy, I mash up an avocado in a bowl . . . add a little lemon juice so it doesn't brown, spread it on some whole wheat bread, top it with a layer of little shrimp and a handful of sprouts. Sounds fancy, super easy and if you can "catch" the shrimp on sale no more expensive than a deli meat sandwich! I LOVE these re-usable sandwich bags from WasteNotSaks.
  • Lee loves salad for lunch, but only if you put some sort of protein in it. So a simple salad with hard boiled eggs or tuna or some shredded chicken, even a little chopped up smoked turkey from the deli counter.  Then I top it with THIS copy cat Olive Garden Italian Dressing recipe! If you're going to be taking salad to work for lunch it's a good investment to buy a salad container that keeps the dressing separate, ours has an ice pack to keep it all cool, here's the LINK.
  • Whenever I cook chili, I always make a triple batch, it's no more work then making a single batch and because your buying ingredients in bulk it makes it even cheaper. I freeze it in Glass Tupperware Containers (glass is better then plastic when heating something up in the microwave). I pull one out of the freezer the night before and by the time Lee's ready to eat it, it's thawed and ready to go!
  • Making any regular sandwich in a wrap is always a hit, try a tortilla wrapper with herb and garlic cream cheese, smoked turkey breast and some sliced cucumber!
  • A market near us sells rotisserie chickens for $6 (free range but not organic) I buy a couple and make chicken pot pie out of one and chicken salad out of the other! That's two dinners and two lunches for around $15 (after we buy the other ingredients).
  • Quiche is always a favorite of ours, easy to make and delicious . . . Lee's response to his work friends when they told him real men don't eat quiche was "Real Men eat Anything" haha LOVE IT! I take any basic Quiche Lorraine recipe and add my own touches, chopped mushrooms, bacon, a little ham.
  • I saw these little guys on Pinterest and an DYING to make them. Pizza Muffins!
  • During the fall and winter I'll make a double batch of soup and send Lee to work with a thermos full and some Cheddar Bay Biscuits, always a big hit with the boys at work!
  • Lee just reminded me to include, Pizza Subs! A couple of submarine buns, some pepperoni from the deli counter, some mozzarella cheese, and a few tablespoonfuls of pizza sauce (canned).
So that's how lunch time works around here! I know it makes a huge difference in Lee's day when he has lunch ready for him, it also saves us a ton of money! But like everything it takes a little extra planning, but at the end of the day all I need is 5 minutes to pull it all together and pop it in the fridge!

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The WISE FAMILY won a poster print from Uprinting. There going to print a poster sized picture of their most recent trip to the beach with their little girl! Congrats!!!
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  1. Nothing beats lunch. I look forward to it. Soup is my favorite with what I call a toaster cheese. If you have a toaster oven on your counter, put a slice of bread and and a slice of cheese inside. Toast up and a quick and less fat version of grilled cheese.

    My favorite is english muffin with swiss and slice of tomato.

  2. Thanks for these great ideas!! My husband doesn't like using a microwave because he isn't convinced they're safe, so we're always on the lookout for cold lunch ideas. We also usually have no leftovers cause he eats so much for dinner ;)

  3. All great ideas! Since school has started back we now have meal plan Saturdays. I sit down with my notebook and plan out the weeks meals (usually Sunday night to Thursday, as we never know what Friday and Saturday are going to bring). It has been super helpful! Coming up with unique lunches for Kate has been a challenge too, but we are working on it. Thanks for the ideas, and I will definitely have to find one of those salad keepers (she loves salad!).

  4. Some really great ideas. Packing lunch is important for us also.

  5. great ideas, and I am pinning some of the links that you shared! Your posts are getting better and better!

  6. Those pizza muffins look soooo good. :)

  7. Yummy well planned lunches, Ashli! I HAS to make a difference in his work day, when he knows you packed something special like these ideas. And he sure deserves it!

  8. YUM, YUM, YUM! What great ideas! I am headed back to school soon (I'm a teacher), and I always need some new ideas for lunches. These will work perfectly. Can you do more posts like this? I just LOVE your recipes. You seem like a fabulous cook!

    Shannon in PA

  9. I have to try this pizza muffin! Thanks for sharing.

  10. I remember seeing those pizza muffins when you pinned the image on Pinterest. They look so delicious!

  11. Ohhhh....some great recipe links, thanks! Especially the salad dressing. I hate and refuse to buy bottled dressing so I will be sure to try this. I printed out the meal plan sheets you linked the other day so I need to get on that. I come home for lunch everyday and if there are not enough leftovers for me and my hubby then I'm usually grabbing a handful of tortillas or a bowl of cereal. Not ideal to say the least.

  12. Thanks for the awesome ideas! Definitely bookmarking for later.

    I do have a question for you though. My husband has to leave for work SUPER early (like getting up around 3:30am and leaving by 4:30am). I cannot for the life of me get up until 6:30am.

    This has become a problem when it comes to making his lunches. He tends to wait until the last minute to wake up so he doesn't have time to make his lunch and I just cannot get up that early! lol What would you do in this situation? Should I just make his lunches the night before? I just worry about some things getting soggy.

    Also microwave stuff/leftovers are out of the question right now because he doesn't have access to a microwave at work. Sometimes he's on a site where he has a microwave and that makes it much easier, but right now that's a no. :[

    So what do you think?

    ♥ Sarah

  13. Hi Sarah,
    I think 6:30 is super early! That's the time Lee goes to work and I'm still asleep!! :)
    I always make his lunch the night before! If I'm makeing sandwiches for him I keep the soggy stuff off, like pickles, cucumbers, tomatoes and Lettuce, put it in a seperate bag and he assembles it at lunch the next day! I find Mayo and Mustard don't make the bread soggy, I thought they would, but Lee says they don't! If you're making salad I would definitely keep the salad dressing seperate!~
    Hope that helped!
    Lots of Love

  14. I love the lunch ideas! The avocado salad is my favorite somebody at my house loooves avocado.I have of course saved them. Also the sandwich keepers an even better idea! To be honest I am not the most green person but I do try where I can so this is something that I can do.Thanks so much!~Meme



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