Tag Archives: make ahead lunch

School Lunch Ideas

12 Simple and Delicious Lunch Ideas

My Monkey was very excited about taking her lunches, wanting sandwiches everyday. I told her and told her that she would get sick of them, but what do I know! Last year, she got sick of sandwiches pretty quickly. Although I give her kudos for waiting so long to admit it! We seem to have an issue with being wrong! It could be due to the fact that she is a teenager!
In order to avoid hearing her whining and complaining, I decided to be pro-active and get creative this year! Hear are some of the ideas I’ve found and come up with! More often than not, I don’t have what I need to actually follow the recipes, so I adjust and make them up as I go! Here are the ones I have tried or am planning to try! I do my best to throw in as much nutrition as possible!
  1. Shredded chicken, black beans, fresh spinach, and Picante sauce
  2. Refried beans, ground meat, rice, and salsa
  3. Lunch meat, cheese, mayo
  4. Seasoned whole chicken, spinache, and cheese
Lunch Meat Pinwheels (I forgot to take the picture, but they turned out great!)
  1. lay out 1 piece of bread and roll flat with a rolling pin or glass
  2. smear on light layer of choice sauce (mayo, mustard, BBQ, ketchup, etc)
  3. layer choice of lunch meat
  4. top with cheese
  5. roll up into a ‘wheel’
  6. use toothpicks to make it stay
  7. refridgerate over night
  8. the next morning, simply take out the toothpicks and cut into bite size pieces, place in baggie!
PBJ Pinwheels- lightly layer peanut butter and jelly, then follow the previous directions to finish!
Salads: Mix tomatoes, dressing, boiled eggs together in a seperate container then the lettuce will stay fresh! Be sure to use a container big enough that they can mix it together!
Additional toppings (and nutrients!):
Kidney or black beans           Corn               Nuts                Sunflower Seeds
Cold Soups (i.e. cucumber or melon soup)
For Sides:
Pickles                                                         Pretzels                                            Marshmallows
Muffins                                                       Cookies                                                  Pudding
Fruit Cups                                                     Jello                                              Flavored Crackers
Tips & Suggestions for Lunch Boxes:
  1. if serving something that could get sticky, moisten a wash rag and put it in a seperate baggie
  2. To keep mini muffins or mini cupcakes soft, freeze them in the baggie the night before. By the time lunchtime comes around, they will be thawed AND they’ll keep the other food cool!
  3. Pickles go great in boxes, just place in baggie and remember #1!!!
  4. Don’t use ‘moist’ condiments, such as tomatoes or pickles on the sandwiches or wraps, as they will make everything soggy. Just put them in a seperate bag if desired!
  5. You can easily prepare the lunch box the night before, then stick it in the fridge, it will stay cold (duh!) and the bag will stay colder til at least lunch!
  6. If your Monkey likes mayo, you can easily add spices to it to it to add a little flare. My Monkey loves Cajun spices added, you can use taco spices, or whatever you like!
  7. Sneak in nutrients by using fresh spinache (most kids won’t associate the ‘icky’ spinache with the fresh as they look so differently!) or adding minced carrots and celery. More often than not, they either won’t notice or taste the difference!
  8. Add in a piece of gum or mint if sending something with onions or tuna. That way you won’t hear the ‘bad breathe’ complaints from the older Monkeys!
If you have any tips or easy school lunch ideas, I’d love to hear them!!! Can only re-cycle these recipes so many times before the Monkey is tired of them!!!  We’ve also got some great freeze ahead breakfasts you can check out!  Enjoy!

Originally posted 2011-08-21 17:50:00.

Won’t Believe It Pitas!

Won't Believe It Pitas!So, on a whim I decided to try these pitas out.  I thought they would be a quick and easy healthy meal.  The fact that they only take 20 minutes make them the perfect weeknight meal!  They go perfectly with the Mediterranean Orzo Salad which is best made ahead of time so it was super quick to have dinner ready and there were not very many dishes, which is always a bonus!  They are fabulous on pitas but I think they’d make great wraps too.  I ate the leftovers for lunch cold and they were almost as good cold as they were fresh!

While I used a can of rinsed chopped chicken this go round, I think it would have been even better if I had used sliced ‘fresh’ chicken.  Leftovers from roasted chicken would do well (though if you use some sort of seasoned chicken, I suggest leaving out additional seasonings and know that it won’t taste quite the same) or a pound of raw chicken, sauteed before the spinach is added, would be great too!

I highly recommend trying it as is, then playing with it and finding new ways to dress it up!  And, please, by all means, come back and share with me how you made it yours!  I love learning from others cooking skills and taste buds!  Now, on the the recipe!

Greek Inspired Pitas


  • 1/2 sm red onion, sliced thinly
  • 2 Tbsp Balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp + 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 lg can shredded chicken
    • -OR- 12 oz boneless, skinless chicken breasts shredded or cubed
  • Mexican fajita seasoning *not fajita seasoning that comes in a package, use the kind that comes in a seasoning container with a white label in the ethnic food area, you’ll thank me later as this is great on everything!*
  • 2 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 15 oz can chickpeas, rinsed
  • 1 10 oz pkg spinach
  • 4 pieces pita bread, halved & toasted
  1. Combine onion, vinegar and 1 tsp olive oil in small bowl and let sit.  Stir from time to time.
  2. Use a large skillet, trust me!  If using canned chicken, there is no need to cook it, simply rinse well and saute a few minutes with the seasoning.  If using fresh, saute the chicken with seasoning until cooked, then drain.
  3. Add the garlic & cook for about a minute then add chickpeas and half the spinach.  Cook until wilted (takes about 1-2 minutes) then add the other half of spinach.
  4. Fill the pitas with the mixture & top with the onions, drizzling remaining vinegar over it.

Note: This is fabulous hot, but it is amazing the next day cold!  I advise trying it both ways and seeing how you love it!  Think I’m gonna make some more soon and take to work with me for lunch!

Originally posted 2017-03-28 00:23:48.