Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Use it up July: thinking lunch

One kidlet reached an epiphany this afternoon at the lunch table, announcing, "We always have leftovers at home for lunch!" I quickly reminded him that, "yes we do, and I almost always have them when I am at work, too."

Over the past year as our family dynamic has changed, I've gotten better about preparing smaller portions of food, based on who is actually at home eating. This has led to less leftovers-great! When there are leftovers, they are either packaged up for me to take to work the next day (or have at home) or are frozen in meal sized, individual containers. I use Scotch tape and with an ink pen, write the contents as a "label." This has worked well for me.

Today's fare: one serving of a tuna-noodle casserole, one serving of ziti with meatballs and marinara, one serving of vegetarian spaghetti in marinara. Freezer space opened up. Food waste avoided.

We also have either chef's salads (topped with some sort of a protein) or sandwiches. While we currently have cold cuts on hand, this is rare. I also home roast meats just for sandwiches. With our prepaid organic CSA, we are usually (dependent upon weather) in good supply with lettuce, tomatoes for both salads and sandwiches.  P B & J is always on hand. I make our own bread and rolls, unless bought on significant mark down.  I usually have eggs and cheese on hand so a fried egg sandwich or an omelette can easily be made.

If weather is cool enough, I will cook a lunch. Simple things such as sloppy joes, tuna burgers, franks and beans, beanies and weanies (great way to stretch just a few hotdogs, or sliced, leftover sausage), homemade pizza, a crustless quiche aka bisquick Impossible pie (also great way to use up bits of this n that). Add in Dollar tree tater tots or onion rings as a splurge and lunch becomes "fun food." If possible and we have an actual cold day, a small, home made soup may appear. I do have some canned bean and bacon soup that is lurking, and needs to go. Bought last Fall/Winter at a request, it remains untouched.

How are you doing, feeding the masses at home this Summer?


Anonymous said...

We do a lot of leftovers for lunch. Makes it easier.

Hawaii Planner said...

We are all out of the house during the day (except weekends), but I pack lunches for all of us. Today I was down to the basics, as I haven't been cooking (on vacation & out of town). I went old school - peanut butter & jelly sandwich + fruit. Worked fine, & I felt like a kid again. ;-)

Anonymous said...

Our family is changing also. Mom will be moving in, oldest son out to moms house, middle one off to college, third one starts college. So even though I am technically only losing one person we are changing up our diet. Mom being home during the day will help with left overs. We are also going to start once a month cooking for lunches for her and quick dinners since my schedule is all over the place. I love your recipe posts...I am constantly sneaking them away from you and family of Searls!

Nancy said...

We've been doing mostly leftovers here as well. I've also done a lot of egg salad, tuna salad, pbj, & salads. I have a ton of pastas stocked up and youngest son likes nothing more than pasta with butter and parmesan cheese or (and this sounds strange but tastes pretty good) pasta with butter and steak sauce. I've tried to avoid cooking lunches but I have done chicken strips with chips and pizza as well.