Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Out to lunch

I hate lunch. What a terrible meal. I can never think of what to make. Dinner is hard enough. Breakfast, thanks to General Mills, Quaker, and Post, is easy and requires no cooking or thought. But lunch? I'm always at a loss. Even in high school I was never big on the meal. I usually just had a bagel and a piece of fruit.

I've never been one for sandwiches, to be frank. I only like sandwiches if they're really chic - cool sauces, lettuce, tomato, onion, banana peppers, etc. Essentially, Quiznos at home. But it's a lot of work, and frankly, a PAIN to stock all the chic stuff. Plus, my kids somehow inherited my elitist view on sandwiches, and they don't eat 'em. Only peanut butter and grilled cheese - which I can't (or, at least, SHOULDN'T) serve every day.

So I usually go with leftovers. I LOVE leftovers. Problem: my kids won't eat 'em. It's like they SEE me heat stuff in the microwave and automatically turn up their little noses, even if they devoured it the day before. Sometimes I trick them - I'll heat up leftovers in a pot, maybe add a few things here and there, and voila! fresh lunch.

But what if we don't have any leftovers? What THEN? ... I refuse to cook more than one meal a day. Sorry. I'm just not that woman. And what else is there to eat? PBJ, grilled cheese, hot dogs, mac n' cheese, and leftovers. That's pretty much our menu for lunch. Hopefully there aren't any health authorities reading my blog ...

Lately I've taken to making a huge pot of good ole Brazilian beans and freezing small portions, then heating them up when the lunch fairy fails me. I figure - hey, Brazilians eat beans and rice twice a day, every day, right? So if my kids have it three times a week for lunch, no biggie, right? Right?

What do YOU serve for lunch?


heidizinha said...


turkey, ham, cheese, or dino nuggets for mae. everyday. usually some fruit too, but mae don't do veggie.

for myself? something out of the freezer that i can heat up in the microwave. i realize you don't have that luxury of americanized, overprocessed frozen food.

what you need is to have someone (me?!?!) ship you these new steamer bags for the microwave. its opened up a whole new world at lunch for me. i can have fish, chicken, vegetables, or whatever else I want by simply throwing it in the microwave. its genius, and its a beautiful beautiful thing.

heidizinha said...


check it out.

kristi said...

Sorry, we do a lot of sandwiches in our house. We pretty much do the boring norm. Hot dogs, chicken nuggets, sometimes spagetti O's, grilled cheese, cheese sandwich or mac and cheese. Sorry not much help here.

Megan, Peter, and Benjamin said...

I hate to say this, but I am going to just take my place in line! We are the normal family....we usually have sandwiches (Benjamin's favorite is a slice of smoked turkey with a slice of bolagna - nothing else..no mayo...nothing!), but Peter has been doing wraps lately. One of my favorites is a Chicken Caesar wrap where I will do an extra chicken breast when I cook it for something else, but I will cook it in italian dressing. Then, I will slice it and package it in the fridge. Then I will put some slices, romaine lettace, and some dressing on a wrap and there you go. But, for Benjamin....it is all the same....sandwich, chicken nuggets, corndog, hot dog, spaghetti o's (or the same type of idea).

I hope that makes you feel better as to the fact that it is okay to have just that on your menu.

Anonymous said...

Hi Becky! Well, I don't have any kids, but I do have a picky husband who won't eat sandwiches unless they're fancy. So, quite often I make up a big batch of cold pasta salad marinated in low-fat italian dressing overnight (it also has salami, and lots of cut up veggies), and that is good for a meal (for several days). Another lunch option I make often is to heat up already cooked chicken (cubed) in a skillet with a jar (or half jar) of salsa (or you can cook raw chicken in the salsa). Add a touch of cream cheese, then you have the filling for a quesadilla (I add jalapenos for Matt, but perhaps not the best idea for the kids). Sometimes I just wrap up the filling in a tortilla, and if I have a little more time, I put the tortilla in a 2nd skillet, and grill it with the filling in it. (Let the bottom of the tortilla cook, then put the filling in and close it like an omelette).
Btw....I love reading your blogs! Can't wait to see you when you get back in the states sometime!

Elizabeth said...

We're boring with nearly every day being PBJ sandwiches and baby carrots, BUT sometimes we go with lunch meats and cheeses and crackers (if we have the meat and cheese) and some days we just go with lots of cut up veggies (baby carrots and cucumbers work well for mine) and cut up fruit. And milk. I let them eat until they stop, and figure they'll survive until dinner, especially since they're about to go have "quiet time."

If you want to give your grilled cheese a new spin (and extra protein!) try tuna melts! My roommates would do this. Just mix tuna and mayo and then put a slice of cheese on top (or even skip the cheese) and make sure you use butter to get that crispy tasty outside. (Or margarine? Where do you stand on the butter/margarine debate?)

My sister-in-law has the tightest grocery budget ever, and most days her kids get what she calls "tomato noodles." It's macaroni with tomato sauce and that's it. Simple. Easy. Filling. Personally, I'd add veggies or something on the side. :)

Me? I don't do breakfast. I don't like cold cereal, and I'm not willing to put for the effort for pancakes, and I'm not that fond of eggs, generally. What I WANT for breakfast is pastries. Lots of them. Extremely bad for you pastries with lots of butter and sugar and fruit that no longer had nutritional value and spices. And cream or cream cheese (with sugar.) But it's too expensive. (some day I will have a live-in pastry chef. -- in case you were wondering what I want for Christmas this year. :P)

Rocketgirl said...

I usually try to go for a fruit and/or a vegetable and a protien. She totally goes for pasta. And I am SO the same way about sandwiches!! It's all or nothing -normal bread jsut doesn't do it for me - it has to be spelled weird too, like cibbata or challah or rye.

Rocketgirl said...

By the way - this post reminded me of one of my favorite sites - Stuff White People Like. There' an entry on our love of fancy sandwiches:)

The Watsons said...

You guys rock!!! Like, seriously.

I'm totally diggin' the pasta salad idea. And the tomato noodles - that's totally on our menu now. And I was actually, like, RAISED on tuna melts, but kind of forgot about them - thanks for the reminder!

And while I loved a lot of the other ideas, I'll have to bank them for later. Like the recipes for the wraps. I don't have wraps. Or corn dogs. Or nuggets. Or salsa. Or cream cheese. Or spaghetti-Os.

But, uh, thanks for reminding me how much I miss the States!!!

Kim (Davis) Loudon said...

COME ON! You are making me feel sooooooo guilty! My lunch repertoire consists of about 3 options EVERYDAY! Switch up the fruit... sometimes add some cheese. When we lived in Brazil, I would make burritos. There are SUPER thin pizza crusts at the regular grocery stores...in the refrigerated section... they might as well be tortillas. Sometimes, I would make little pizzas out of them with tomato sauce and buffalo cheese, sometimes... add beans from last night and that BUFFALO cheese and make burritos.
I also LOVED to do the Pao de frances with jam, ham, and cheese like they do for breakfast...but we'd eat it for lunch. Boring, but eating in brazil was EXTREMELY difficult EVERY MEAL, EVERY DAY! I don't know how you do it!