I have fond memories of my school lunches. Peanut butter sandwiches (before good old PB was banned from the schoolyard), Vegemite sandwiches, carrot sticks, muesli bars (my favourites were choc chip or apricot and yoghurt), almonds, little tubs of yoghurt, a homemade treat. My lunches were never boring and always contained a balance of everyday foods and sometimes foods. My sister and I started packing our own lunches (for the most part) when we were about nine or ten, but the days when Mum or Dad would pack our lunches were a little more exciting – with Mum there was always a little extra treat –a slice of cake or a cookie – and my Dad makes the best curried egg sandwiches on the planet (his secrets: fresh white bread and lots of butter and curry powder).
I was never the kid who swapped her lunch in the playground, but sometimes Caroline (who I have known since we were twelve!) would bring me some homemade garlicky, spicy Indian chutney that I would spread on my white bread and ham sandwiches in a blend of Danish-Indian culture that was delicious.
When I was working at home there was no need to think ahead about lunch. Whatever I felt like when midday struck is what I would conjure up. Usually some variation of salad, or in the winter a huge bowl of steamed vegetables with mustard (or cheese…). Now that I have rejoined the full-time workforce I don’t have the opportunity to make whatever I would like, and given my picky stomach I can’t rely on the local sandwich/ hot food bar when lunchtime rolls around. I am also quite conscious of making the healthiest, most nourishing decisions whenever I can because I need to fuel my exercise correctly, and I have room for cookies/cake/m&ms/cheese/chocolate…
After a few weeks of ‘just winging it’ when it comes to my lunch I have noticed an increase in the number of times I have reached for a carton of low-fat cottage cheese and some crackers or a carton of microwave soup. As someone who loves her vegetables I am missing my midday veggie fuel, and as someone who also likes to have a bit of routine/planning in her life (ahem), I have decided that I need to get re-inspired to love my lunchbox again.
I have rounded up my favourite lunchtime recipes from Thoroughly Nourished Life, and a few for inspiration to get me going. My aim is to share something new and delicious with you all every week and inspire you to love your lunchboxes too.
From the archives:
Tomato, Butter Bean, and Brown Rice Salad – Two lunches from one cook!
Roasted Tomato Thyme Soup – Pop into a plastic container and reheat at work. Sprinkle cheese and onions on afterwards.
Summer Vegetable, Herb, and Cheese Fritters – Two days worth of lunches (without the egg of course)
Inspiration from around the internet:
- Zucchini and Sweet Potato Slice (from Taste.com)
- Lentil and Chickpea Salad (from Deb at Smitten Kitchen)
- Shredded Rainbow Salad (from Tracy at Shutterbean)
- Kale and Quinoa Cakes (from Joy the Baker)
- Whole Foods Inspired Layered Salad with Orange Ginger Dressing (from Angela at Oh She Glows)
- Black-Eye Bean and Vegetable Soup (from Taste.com)
- Black Bean, Quinoa, and Citrus Salad (from Jenna at Eat, Live, Run)
- Corn Chowder (from Taste.com)
And, a little something sweet…
- Chewy Caramel Apple Cookies (from Cooking Light)
- Chocolate Chip Quinoa Trail Mix Balls (from Jenna at Eat, Live, Run)
- Vegan Pumpkin Orange Spice Squares (from Anja’s Food 4 Thought)
Or maybe one of these…
Okay readers, hopefully that should provide all of us with some inspiration for our lunchtime nibbles. I can’t wait to share some lunchbox love with you all in my next Lunchbox Love post.
Tell me dear reader, what is your favourite work day lunch? Weekend lunch?
Any memories of school yard lunches?