January 03, 2012

Stuck in a Rut

 

I'm a pretty good meal planner when it comes to dinners. Lunch is another story. I find myself eating things like bread heel sandwiches and the lasts bits of things that need to be eaten before they go bad and get tossed. Such is the life of a mom.

I'd like to be more deliberate in my lunch choices. I have two go-to lunches. The one shown here: an apple (honeycrisp please!), sliced cheese and walnuts or an egg scrambled in a bit of olive oil with a toasted tortilla with a bit of melty cheese in the middle. Both yummy but getting a bit monotonous. Do you have any ideas that are healthy, fairly quick to make and budget friendly? Also, am I the only one that feels like I need to take out a second mortgage to buy groceries these days?

26 comments:

  1. I think your apple, cheese, and walnut lunch looks pretty good. My go to is always a salad - and that gets old often.

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  2. jen, i'm like you...lunch is my hard meal to plan...and because of that, i either eat something that i "shouldn't" or don't eat enough so that i'm snacking a lot through the afternoon. but...

    i love to double my soup recipes to have plenty of extras to either freeze or have on hand for lunch. especially in the winter.

    i love stuffing pita bread with whatever veggies i have on hand (spinach, grape tomatoes, slivered baby carrots & cucumber with a splash of balsamic vinaigrette is my standby.)

    and i am guilty of making the kiddos homemade mac n cheese (with really good cheeses) just so i can have some too :)--that was a sheepish grin!

    (i'm going to keep up with these comments for new ideas for me too!)

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  3. I eat a better lunch at work. When I'm home, I'm like you. Lunch often interrupts the stuff I'm doing at home! LOL I'm a big cheese, cracker, and fruit girl. My sandwich husband is appalled!
    Hugs,
    Courtney

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  4. I homeschool sop I need to plan lunch for my daughter anyway...it was hard at fiirst but it's either the apple and cheese thing, soup or tuna wit Mrs.Dash sprinkled on or turkey sandwich. I dread grocery shopping because of sticker shock too!

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  5. For a sit down healthy lunch I like a variety of choices. Sometimes a mix of odd items. celery with peanutbutter/cottage cheese with tomatoe/ red pepper with lauging cow cheese/whole grain toast with peanutbutter/hard boiled egg with veggies/
    lettuce wrap with ham and redpepper/yougurt with granola/yogurt smoothie/
    tuna sandwich/ eggsalad sanwich. They are all things I have on hand ,low in calories and budget friendly. I work from home so it's tempting to eat junk all day. I try to eat and snack healthy thru the day.

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  6. I saw a grilled avocado sandwich on Pinterest last week. Look for it. It looked divine and I picked up an avocado at the store today just so I can try it soon!

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  7. Looking forward to seeing the lunch ideas you receive. I seem to have the same problem as you and others that have commented.

    And, yes, sticker shock for sure!!! The prices are incredible, and sadly it is the same for just the basic staples like bread and milk. So frugal lunch ideas would be great.

    Robin
    Linton Cottage

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  8. I personally love defrosted, frozen peas on a salad with beets. A bag of peas is cheap, keep them in your frig and they last a week. Or maybe pears, white cheddar cheese and walnuts on a salad. Yum! And yes, my grocery bill is killing me.

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  9. I like yogurts with fresh fruit,cheeses, nuts, soups, cottage cheese and fruit, whole wheat bagel (small ones) with Nutella, leftover shredded chicken over mesclun, etc.

    Sometimes I just feel like a bowl of oatmeal with banana.....

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  10. i was just thinking the same thing when i went to the grocery store today. yikes. it makes it hard to eat healthy on a budget i think. i like granola with honey and grapes or a banana...hard boiled eggs and yogurt ...i need help in this area too. well, i need help with dinner and a little bit of everything really : )

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  11. You can't beat a cucumber sandwich with cream cheese and a sprinkle of dill...

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  12. Yep I am in a rut also. But with this dang diabetes makes it hard. I seem to find something that keeps me in the right parameters then stick with it.
    And grocery store prices..yes the produce especially is killing us. It is so hard to tell your daughter that no- have some cookies instead of healthy fruit because mama needs a second mortgage to buy the healthy stuff. That is why we are determined to grow a huge garden this year and start some fruit trees and berry bushes. It is insane now.
    tammy

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  13. Your cheese, apple, and walnut lunch looks way too familiar! I'm in love with a brand of spicy goat cheese from Whole Foods, with gluten free crackers, and of course a yummy honey crisp that I can only get at Whole Foods, at least organic ones. Did I mention that the closest Whole Foods is an hour and a half away, with no traffic. I was swooning at how close yours is. But like they say, it's more like Whole Paycheck!

    Happy New Year!

    Kat :)

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  14. Some GREAT ideas here! I am hoping you will get even more..Lunch is SO hard it seems. My go to is (blushing) whole grain crackers, with cream cheese and an olive (sounds more like an appetizer, hm?) or a sandwich...nothing ever sounds that great.
    Headed to Whole Foods probably on Thursday and yes, I will swing through the bank for a loan before going (sheesh! but the meats and cheeses are worth it and of course some really yummy produce in this landlocked state I live in!)

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  15. I enjoyed reading these ideas! We eat a lot of supper leftovers for lunch but otherwise I love vegetable pitas with avocado in them. Also tuna-apple-cheddar sandwiches. Sometimes we roast a bunch of vegetables at the beginning of the week and use them in sandwiches with goat cheese too.

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  16. Any leftovers (meat or cheese) rolled in a tortilla and covered with shredded cheese (whatever cheese I have). Then a piece of fruit. Whatever fruit has bruises on it as I know the kids won't eat it. Scrambled eggs and a peanut butter bagel if I've waited too long to eat and am starving (and really eyeballing the cookie jar on the counter). I also like an apple cut in half, spread with cream cheese and sprinkled with raisins or sunflower seeds. I add an emergency salad which is just greens from the garden with some croutons and dressing. I am way too lazy to chop a lot of veggies for a salad just for me. I don't know if these ideas are healthy. But they do get the job done!
    Stevie @ ruffledfeathersandspilledmilk.com

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  17. Years ago I got the idea that the best way I could handle lunch for our family of 10 was to make enough food at dinner time to have leftovers for the nest day's lunch. This worked great until I had a bunch of teenaged boys. Suddenly there were no leftovers! I had to increase the meal size again to produce leftovers.

    With 6 children including 2 teenaged boys still at home full time, the cost of groceries is daunting. Best wishes and good lunches to everyone.

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  18. Whole wheat tortilla or ww English muffin with peanut butter and raisins.

    Cottage cheese on top of ww bread placed under broiler to melt. I like to sprinkle cinnamon and garlic on it. (I know that sounds crazy, but...)

    A fruit smoothy made with skim milk and a little wheat germ fills me up, too. I freeze the fruit to thicken the smoothie. Sometimes even put a can of peaches in freezer to use...

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  19. When in doubt, SOUP! Or toasted cheese, or a tortilla with cheese and or some kind of meat or mushrooms.
    xo, Cheryl

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  20. That looks good.

    I buy a bag of the frozen chicken cutlets and grill them on my George Forman Grill. They are fast to thaw ~ just throw them in a bowl of water. If I am grilling one for dinner, I grill an extra for lunch the next day. I cut them up and put them on top of my salad (romaine lettuce, grape tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers) and use olive oil and lemon juice as my dressing. I will mix up a big salad and then store them in separate containers for easy grabbing ;)

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  21. Oh yum! That would actually be a snack for me. I like quick and easy dishes -- usually a soup or salad. The other day I made quick cooking sundried tomato couscous and added chopped onion, cucumber, chickpeas and crumbled feta cheese. A drizzle of olive oil and a splash of balsamic vinegar and I had lunch for days. :) I like all the healthy suggestions from everyone so far. Hope your week is great. Tammy

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  22. All these wonderful ladies have already given you some fine suggestions for healthy eating so I'll add a comment about the cost of groceries and a pet peeve I've developed. It's quantity. I don't need two loaves of bread and yet, invariably, that's what I'm asked to buy in order to take advantage of a reduced price. There's just two of us. I don't need six or eight pork chops either. I sometimes wish they would package things "for two". I would eat less and I certainly wouldn't be throwing stuff out.
    There. I got that off my chest, Jen. Thanks.

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  23. Homemade soups, tuna salad (made with Greek yogurt instead of mayo), and plain Greek yogurt with fruit and raw almonds are some of my quick, go-to lunches. I work outside the home 3 days a week & only get 1/2 hr for lunch, so I need quick, healthy ideas too. Oh, and yes...grocery prices are ridiculous. It's just the 3 of us (me, hubby, son) and I can't believe our grocery bills lately. I don't even buy a lot of meat and we don't drink pop either (two big expenses).

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  24. Now that the holidays are over I need to get back on track with eating healthier. Today I had air popped popcorn with browned butter! It was yummy but not a very healthy lunch.

    I usually cook a large amount of pinto beans for refried beans. I try to keep some in the freezer in small portions for burritos. My favorite lunch is a cheese and bean burrito with homemade salsa, (with lots of cilantro).

    If I have hummus I'll usually snack on that with crackers and fruit.

    Sometimes I eat a late breakfast for lunch, frying or scrambling eggs and toast.

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  25. Hi Jen,
    Always enjoy reading your blog...I'm trying to start one up myself but find it a bit confusing. Anyway, This is my go to lunch, I found this recipe on a fitness site...bodyrock.tv anyway the ingredients sound a bit strange together but they work...and work well. It is an open face pear sandwich. Toast a piece of really good whole wheat bread, smear with a light layer of cream cheese, add capers....about 7 to 10 depending on your taste, next add some chopped walnuts, a thin layer of sprouts and lastly sliced pears...Again I know it sounds strange but it is so delicious....you just cant go wrong with the combination. Take care, Kristy

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  26. I have the same problem - on both counts. I like some of the lunch ideas people gave you- will probably try alot of them. As for food prices, if any of us had the answer we'd be the rich ones, not the grocery store! I do try to buy in season and stock up when things we like are on sale but I am sure that's what everyone does. :)

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Thank you for taking the time to say hello today! I always love to hear what you have to say.