Being a homeschooling mom of four means that on average, most weeks I have 21 meals to prepare.
21 meals… seriously.
I make a weekly meal plan for suppers and always think of the basics for breakfasts but somehow, lunches never seem to register into the meal plan and I need to think to make something with what we have. I will go a quick google search at times but it never gives my any real ideas. For one, we don’t have a microwave. We don’t make many sandwiches (often because I haven’t made bread) and we don’t buy the usual sandwich fixings and honestly don’t want to. Neither I or the kids are big on soups, so that is out, and I don’t like pasta, so that is out also. There are days that I will have leftovers so that works if there is enough. The main thing is that most days I don’t want to spend much time in the kitchen because I have already made one meal not many hours before, and have a supper ahead to prepare.
So what to do?
Here are of my go to solutions for the quick-lunch dilemma:
Snacking! Cheese, crackers, apple slices, raw veggies etc
This is Easy and I usually scrounge up something to make a really nice looking plate. The kids also love this because they can have fun with it too.
Fried Egg sandwiches
If we do have bread, or english muffins then I (or Xavier) will make this. It is a meal that takes less than 5 minutes to make and everyone here loves it.
Egg in a hole (nest)
Whatever you call it, it is another one of those meals that is quick and easy if you have bread on hand.
OK, OK you can see a pattern here, I always have eggs in the house. Eggs are inexpensive and so versatile and in my opinion an essential item in the house for quick and filling meals, especially lunch and of course for baking. Simon doesn’t eat eggs so they are never on the supper list, but the rest of the family loves them. So, Leftover Omelette is something I do when we have a bit of leftovers but not enough for everyone. (Hamburger patties, roasted veggies, taco meat etc) I crumble things up, heat it in the pan, add a few beaten eggs and then add a bit of cheese on top and serve. It might not be the prettiest meal but it is tasty, filling and is a great way to use up small portions of leftovers.
We often have tortillas in the house and anything can be wrapped up in them. The kids love mayo and cheese, PB and J, PB and banana or any of those classic combos.
Rice seems so simple but it is one of my kids favourite meals. Yes, just rice. I put rice and water in the rice cooker press a button and about 45 min later we have a great lunch. The fun thing with the rice is that it is such a great blank slate for many flavours. A favourite addition at the moment is butter, tamari and nutritional yeast. (I add Garlic Chili Sauce to mine also) Other times it has been salsa and cheddar or many other combinations. They like this so much that if I happen to make rice for supper they will just eat the rice and dress it up the way they want. (which leaves us more leftovers for the next day)
Make rice for lunch and let everyone dress it up the way they want….
Of course, most breakfast ideas are great for lunch too, especially if we had a quick and simple breakfast. Some things I may make for lunch that may take a bit more time:
- Oatmeal (usually with chopped apples or peaches or raisins etc)
- Baked Oatmeal
- Family Apple Pancake