Running Out of Lunch Ideas? Try These Dinner Hacks
It never fails: Just as I begin to see the light at the end of the school year–and the dog days of summer ahead–lunches seem to get more redundant. I am so sick of making the same old thing over and over again, and I’m sure my kids would say that my level of enthusiasm and creativity has all but diminished. Have I mentioned I added cereal with a side of milk to my repertoire just to mix things up a bit? #lameIknow
Laura and Ceri launched their YouTube series Lunch Ninja’s almost exactly one year ago, and I’ll bet it’s because of all the moms out there just like me who were experiencing a school lunch funk.
I thought I’d do what I could to help, too, so I came up with the idea to use SPC’s dinner recipes and reimagined them as kids’ lunches. I know the idea of leftovers isn’t exactly an original idea, but what if we “hacked” these meals a little so they didn’t appear to be the same thing we all ate for dinner last night. (Of course, it goes without saying that if any recipe calls for nuts, you’ll have to leave them out.)
Here’s what I was thinking:
- Throw Turkey Lettuce Wraps inside a pita. They have a bit of an asian flavour, and the fresh lettuce and veggies will be perfect now that the warmer weather is here.
- Reheat the Tuscan Chicken Skillet (did I mention it is made in one pot?) and put in a hot lunch container over top of some rice.
- I admit that this isn’t really a “hack” of Slow Cooker Pulled Pork since it technically I am suggesting it’s served as a sandwich again the next day but what is new is that I will put pulled pork in hot lunch containers and separately pack a pre-sliced Italian or ciabatta bun wrapped in plastic wrap and let my kids build their own sandwiches at school.
- Make yummy Sloppy Joe-inspired sandwiches by adding extra sauce (or ketchup — shhhhh!) to Mini Turkey Meatloaves and serving them in a bun. (You’ll need to wrap in parchment paper and plastic wrap — and remember extra napkins!)
- I could crumble up Turkey Meatloaf with Apple and Sage, add tomato sauce and shredded mozzarella and spread over sliced Italian or ciabatta buns to make meatball subs, but I can also picture throwing them over everyone’s favourite noodles (in my house, that would be spaghetti) and putting in a side of parmesan.
Now that I have written it out, I am rather liking this plan. But if you have any better ideas, please share! There are still over 25 lunches per child to make before the school year is over.
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