Are you in a brown-paper-bag-peanut-butter-sandwich-slump? Well then this is for you! Even if you are not sending kids or yourself back to school, once in a while we all can use inspiration for weekday lunches. Below are a few recommendations found in the Cooking Neighborhood and in the blogosphere.
- 10-Minute Bento by Megumi Fujii
- The Just Bento Cookbook: everyday lunches to go by Makiko Itoh — If you are new to bento boxes, this is a great cookbook to start with. What is a bento? To put simply, it’s the japanese term for a meal in a box, but also a way to make your lunch more attractive and hopefully healthy, too.
- Just Bento - Bento Basics – blog by Makiko Itoh
- ‘Wichcraft : craft a sandwich into a meal–and a meal into a sandwhich by Tom Colicchio (2009)
- Glorious Sandwiches Using my favorite way to organize a cookbook, you can see the recipes with pictures together in the first few pages. With categories such as “cool sandwiches,” “sweet sandwiches,” and “sweet sandwiches,” you’re sure to find something you will enjoy. Think “Banana bread with caramel ice cream and pecan brittle” (p. 165)… what’s not to love about that?!
- Perfect Panini: mouthwatering recipes for the worlds favorite sandwiches by Jodi Liano — If you plan ahead and have the ability to go home for lunch, making a hot panini is another great sandwich option!
I love making salads, but can easily get in a rut, so I like to turn to blogs and cookbooks for inspiration.
- Salads: beyond the bowl by Mindy Fox — Go beyond the typical (although still delicious!) leaf salad to create a meal that lasts until lunch without wilting.
- How to Pack the Perfect Salad in a Jar by The Kitchn — I’m sure you have seen the millions of Salad in a Jar pins on Pinterest, but found this resource the most clear and concise in explaining how to layer your food without making a mushy, yucky salad to eat at lunch.
Family and Children
Call me crazy, but cookbooks geared towards families and kids making help making cooking so easy and healthy! They tend to provide great ideas for lunches, especially for those who are new to the kitchen.
The Mom 100 Cookbook by Katie Workman — There is a specific chapter for lunch, but they are not as creative as the other chapters in this book. Still, her “Creamy Tahini, Tofu, and Avocado Pitas” sound like a great place to start!
Yum-O! The Family Cookbook by Rachel Ray — The kiddos will be able to help you make school lunches (as well as yours!) with this easy-to-follow cookbook. Try out the “Danish Lunch Box Smorrebrod” for something that’s resembles less of a Lunchable, and more like a meal or snack you want your family to eat.
Amanda’s Kids’ Lunch These do not look like a typical kid’s lunch (as least what mine looked like – PB&J sandwich, fruit cup, and granola bar), and definitely will give you great ideas for healthy, filling lunches you can easily put together.