Wednesday, December 15, 2010
When it comes to lunch at our house, the thought is something simple to get us through till dinner, our big meal of the day. As I considered our dinner menu plans, and learned that it is by far the most expensive meal in our day, I was no longer able to rationalize leftovers for lunch. This would mean that lunch would be just as expensive as dinner, and I needed to get our lunches under our dinner costs of $5.00/meal in order to be able to purchase some snack items, and have a little leeway for company and special meals. I will confess up front that our family does not eat enough vegetables, something I hope to remedy by raising our own garden again. That said, Here is what I came up with for our fall/winter lunch menu:
Quinoa- (pronounced keen-wah) is called the golden grain of the Incas. It is a high protein grain perfect for gluten free diets. It is simple to prepare, similar to cooking rice, and can be flavored in a variety of ways. Don't let the cost scare you @ $3.00/lb.... one pound feeds our family of 11. Below is uncooked Quinoa. It puffs up greatly when cooked.
Rice- just a bowl of rice. Basmati, long grain brown, or white, I fix this on days when we have had an egg breakfast, likewise, I will make a lunch of chili on a day when we had a cereal for breakfast alternating grains and proteins.
Canned Chili- 3 cans and some tortilla chips for around $3.00 per meal.
Peanut Butter and Jelly- a hit with the little ones, they like to smear jelly on everything. I also keep a few cans of tuna around for the un-pb&j types.
Pasta- pasta cooked in chicken broth with a little Parmesan on top, simple, the children would eat it every day. I am a little more picky. :-)
Soup- especially on a bad weather day, nothing beats a bowl of soup. Vegetable beef is our standard. In this situation for lunch, I use the open- cans- of- veggies- and- dump- it- all- in method, with beef stock and an onion, which makes a quick soup that is comforting and good.
This is all such plain fare I can hardly believe anyone would want to read about it, but there it is. We like to have a simple lunch and an afternoon snack. For snacks we keep fresh fruit, baked items, and a giant bag of pretzels from Costco available.
Now, after lunch, it is nap time for the little ones, and just to make you smile, here is our wee one napping.