DOWN TO EARTH SIMPLE LIVING FORUMS

DOWN TO EARTH SIMPLE LIVING FORUMS
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2 November 2011

Little pants, lunches and sandwich fillings

Last weekend I spent some time making little pants for my grandsons, Alexander and Jamie. They'll wear these pants in the coming months and probably look far too cute in them. Of course I had to make a mistake. I made the apple pants with the apple fabric upside down but I doubt either of the boys will mind.



I love this sock monkey fabric.

All three sets - two long pants and the shorts - were made using this pattern. I took about an hour for the first pair with the cutting of the pattern and organising myself, then half that time for the next two. I've got some more fabric here so when I have a fitting for these pants and know they fit well, I'll make more and some little singlet vests as well. This kind of sewing is really quick and simple. If you've been wanting to do some sewing that's not too complicated, this would be a very good first step. There is such a feeling of satisfaction you get when making clothes for someone you love.

We bought some lean Kassler (smoked pork) for sandwiches last week. It was delicious but we decided not to buy it on a regular basis because it contains contains nitrates. Lunches pose a problem for me. I keep thinking they're easy and don't need to be planned - that sandwiches can be made or leftovers eaten, but too late I remember that sandwiches are only easy when the fillings have been prepared and good bread made. We usually have the bread but the fillings are a problem.

I usually have a sandwich with salad or Vegemite toast or a boiled egg on toast, or a toasted sandwich. Hanno likes cottage cheese with slices of radish, tomato or cucumber, or chicken or cold meat. Both of us like leftovers but we don't often have them. We both like avocado but they're expensive so we don't buy them often. We have planted the delicious Reid avocado in the front yard but it will be a few years before we're harvesting. 

Looking in my very old CWA cookbook I found a few interesting fillings: beetroot and sardines, Chicken sandwich (with 4 oz of tongue), "paste for sandwiches", Federal cheese paste and this potted meat recipe: Place one pound rump steak, 2 teaspoons salt, 2 teapoons pepper and 1 teaspoon nutmeg in a double boiler and boil for two hours. Put the meat through a sausage machine three times to form a paste and mix in gravy.

I don't think I'll try that.

I might make up a small meat or tuna loaf on a regular basis just for lunches - to eat with a salad or on a sandwich.  Roast chicken is delicious and easily cooked, we could have part of the chicken as an evening meal and keep the rest for lunches. I want to keep it homemade and as thrifty as possible. An extra cooking session seems to be the way to go so we have something in the fridge ready for lunches. How do you organise this meal? Do you do any special cooking specifically for lunches?

63 comments:

  1. In the week we don`t have to worry too much about lunches. Most days at work DB doesn`t have time to have any lunch. I usually throw together some veggie medley for my working lunch, made with all kinds of left over veggies, and sometimes some pasta.
    On the weekends we might have a homemade soup with some bread, or a british brunch style meal on Sunday(scottish square sausage, blackpudding, scrambled eggs on toast and some mushrooms, plus bacon).

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  2. I often have a big pan of homemade soup for lunch, which is also convenient to freeze in portions to re-heat at short notice.

    I do agree that sandwich fillings tend to need more organisation. Have you considered smoking your own meant? I think it is quite straightforward and you could eliminate the need for nitrates because you could freeze it to preserve it instead. There seem to be a lot of instructions available on how to do this available on the internet, some of them simple enough to do on your own stovetop.

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  3. Roasted vegetables and hummus sandwiches work well for me because the roasted veggies keep well (I use olive oil and balsamic vinegar) and you can use anything. Then the sandwiches are easy to vary with pickles, olives, sprouts, lettuce etc etc. Add some soup and I'm set for most of the week at work!

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  4. I think the problem is bigger at my house where several of us can no longer eat bread,gluten free bread is expensive and doesn't taste very nice. I don't mind a little salad or soup for lunch but this doesn't appeal to kids. I do make a type of wrap in our sandwich maker with tapioca flour and it only takes a couple of minutes, these are usually filled with salad. The good old egg sandwich is always a good standby, eggs from the chooks, lettuce from the garden. When we have a roast big enough to provide leftovers I will slice up the leftover meat and freeze enough for lunch in little bags, that can just be taken out and defrosted in time for lunch.

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  5. Peanut butter sandwiches or fried egg sandwiches on homemade bread are my go-to solutions when I don't know what to make for lunch. I used to rely on leftovers from supper the night before, but now that my family has grown so large we rarely have leftovers!

    In the winter, a nice pot of soup simmering on the wood stove is convenient, too.

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  6. My husband brings lunch to work and prefers sandwiches for that, so I try to keep cheese and ham or PB&J around for him. I usually have leftovers, and my daughter (3yo) sometimes wants a sandwich and sometimes wants to have hardboiled eggs (she likes them just plain) or will eat some slices of meat or cheese with a side of fruit or raw carrots--her tastes are quite variable, so I'm just happy if she eats something healthy, I'm not fussed about whether it's 'conventional' lunch food at this point.

    Helena

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  7. That apple print will be the right way up to the boy wearing it as he looks down so probably a bonus :)

    Susan

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  8. Hi, Rhonda.

    Coming out of lurkdom to share a couple of thoughts.

    Firstly, the apples on the little pants will be right side up for the boy(s) looking down at their own legs, so that is a plus.

    Secondly, I make a pot of a simple soup, either potato and veg or lentil and veg, on Mondays. My son and I eat this for lunches through the week, with different sides depending on what we feel like. I pack lunches for my husband and daughter to take to work/college, and those are generally the planned-overs from dinner the night before, or sandwiches like peanut butter and jelly, egg salad, or something like that. I made a big batch of ricotta today, so cheese spread will also be a possible filling for the rest of this week.

    I hope that helps you, as you and your blog have helped me over the years. :)

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  9. I regularly make egg salad on sandwiches for lunch. It's really easy and tasty.
    Boil 2 eggs, mash them up. Add some mayonaise until you get a creamy egg mixture. (I often use 'yoghonaise', where half the oil is substituted with yoghurt, healthier and tastes fresher.) Add in a little curry ketchup (optional, my husband really likes it), some salt, pepper, paprika and chives. Tastes great on a sandwich.

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  10. Working from home, I eat my share of vegemite sandwiches too! I often make individual pies, different fillings but always with pastry top and bottom. They freeze well and when stuck I pop one out of the freezer. The other standby is eggs - we are too busy in the mornings for cooked breakfasts - a poached egg on toast yum and quick!

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  11. We generally eat leftovers or soup. I try to cook up a large batch of soup at least once a week. Grilled cheese sandwiches are another quick option. My husband also loves breakfast foods such as scrambled eggs or pancakes occasionally.

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  12. I'll be reading this with enthusiasm. Lunches are not my forte. food allergies mean some things are just not an option and I am not great at using left overs. Even when I plan left overs it is a problem.

    My favourite summer lunch is crackers and cheese with home made relish or tomato etc. I cheerfully admit to using Aldi's for this and the biscuits are fine.

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  13. Thanks everyone. There are some great suggestions here and I will definitely try some of them.

    Karen, I'll look into smoking meat and see if we could do it.

    Lisa and Susan, thank you both. I didn't think of the apple print being the right way for the wearer.

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  14. Your grandsons are going to look gorgeous in their little pants. The potted beef recipe gave me a laugh. Funny thing is I bet my meat-loving hubby would love that. Not that I'd try it though. Yesterday I had leftover potato salad on a sandwich. We often fall back on peanut butter (freshly made from only peanuts in the health food store and cheaper than similar in Woolies), vegemite or eggs. Though lunch is a bit of a quieter meal for me with hubby at work and kid's at school.

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  15. Our lunches are usually some sort of salad, homegrown when possible. Added to this we have tinned salmon (pink) or tuna, cheese or egg. If I cook a chicken we eat the legs one evening for dinner then slice one breast on salad for the next two days then cook the bones for stock. Sometimes I cook a bacon joint for a hot meal then slice the rest and freeze in little parcels to do us several lunches. The cooking liquor becomes stock. Vegetable soups are made with the stocks when it's too cold for salad or there just isn't any available.
    HTH
    Bellaquidsin

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  16. we like a stuffed baked potato....leftover meat, chili, broccoli, cheese etc. tuna salad on crackers...whenever we have spaghetti I freeze the leftover pasta and use it as lunch with a little olive oil, butter, parmesean cheese and either frozen asparagus or broccoli and salt and pepper, very quick and tasty!

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  17. Hi Rhonda, I'm also rethinking lunches at the moment. I'm looking for low carb ideas I can pack in a school lunchbox for a diabetic child. My mum has the CWA cookbook and she used to make something called 'Mock Chicken' but I haven't got the recipe, maybe you can find it in your book. I also like to use left over meat from a roast as sandwich filling.

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  18. Love the pants. For lunch, we usually eat salads in summer and soups in winter, or sandwiches (which we toast in winter).
    Seagreen

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  19. You can buy wood chips from Bunnings and BBQ Galores that you wet and place in the BBQ, they smoke away, need a lid of some sort (ours is a lidded BBQ) and place your meat in, we used pork roast.

    Basically you are roasting the meat in a smokey atmosphere, but it works.

    I have also seen drums used with the bottom taken out and a hole in the top to let the smoke out, plus a grill in the middle.Tiny smokey fire on bottom.

    Chris from Coffs Harbour

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  20. I cook two chooks in my slow cooker then pull the meat off and bag it in approx 2 cups full amounts. It's then frozen and we pull out a bag of cooked chicken whenever we want for sandwiches and some recipes that require cooked chicken. The juices that come off the chicken I then use for soups.

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  21. I have several frugal-type cook books, I'll look for mock chicken for you Cheryl. Not today though, I'm about to go the the neighbourhood centre.

    There are lots of great ideas coming through. Thanks everyone. Keep them coming!

    Thanks for the smoking instructions, Chris.

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  22. Our lunches consist of:

    Soups, salads, any kind of eggs and tuna or ham or chicken mayonnaise sandwiches, tuna pasta (eg macaroni or penne noodles), toasted cheese sandwiches, peanut butter & honey sandwiches, peanut butter & jam sandwiches, corn thins or rice cakes with cream cheese, crackers with cream cheese or peanut butter, sausage rolls, chicken rolls, spinach & feta rolls, individual pizzas, wraps or tacos with anything for fillings and baked potatoes or baked gem squash with a choice of toppings (cheese, chives, butter, veg, meat or just plain with herbs).

    Hubby takes tinned sardines to work several times a week for the oily fish benefits (omega 3).

    And any kind of fresh or dried fruit or yoghurt (incl frozen yoghurt sometimes). Or a fruit smoothie.

    Cape Town, South Africa

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  23. Hi Rhonda,
    I love the pants for the boys, very cute. I also pull apart the cooked chicken and freeze the leftover bits for lunches. We also use your chickpea patty recipe and make a big batch and freeze for easy lunch, delicious in a wrap with salad and avocado.
    on yesterdays post, yes you are an excellent role model for myself and many other women.
    Of course also my beloved grandmother who has now passed away. If I become half the woman she was I will be very happy.
    have a lovely day Rhonda.
    Lors

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  24. Soup, omlettes or toast round here. I put a slice of cheese and either left over veg or frozen peas (not too many :) on my oms. Sometimes a slice of cold meat too. All the boys like those.

    viv in nz

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  25. I like having soup and homemade bread for my lunch at work. I use whatever veg I can get cheaply in season, make a big batch every week and freeze portions. It's comforting to have something so thoroughly home made in the middle of the day at work.

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  26. Rhonda the little pants link needs to be corrected: there is a "p" at the beginning of it which prevents it working.

    The pants are so cute!

    I make sandwiches everyday. I usually have a salad base then protein such as egg, tuna or left over roast meat. We always freeze leftover roast meat sliced in portions sufficient for four sandwiches. That way I always have plenty to choose from.

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  27. Today I had "potato" cakes for lunch - not really potato but leftover mixed mash (celeriac, parsnip, swede and sweet potato) mixed with flour, shaped into cakes and fried in a spray of oil. I also had a fried egg and half a tin of sweetcorn. It was all a bit orange and yellow so I made sure I had plenty of greens later.

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  28. I'm not great at lunches either. One thing I do make is fritters, they're good for using up tiny portions of leftovers. A couple of spoons of sweetcorn or half a zucchini, grated, becomes a tasty lunch. otherwise, it's the usual mix of leftovers, soups, sandwiches etc.

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  29. Our church group made bierocks recently. Cabbage, hamburger, sauage, onion and salt in a bread pocket. It takes a little time but then you have a easily heated "pocket" to eat. You could do pizza or ham and cheese. You already make bread, so this wouldn't be that much harder and would freeze well.

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  30. I don't usually plan the adults lunches but was there for a time planning the littlies lunches but that's gone to the wayside the last few months.

    It's usually sandwiches, or spaghetti/baked beans on toast. Eggs are always good too.

    I'll often cook up a corned beef (or buy a nice big double one and have some for a main meal and the rest for lunches) that's rather nice. A chicken is good too.

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  31. My Granny used to make a sandwich filling using finely grated carrot and shredded coconut, sometimes with raisins added. I recommend trying it, it's delicious :)

    I also like brown rice salad for lunches- brown rice, roasted cashews, raisins, spring onion and capsicum with soy sauce.

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  32. I'm very boring with my lunches... I'll eat the same thing day in and day out until I sicken myself of it, then move on to something else!

    at the moment I am addicted to cinnamon cous cous, topped with fresh diced apple and plain yoghurt...

    before that it was poached egg on toast...

    and before that it was rainbow tuna salad (basically a tuna coleslaw using coulorful veges including beetroot)

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  33. Hi Rhonda,
    I work full time and take my lunch to work and have found what works best for me is soup. Over the weekend I go through the veggie drawer and cut up a selection of veggies, then add lentils or soup mix and put them all in the slow cooker for a good few hours. I pack the soup into individual containers and freeze them. Actually this week I tried soaking yellow split peas and lentils in whey and water overnight which makes them more digestible. These cooked up into a lovely curried lentil soup with a little coconut cream added after it was pureed. Love those pants :)

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  34. Lunches! Weekday mornings 6.30am sees me in the kitchen packing lunches, mostly sandwiches. I buy a bit of ham once a week, and my son and husband have that with lettuce, cheese and tomato. When the ham runs out, they have cheese and Vegemite. My daughter has either cheese and carrot, or cheese and sprouts or cheese, carrot and sprouts. When I roast chickens, I do two so we have chicken and lettuce (and sometimes even avocado occasionally!). I like peanut butter sandwiches myself, but usually have make soup in the winter, or salads in summer (today I've made borlotti bean salad with some tuna and roast veg mixed in). Always something home baked in the lunchbox, and some fruit. Sometimes I try new things, but it seems my family likes what it likes, thank you, so I stick to the formula.Maybe not the most inspiring food, but all home made (I make bread daily) and healthy.

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  35. Hi all. Very interesting post, I think lunch is tricky for lots of us! Rhonda, I'm not sure about QLD, but in VIC, Woolworths now sell a 'natural' ham in the deli. It's by one of the major smallgoods companies - can't remember which one right now. I certainly don't have it all of the time as it is still, of course, hightly processed, but for an occasional treat, it is nice to have the option of ham without the artificial preservatives. Hopefully it sells well and more manufacturers can see the viability of preservative-free products.

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  36. I have the Mock chicken recipe from the CWA cookbook for Cheryl..

    1 small onion, 1 large tomato, 2 tsp butter, 1/2 tsp chopped thyme, 80g diced cheese, 1 well beaten egg.
    Finely chop onion & tomato, put in saucepan with butter, thyme and cheese. simmer gently for about 10 mins. add beaten egg and continue simmering until the mixture thickens. don't let it boil. remove from heat and keep stirring unil quite thick. Pour into a sterilised jar and keep in the fridge.
    Hope this helps!

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  37. I'm a bit like Laughing Purple Goldfish and tend to eat the same thing for lunch for ages. Right now it's squashed banana on toast; before that it was grilled chutney and cheese on toast and before that it was greek yoghurt with chopped fresh fruit and nuts. I wonder what my next fad will be?
    Jan

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  38. HI Rhonda~I've never posted here, but I cook from scratch and we eat very similar except I am wheat/dairy free. For lunches, every week for years, I cook 1 whole chicken, cut it up into pieces and put it into small containers. Part goes in the frig, part in the freezer for next week. I also mix up a batch of turkey burgers (dbl the pkg's means I make more at 1 time), I've also done a roast only for my husband and it lasts for 3 weeks. I freeze what is not currently used in small containers so it's easy to take out what I want. Ex. of our lunches: Mon Wed Turkey burger - no bun, & vegies or salad, Tues Thurs Ckn, vegies, a bit of beans. Fri some sort of fish or tuna or sardines on crackers. That way I just heat up what I am eating and C can heat up his when he wants to.

    I've gotten creative with heating up too. I don't use a microwave so I am challening myself to 1 pot cooking. The meat and say beans in a bit of water in the pan, then a steamer basket and the vegies on top. The lid holds in the steam and in 10 min or so my lunch is ready and hot. :-) And no microwave! C uses the toaster oven. I like to have fun and create something in 1 pot.

    Hope the ideas help. You have a lot of great suggestions here.

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  39. Lunches around here:

    supper leftovers
    soup either freshly made or frozen leftovers
    egg salad, tuna, cheese or leftover meat sandwiches
    pasta with tomato sauce and cheese
    cheese/veggie/fruit/cracker platter
    pasta salad with veggies and some kind of protein in it
    potato salad with egg and raw veg on the side
    pancakes or waffles (winter usually)
    muffins and fruit with cottage cheese or yogurt
    brown rice cooked in milk with cream, brown sugar, cinnamon and raisins on top
    leftover mashed potato with a fried egg on top
    grilled cheese sandwich with veggies or salad
    mini pizzas (we use anything from fresh dough to english muffins or pitas as the crust)

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  40. Hi Rhonda,
    Being at home, I generally use some left overs, or whatever appeals that is quick and easy. It may not be the healthiest, but of late, been using some Yakisoba noodles (comes dried and in a square plastic container)...cooks up really quick, with a FEW dried veggies in it. Once I get the noodles softened a bit and separated, the spices put in, I drop in a couple eggs, put the lid on, simmer slow for about 7 minutes or so and YUM!! Hubby used to take sandwiches or the healthier TV dinners to work, but now wants leftovers and whatever I can come up with that won't upset the diabetic numbers too much (and THAT is not easy!!) I do generally make him a protein drink, using the powdered protein and add frozen strawberries and a few drops of stevia. That is usually a good snack for him.
    Elizabeth in NC

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  41. Ah Ha I dont comment often but I also thought of mock chicken and those mock fish cakes (grated veggies, egg and flour and fried) as well as small quiches you could freeze.

    My mum used to put mock chicken in sandwiches for church luncheons and on jatz as a treat. Its not really healthy but yummy.

    Mock chicken
    4 oz grated Kraft cheese
    1 small tomato diced very finely
    1 small onion diced very finely
    pepper, salt and thyme

    Heat a little butter in saucepan and slowly bring to boil stirring. leave to cool and use as a filler or biscuit topper..

    MOck fish
    Grated potato, carrot, zucchini, pumpkin, corn, peas, add in an egg, plain flour, pepper, salt, curry powder and mix. Fry in lightly oiled pan. SErve with tasty sauce eg sweet chilli is so nice.

    I read your blog daily and feel inspired to keep on trying even when I fail..
    Lynette S from Adelaide

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  42. Hi. Love the little britches.

    LUNCHES:
    soupy potato - nuke potato, cut open, squish up, add butter, milk, salt and pepper, reheat if needed (options: cheese, julienned ham, bacon crumbles, brocolli, alfalfa sprouts, cream cheese, sour cream, cut green onions, parsley, whatever)

    stack - spread refried beans (I just mash cooked pinto beans) on a corn tortilla with some shredded cheese, heat until cheese melts (options: taco meat, any cooked meat, small dice tomatoes, black olives, avocado slices, sauteed onion, salsa, fried egg with busted yolk, etc.)

    sausage corn tart - made ahead and just reheated for lunch with a thrown together salad.

    asian slaw - and this sounds weird, but I mix in a Tbsp. of peanut butter before serving.

    spicy asian noodles - substitute a cheaper pasta for the Udon noodles.

    omelettes - fry matchstick cut potatoes w/pepper and a pinch of salt, add cheese, baby spinach, eggs, may have to cut in pie wedges to flip, serve with Ranch dressing mixed with Tabasco.

    Enjoy.

    brenda from arkansas

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  43. I only have to worry about lunches at the weekend, and I usually either knock up an inexpensive soup from the garden, such as leek and potato, or if I have some sausages around I make up some flaky pastry and do largish sausage rolls. One sausage in each and a good layer of chutney or pickle make a very tasty snack with some salad, and pickles or coleslaw.

    Occassionally I knock up a pasta salad first thing in the morning and serve it cold for lunch, but I have to be super organised to remember to do that!

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  44. A big hit at our house: hangop (fresh cream cheese). Scoop natural yoghurt in the middle of a tea towel with a little salt and fresh herbs and hang it up. Let it drip above a bowl for a couple of hours then dump into a bowl. Simple as that. Very nice on rye sourdough or use as filling for potatoes.

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  45. Hi RJ

    I try to make planned leftovers and usually try to cook a piece of meat at lease once a week for sandwiches. Also make patties/rissoles/burgers one night a week so can serve the leftovers with a salad the next day or in a roll sliced with other fillings. I find school lunches the hardest as my teens no longer want sandwiches. Any thoughts?
    Lis xx

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  46. I have to pack two lunches on week days. One for hubby's night shift and one for our son's school. Hubby takes homemade soup, sandwiches or a nice plate of leftovers. For our son, I make a quick stir fry (with cooked, leftover brown rice) and garden veggies and whatever leftover meat from the previous night's dinner. Or a quick soup with veggies and pasta can be made while breakfast is cooking. I always cook him a hot lunch to pack in a thermos for school and include fresh or home canned fruit or a salad.

    It is possible to cook a hot lunch when your pantry is full of good supplies and you plan ahead. I'm concerned about the amount of salt in commercially processed foods and the poor quality of ingredients.

    P.S. The apples on the darling pants will be right-side up for your grandchild to view :)

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  47. Lis, mine are the same with regards to homemade sandwiches (saying they don't taste great several hours later.....even w/ taking a cold ice block in the lunch container), so as there are freshly made "pre-orders" (sandwiches in nice rolls or pasta salads) at their schools made on the premises, I actually pay for those. It's not too terribly expensive as I've worked out the finances. Maybe that's an option for you or a version of such.

    Or having things like grated cheese, chopped tomato, sliced meat etc in sealed containers and then they can assemble it into/onto something at school eg pita bread, fresh rolls, corn thins/rice cakes could work.

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  48. I have enjoyed reading about everyone's lunch ideas. We normally have a sandwich, a piece of homemade cake( I cut it in slices and keep in an airtight container in the fridge), and tea or coffee. I always have soup in the freezer as well as leftover rissoles, salmon patties, corned beef (to make fritters with tomato and onion added). I like to keep some hardboiled eggs in the fridge, and always salad vegies. Leftover vegies are nice warm or cold on bread,
    some fillings we have are egg and lettuce, cheese and onion or pickles, banana and honey,salmon and onion, tuna and mayo or sweet chilli sauce, cold roast meat and beetroot, baked beans, sometimes we have leftover savoury mince from the freezer made into a toasted sandwich, or grilled cheese and asparagus. :)
    I also freeze portions of cheese and spinach pie as there is only the two of us and I make a rather large pie in a square dish for ease of cutting into portions.

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  49. Hi Rhonda,

    I bring my lunch to work almost every day. I usually cook some chicken the night before and toss together a salad when I get here. For a freezer friendly idea, I make a nice healthy meatloaf, cutting into serving sizes before freezing. I then bring that to work with me and have it with some salad on the side. I usually cook the meatloaf when I am doing some other often cooking and use it just for this purpose. Hope that is another idea that might be ok for you to try :-)

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  50. The apple pants will be up the right way for the wearer. I thought that when I saw them, I thought how clever of Rhonda to put the pants that way up for the wearer to enjoy the apples. Then I read the text.
    Dayla

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  51. Wow! I've gotten some wonderful ideas! I always cook my dinners with the intention of eating it in some form for lunch the next day. Otherwise, sandwiches or quiche and salad or soup and salad are easy. I pick the salad from the garden, so it varies.

    I got some great ideas for sandwiches from the Laurel's cookbook. One I use often (but changed a bit for our taste) is cottage cheese mixed with shredded cheese, dill and whatever spices I feel like that day, a teaspoon of dijon mustard, chopped green onions, a shredded carrot and either some coleslaw (if I have it) or a tablespoon or two of a creamy dressing just to help hold it all together. Everyone loves it and it's really flexible. You can serve it as a sandwich or as chopped type salad. It also can be a dip. My husband says it tastes just like crab salad. He eats it by the bowlful. (I pretend it's something very special, but it is unbelievably easy and forgiving.)

    When I make soup, I always make enough to freeze for a lunch or dinner for two.

    We also eat cold rice salads and cold pasta salads especially sesame noodles with broccoli.

    When the sun is out, I sometimes make lunch in our solar oven and that varies, usually some sort of vegetable and bean dish.

    Lately, my mother-in-law has started popping over at lunchtime, so I think I'm doing a good job making interesting and tasty lunches! ;)

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  52. lovely little pants !! especially love the monkey ones ! I hope they fit over those little cloth bottoms ! I'm sure you could tweak them to fit, but if not, try this pattern - google 'rae' and 'big butt baby pants'
    I have a pair of these pants (lined with fleece for winter) for my son who is in cloth, and they fit great. I have recently purchased the pattern so I can sew my own ! (just thought Id share !)
    thanks for your inspirational writing !
    cheers
    Lauren

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  53. I try to make meatloaf once a month and when I do, I always make a second one. After it cools, I slice it for sandwiches and put some of it in serving size containers in the freezer and the rest is used for one or two lunches that week (I'm feeding 3 adult men, 2 teen boys & myself).

    When I bake potatoes, I always prepare about 20; enough for that dinner and then some to slice and fry or reheat in the microwave. Often, we'll have egg & fried potato burritos or baked potatoes with some sort of other left over on top with gravy or cheese.

    As many have mentioned above, cooking extra chicken (I need to cook 3 but you could get by with one I am sure) is a great time saver: eat it for dinner and strip the meat from the bones for chicken salad sandwich filling or stuffed tomatoes, asian chicken salad, etc. (of course, I then turn the bones into a lovely broth). When I make chicken salad, I make enough for several lunches that week and vary how it is served (grill sandwich, stuffed veggie, on greens, on crackers).

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  54. We have combos of leftovers mostly for lunch,..mixed and matched. Usually lots of fruit with it too. One sandwich we have grown to love is putting fresh sliced mushrooms on bread with mozzarella cheese then some fresh basil on that...toast the sandwich on both sides in a skillet lightly brushed with olive oil. MMMMM! Sarah

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  55. My new standby, is homemade rocket and toasted hazelnut pesto. Great with pasta and veggies/tuna. Delicious on toast topped with poached egg and sauteed mushroom, on homemade vegeterian pizza, the list goes on! A great way to get my kids to eat their daily source of leafy greens too. Julia

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  56. Another good standby idea is to cook a large pot of rice - I do one pot of brown and one pot of white and mix once cooked. Then once cooled i place the rice in freezer bags, flatten and pop them into the freezer. When I want a simple hot lunch i cook a quick veggie stir fry and then i just remove the rice from the plastic bag and defrost in microwave and serve. easy! Julia

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  57. Where did you find the sock monkey fabric? I am making a nursery set for my soon-to-be granddaughter with the sock monkey theme (fabric.com). Your selection is so charming and different.

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  58. Lately I've been doing the 'on toast' thing. Persian feta is my current favourite, but dips work well, too, as does ricotta with banana & honey, I assume labne would be lovely if I ever get around to making some, and one of my absolute favourite summer lunches is sliced tomato on hot buttered toast with a little salt and pepper. I can't wait till it's proper tomato season in Victoria!

    Homemade hummous is really easy and fantastic as a fresh vege dip or instead of butter on sandwiches, and experimenting with something like tzatziki until you get the balance of flavours you prefer is another good dippy option. I'm a bit of a dip addict, so really should work on getting a wider repertoire of yummy homemade ones!

    Anna

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  59. cabighorse, I'm in Australia. I bought the fabric from Spotlight.

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  60. lis, I thought I answered your question. Wraps are the way to go. Either make or buy some pita bread or tortillas. :- )

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  61. Hi Rhonda,

    Don't worry about the apple pants. When your grandson looks down at them, the apples will be right-side up to him!

    Susan

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  62. Hello. I LOVE that monkey fabric you used on the shorts. I have been looking for it everywhere. Could you tell me where you got it or even the brand and style of it so I could find it? Thanks so much for your time. Your blog is full of lots of useful tips Thanks!

    Caitlyn

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