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Meal Planning & Grocery Shopping If you plan out your meals, grocery shopping bills can be sliced and diced!

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Old 11-01-2002, 11:22 AM
CulinaryJen's Avatar
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Lunch Ideas

WHat do you eat for lunch...or pack for lunch?

I stay home and should be having a baby in early January. I am looking for quick new ideas!

We eat:
BLTs with avocado
soups: bean soups, split pea
ham sandwiches
peanut butter sandwiches
fish sticks
turkey sandwiches
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Old 11-02-2002, 06:28 PM
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Congrats! Mine is almost 17 months and a very busy little boy. So lunch has to be quick and easy. I like baby swiss and tomato sandwiches (I usually make half). I put fresh basil on it instead of lettuce for a different taste. Add steamed broccoli and an apple, orange, or banana and that's a complete meal. Vanilla yogurt with wheat germ or granola for dessert if I am still hungry. We use our grill a lot so I cook extra chicken and then cube it to go in pasta with cooked frozen mixed vegetables. I add a little italian or ranch salad dressing for taste. Yogurt with dried fruit, nuts, and granola. I make big salads for dinner so that there are leftovers. Add chicken, mandarin oranges, and croutons, crackers, or toast and there is another meal.

Make a little extra for dinner the night before and add to it.

Good luck!

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Old 11-04-2002, 06:01 AM
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Hi Jen! I pack lunches for both of the boys and my hubby every single week day. And with not having a great grocery budget, I know the problem of finding different lunch items. Today the boys took spaghetti oh's, carrots , fruit ****tail, a rice krispie treat and a box of Hi C. some days they have peanutbutter and jelly or banana sandwiches, sometimes on bread, sometimes on tortillas. Chicken noodle soup with crackers is also a big hit. Sometimes I buy summer sausage and send that with crackers and string cheese. If I have left overs I will heat those and send them. For my daughter and I, we eat left overs alot. Sometimes a frozen pizza, sometimes a hot pocket. Fishsticks and tatertots are a favorite as well as macaroni and cheese with hotdogs in it. I always serve a veggie (even if it is only raw carrots) and a fruit (fresh or canned). At home we drink milk with lunch. The boys get Hi C because at snack time during school they get milk. Snack time here is juice. HOpe this helps a little.
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Old 11-04-2002, 11:13 AM
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I am a child care provider so simple quick healthy ideas are top priority for me! I always serve a fruit and veggie along with meat and bread and milk for lunch, either fresh or canned fruit and veggies.

Here are some suggestions that my kids eat well and I like as well:

Left overs are great!

Sandwiches - Turkey or Ham with cheese, on bread, bun or bagel, tossed salad.

English Muffin Pizza - Put your favorite pizza toppings on split english muffins and place under broiler for a few minutes until cheese melted and muffin is slightly browned, could also use bagels.

Hamburger/Tuna or Chicken Helper.

Mac and cheese with hot dogs, ham or chicken diced up in it.

Fish sticks, tator tots or french fries.

Any kind of soup, my kids like chicken noodle or tomato the best with oyster crackers, cinnamon roll for a treat.

Chicken nuggets or strips, hash browns.

Pigs n' a Blanket (Cut hot dog in half and roll out biscuit or crescent roll and wrap dog up inside and bake)

Breakfast type foods for lunch.....pancakes, sausage links or patties, omlets with ham and cheese, biscuits and gravy.

Beanie Wienies and cornbread.

Tator tot casserole.

Spaghetti with garlic bread.

Tuna Salad, Egg Salad


Fruit Suggestion: Fruit Salad: your choice of yogurt with grapes, strawberries, bananas sliced and mixed together.

Will you just be cooking for yourself at lunch? If so, I would suggest sandwiches, chef salad, canned soup. You can pre pattie ground beef and freeze in seperate bags and take 1 out to grill or fry as needed. There is always the old stand by cold cereal....we do that for supper once in awhile on fend for yourself nights and my 5 year old really thinks that is cool! Hot cereal is also good and filling.

Hope this helps!
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Old 11-04-2002, 11:20 AM
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I love all these suggestions!
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Old 11-04-2002, 12:00 PM
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I am also a stay at home mom. I have a 2 1/2 year old and am expecting another in April. My kids and husband are such picky eaters so sometimes I like to make stuff just for me during lunch time. I have been craving pepper steak and will probably make it soon. I make a big batch and eat on it 2 or 3 days. Most of the time though I just sit down with a big bowl of popcorn or pretzels or cheese and crackers, things like that.
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Old 11-04-2002, 01:37 PM
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I am an at home daycare mom so I am required to make a hot lunch everyday and I need it to be fast, nourishing, and yummie.
I also have my won very hungry children that I cook for every night.
My solution is to make sure I cook extra of the main-dish that I am serving my family for dinner. The next days lunch is quick and easy, all I have to do is add the side dishes of veggie and fruit.
If I want to make lunch seem a little different than dinner I will serve different veggies and fruit and sometimes the main dish can be altered slightly and make it a whole new meal. (ex- if we have roast for dinner, the next day for lunch I might slice it thinly heat it in a frying pan with onions and make it a fajita)
Also, for the dinners, I am a huge fan of crock-pot cooking and recipes using canned soups. Another helpful idea is to cook twice as much as you will need for one meals main course...using one now and freezing one for later...especially if the main dish is a meat that can be cooked and altered to make something completely different the next time.
I would be happy to share more ideas with you.
You may email me at anytime

Taking one day at a time and enjoying the view of the world through the eyes of all my children.
And stopping the smell the roses.
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Old 11-05-2002, 06:28 AM
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Luch Ideas


I subscribe to this newsletter, & the current issue is full of great sandwich ideas. Hope there's some help here. Best of luck!!

Deb Street

Welcome to Practical Kitchen's

November 4, 2002
Welcome to the " L " issue of Alphabet Soup!


Leftovers seem to be a never ending thing around our
house. There are many ways to use leftovers and
sometimes it can be hard to get creative. Here are
several tips from Not Just Beans to get you started.

Just about anything can be reused another night!

Leftover Idea - Beef
Leftover Idea - Pork
Leftover Idea - Poultry
Leftover Idea - Potato

Have a leftover idea to share?
"L" Is For...

Cured and usually lightly smoked salmon.

The small, greenish-yellow, acid fruit of a
tropical tree akin to the lemon.

A small annual legume of the bean family having
flattened seeds used in cooking.


Low-Fat Chicken Idea

For a low-fat method of cooking boneless chicken
breasts, rub them with chopped cilantro and a splash
of lime and place in a lightly oiled oven-roasting bag.
(To spread the oil evenly, put a teaspoon of corn oil
in the bag and massage the bag between your palms.)
Cut and tie the open end of the bag to keep juices in
and poach in a covered sauté pan.


For more wonderful cooking tips visit
our sister site,!

" L " Is For LETTUCE

Scientific Name: Lactuca sativa

Garden lettuce, which has been cultivated since the
time of the ancient Greeks, is a hardy annual herb.
The four common horticultural varieties are head
lettuce, leaf lettuce, romaine lettuce, and asparagus
lettuce. Head lettuce forms a cabbage-like head.
Leaf lettuce has free-growing leaves that do not
form a head. Romaine, or cos, lettuce produces
long, erect heads. Asparagus lettuce has a thick,
edible stem and unpalatable leaves.


Nutrients - Units - per 1 cup, shredded or chopped (55.000 g )

Water - g - 52.739
Protein - g - 0.555
Total lipid (fat) - g - 0.104
Carbohydrate, by difference - g - 1.149
Fiber, total dietary - g - 0.770

Calcium - mg - 10.450
Iron - mg - 0.275
Magnesium - mg - 4.950
Phosphorus - mg - 11.000
Potassium - mg v- 86.900
Sodium - mg - 4.950
Zinc - mg - 0.121
Copper - mg - 0.015
Manganese - mg - 0.083
Selenium - mcg - 0.110

Vitamin C, ascorbic acid - mg - 2.145
Thiamin - mg - 0.025
Riboflavin - mg - 0.017
Niacin - mg - 0.103
Pantothenic acid - mg - 0.025
Vitamin B-6 - mg - 0.022
Folate - mcg - 30.800
Vitamin B-12 - mcg - 0.000
Vitamin A, IU IU 181.500
Vitamin A, RE mcg_RE 18.150
Vitamin E mg_ATE 0.154

Complete Nutrient Chart:

Salads - Pasta salad, potato salad, GREENS,
fruit salad and many more!

"L" Is For...

"For me, food is conversation. Why and what I cook are
my passions and beliefs, shared with anyone who cares to
listen." Chef Rob Feenie, host of the series New Classics
with Chef Rob Feenie on the Food Network Canada and
owner of Vancouver's Lumiere restaurant, shares just that,
conversation, with his premiere cookbook Lumiere.

"L" Is For LUNCH

Hot Sandwiches
by Brenda Hyde

Try these great sandwiches on game day, for a hearty
lunch or serve with soup for a wonderful dinner!

Hot Sandwiches

The Grinder

1 green pepper, seeded and cut into rings
1 tomato thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 of very thinly sliced red onion
1/2 pound ham, thinly sliced
1 14 ounce loaf French bread, split lengthwise
4 ounces thinly sliced provolone

Mix garlic with oil, salt and pepper to taste. Layer ham, tomatoes,
onion and green pepper on bottom half of French bread. Drizzle
oil mixture over the top, then add cheese. Cover with top of bread.
Cut into fourths, wrap in foil and heat in a 350 over for about 10
minutes or until heated through.


Apple, Cheese and Ham Grill

8 slices cinnamon raisin bread
3 tablespoons honey mustard
4 ounces thinly sliced ham
1 medium apple, cored, thinly sliced into rings
4 slices Muenster or Cheddar Cheese
Butter or Margarine

Spread the four slices of the bread with the mustard, Then top
with ham, apple rings, cheese and the other slice of bread. Butter
both sides of the bread. Heat skillet or griddle and cook over
medium heat, turning once, until bread is golden brown and
cheese is melted (about 2-4 minutes).


Italian Steak Sandwiches

1/2 cup salad dressing (such as Miracle Whip)
2 medium green or red peppers, cut into strips
1/4 cup Italian dressing
1 pound thinly sliced roast beef
6 French bread rolls, split

Heat 2 tablespoons salad dressing in large skillet on medium heat.
Add peppers, cook and stir 5 minutes or until tender-crisp. Remove
from skillet, set aside. Add remaining salad dressing, Italian dressing
and meat to skillet. Cook 5 minutes or until heated through. Fill rolls
with mixture. Makes 6 sandwiches. You can also top finished
sandwiches with Mozzarella or Provolone cheese.


Pork Pocket Sandwiches

1 pound boneless pork loin
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon prepared mustard
1/2 cup lemon juice
2 cloves garlic minced
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 cup plain yogurt
1/2 cup cucumber, peeled and chopped
1/2 tsp. garlic, crushed
1/2 tsp. dillweed
2 pitas, halved
1 small red onion, peeled and sliced thin

Cut pork crosswise into thin slices. Slice them into strips
5x1/2 inches. Combine oil, mustard, lemon juice, garlic and
oregano. Pour over pork slices, cover and refrigerate for 1 to
8 hours. Drain marinade from pork and roast slices in preheated
450 degree oven. Roast until crisp, about 10 minutes. Open each
pita half to form a pocket. Divide pork among the four halves.
Combine yogurt, cucumber, crushed garlic and dillweed.
Use to top the sandwiches, along with the red onion.


Mexican Beef Sandwiches

3 pound boneless beef roast
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 tsp. fresh garlic, minced
1 16 ounce jar Picante Sauce or Salsa
4 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper or hot pepper sauce
12 hamburger buns

Heat oven to 325 degree. In Dutch oven place roast. Sprinkle
with onions and garlic. Cover Bake 2 1/2 to 3 hours until meat
is tender and shreds easily. This can also be done all day in a
crockpot. Remove roast from pan; cool slightly. Set pan and
drippings aside. Shred roast with fork, removing any fat. In
pan with drippings, (or empty crockpot contents into large
pan), place roast and all ingredients except buns. Cook over
medium heat, stirring occasionally until beef mixture is heated
through. Serve on Buns.


Ground Beef Steak Sandwiches

2 slices French bread (3/4 inch thick)
butter or margarine, softened
prepared mustard
1/2 pound uncooked lean ground beef
1/4 cup milk
1 tablespoon minced onion
1 tablespoon steak sauce
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
1/4 tsp. pepper

In a broiler, toast one side of two slices of bread. Spread
untoasted sides with butter and mustard. In a small bowl,
combine remaining items; spread evenly over buttered side
of bread. Broil 6 inches from heat for 5-7 minutes or until
beef reaches desired doneness. Toast the other two slices
of bread to use as a top for the sandwich.
Makes 2 servings.


Hot Chicken Sandwich

4 Chicken Breast patties
2 English Muffins, split
1/2 cup each sliced green onions and
fresh mushrooms
1 can mushroom soup
1/2 cup milk
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 cup chopped tomato

Bake chicken patties as directed in oven until just done.
Toast English Muffins lightly, place one pattie on each muffin.
Saute onions and mushrooms in a tiny amount of oil, add soup,
milk and pepper. Simmer, stirring constantly until heated through.
Spoon mixture over chicken and muffins, sprinkle tops with
tomatoes. Serves 4.

About the Author:
Brenda Hyde is the owner/editor of

Printable version:
If you have comments or suggestions, please email me at:
mailto:[email protected]

Cindy Sanchez
Practical Magazine
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Old 11-06-2002, 02:40 AM
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My Goodness you ladies are creative!! Jen, I'm so glad you started this thread... I've been home for over 5 years and I still have a hard time thinking of things to make for lunch (our family is not big on leftovers so I'm pretty careful not to make too much of anything as it will just go to waste)
The only thing I do besides sandwiches is I make a lot of homemade soups so that's always a good lunch with a grilled cheese or turkey sandwich (mmmm, grilled cheese with turkey, that sounds good! ) I usually make chicken noodle soup or potato soup, but today I'm making beef vegetable soup. I make enough of it so we can have it for a couple of nights or at least a lunch or two... that's one thing that my family doesn't mind eating over and over!
For all of you that send your kids and hubbys off with soup or whatever in a thermos.... does it really stay that hot? Does it leak at all? I'd appreciate your input, thanks!!

Keep your words soft and tender as you may have to eat them tomorrow!
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Old 11-06-2002, 09:09 AM
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I send soup, spaghetti oh's, hot dogs, left over chili and spaghetti and the only thing that my son has complained about is that the hot dog got cold. He said it was still warm on the inside, but the outside was cool. The soups and spaghetti's etc...stay pretty warm. I always fill the thermos with boiling water and let it sit in there for a few minutes, dump it, then add the hot food.
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