“Hey, what’s for lunch?” 13 Quick Ideas, Thursday Thirteen #4

Posted on April 16, 2008 
Filed Under Thursday Thirteens

thursdaythirteen300.jpg Nobody likes to spend alot of time in the middle of the day making lunch, right? Well, actually I’d love to if I didn’t have a never-ending “to do” list hovering over me, following me around everywhere, making me fight off the guilt it gives me when I decide to throw responsibility to the wind and relax in my kitchen, cooking and baking to my heart’s content more food than we could ever eat.

Plus, it doesn’t seem worth it to make something ‘nice’ just for the girls and I. Especially since I never know when they’re gonna eat alot or when they’re gonna take 2 bites and say “Mom, I’m full”. If I spent only 10 minutes making lunch, I don’t feel as compelled to yell say, “Honey, I just spent 2 hours making this food!”

So, here are some ideas to keep on hand for quick lunches. And, no, ‘leftovers’ are not on the list! That’s not something we need to note to keep on hand on purpose. Leftovers just kind of happen automatically. They can make nice lunches too, though, depending what it is. But, just for the record, I don’t like when a meal has leftovers.

1. Pigs in Blankets

Only two ingredients and 12 minutes of baking time! These are a real hit with kids (and grown-ups too). If you aren’t sure how to do them, the recipe name in red is a link to go to the post where they’re featured.

2. Cheese Quesadillas 
13quesadilla4.jpg Only 3 ingredients and about 1 minute in the microwave. Lay 1 tortilla out flat and sprinkle shredded cheese on half.
13quesadilla1.jpg Sprinkle some Italian seasoning over it.
13quesadilla2.jpg Fold tortilla over cheese and wet edges with a bit of water and press together. Put it in the microwave for about half a minute, then check it by pressing down on the tortilla. If the cheese feels soft and melted, get it out. If not, let it in for a bit more.

Cut into fourths with a pizza cutter. Good with sour cream and salsa, but my girls eat them plain as a finger food. These could be jazzed up alot more or fried instead of microwaved, but that’s is the quickest way to do them.


3. Grilled Cheese Sandwiches and Tomato Soup
Tomato soup from a can is what I use. And yes, I do cheese sandwiches directly on my smooth top stove. What about you?


4. Open-faced meat and cheese sandwich
13openfaced4.jpg Only 3 ingredients and and a couple minutes under the broiler. And if you use a piece of tin foil, you don’t even dirty a pan!
13openfaced1.jpg First, a piece of toast.
13openfaced2.jpg Then some deli meat.
13openfaced3.jpg Then the cheese. Turn the broiler on High and put sandwich on a rack in the highest position. It takes a couple minutes, but check it now and then anyway. This is just delicious, especially with the cheese browned a little!


5. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches
13pbj.jpg Here’s our peanut butter and jelly sandwich making pro. She’s quite a pro at making a huge mess too. A couple days ago, I came into the kitchen and there was jelly on the floor. I asked what happened and she nonchalantly said, “Oh, the bread slipped off the counter.” You know, no big deal, just spread more jelly on and the mess will take care of itself. It always does. I have tried having her clean up her own messes, but while the first mess may sort of get cleaned up, the process usually makes another whole mess of its own.

6. Quick stromboli
This may look vaguely familiar if you’ve been on this site recently!

7. Ravioli
13ravioli.jpg  This came in handy for me one day last week. I had some morning guests and I wasn’t sure how long they were planning to stay, but I had a few lunch options around so I was able to say, “I’ll make a quick lunch if you have time for it”. We had ravioli, French bread, cheese slices, applesauce, and cookies. The cookies I baked that morning while we were hanging around in the kitchen, chatting and looking thro’ cookbooks.


8. English muffin pizzas
13muffinpizzas.jpg Split apart English muffins and toast them. Arrange them on a baking sheet and spread with pizza sauce, some cheese, 3 or 4 slices of pepperoni, some mushrooms if desired, and then some more cheese. Bake at 400 for about 15 minutes or till they’re browned to your liking.

9. Good ol’ frozen pizza
13pizza.jpg You’re probably all familiar with this. If not, you either need to get out more or lower your standard of eating when in a hurry. The thin ones aren’t as good, but they sure bake faster!

10. Hot dogs
13hotdogs.jpg Throw them in a frying pan (fast), or under the broiler (faster), or in the microwave (fastest). Or charcoal grill (SLOW).

11. Nachos w\ salsa and sour cream
13nachos.jpg These have only 2 ingredients with an optional 3rd or 4th and take 7-10 minutes in the oven. Or, we’ve already done them in the microwave too, but the cheese doesn’t get brown and crispy then.

12. Throw a salad together. 
Instead of starting with a head of lettuce, a big time-saver is starting with this:


13. Now, for #13, here are some side dish ideas to go with the main course…
—applesauce or other fruit, like apple slices, canned peaches, etc.
—cheese slices
—potato chips, pretzels, or other salties
—jelly bread
—cookies or cake
—ice cream bars, sandwiches, or plain
—and this: A quick single serving dessert I was inspired with one day…
13pudding1.jpg  13pudding21.jpg Dump about 2 Tbsp. of cracker crumbs into a bowl. Top with 1/4 banana sliced. Mix up a box of instant pudding and put 1/2 cup of it on bananas. Slice another 1/4 banana on top of pudding and sprinkle another Tbsp. of graham crackers on top.

This is actually really good! And the neat thing is that you can make exactly how many servings you need and exactly the size of servings you need instead of making a big bowlful and having some left over. We’ve been in a streak of having it pretty often around here!

Don’t forget to visit other Thirteeners at Thursday Thirteen!


20 Responses to ““Hey, what’s for lunch?” 13 Quick Ideas, Thursday Thirteen #4”

  1. Joyce T. on April 17th, 2008 12:15 am

    This is such a lovely post. I can tell you went to a lot of work to post so many pictures with the recipe ideas!

    Through the years I have made almost all of these for my family. An exception is the stromboli, which certainly doesn’t look quick to make. But it is?

    Your salad looks so tasty. I must go to bed, and not snack!

  2. Irishcoda on April 17th, 2008 3:13 am

    Mmmm-mmmm Good! What great ideas! And I remember having griled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup as a kid!

  3. Suprina on April 17th, 2008 5:33 am

    What a wonderful list….

    We make the little pizza’s as well but I use biscuits.
    And peanut butter and jelly sandwiches ROCK at my house. I have one boy that is a VERY picky eater and that is what he gets in his lunch.

    Happy TT!

  4. Adelle Laudan on April 17th, 2008 6:30 am

    You know I’ve had a busy day when we have soup and grilled cheese for supper lol After reading you list, I am officially hungry! Happy T13!

  5. Monica on April 17th, 2008 6:44 am

    Great ideas!! My husband works here at home, so I always have to have something for lunch!! I don’t like to spend alot of time on it in the middle of the day, so these ideas will come in handy. Especially the English Muffin Pizzas!! I also do Omelets and Egg Sandwiches when I need something really quick and don’t have leftovers!!

  6. Sharon on April 17th, 2008 7:32 am

    liked the list. One extra we do with the quesadillas is smear a little refried beans & salso on, too. Doesn’t take much time and is delish! Interesting about your take on leftovers–I usually TRY to have leftovers each night so I don’t have to worry about food the next day for lunch! Guess we’re all different… :-)

  7. Shannon on April 17th, 2008 7:50 am

    What mom doesn’t want a list like this. :) I think I need, not want the salad for lunch today. :)

  8. Heidi on April 17th, 2008 8:14 am

    great list! i think the kids would really like the quesidias (sp) and they look really easy. also the english muffin pizzas i have been wanting to try those but never have. i think ill get some muffins at the store next time i go. thanks for all the ideas its so fun to visit your site and see your “delicious” pictures =)

  9. Tammy on April 17th, 2008 8:22 am

    Yummy! I think I’m going for the salad for lunch today and now after all your wonerful pictures I’m very hungry. Happy TT

  10. Judi on April 17th, 2008 9:07 am

    I need a reminder of easy things and this is definitely it. Thanks. But I sure am hungry now.

  11. Freida on April 17th, 2008 9:50 am

    A wonderful list! I’m one who enjoys leftovers, too, just because its the fastest thing to get ready. But I have made all the above sometime or other. Oh except for the open faced sandwiches. I might have to try that one today.

  12. she on April 17th, 2008 10:28 am

    that banana desert looks easy and fun! i’m going to try it!

  13. Amber on April 17th, 2008 11:27 am

    Great list ideas! Thanks for the reminder of open faced sand., i haven’t done that for a while. And the banana/pudding dessert, we used to do that at home. (top with a ‘squirt’ of redi whip for something extra good.) :)

  14. amy on April 17th, 2008 1:46 pm

    yummy yummy Why do I have to be so attrached to food?

  15. Kat on April 17th, 2008 2:33 pm

    My favorite quick lunch is the bagged salad…topped with tysons frozen (pre-cooked) teriyaki chicken thighs. Add a few almonds or sunflower seeds and some ranch dressing…delish!

  16. All about Cheese Cutters » Blog Archive » ‘cheese cutter’ on the web on April 17th, 2008 2:35 pm

    […] http://kitchenscrapbook.com/2008/04/16/hey-whats-for-lunch-13-quick-ideas-thursday-thirteen-4/Put it in the microwave for about half a minute, then check it by pressing down on the tortilla. If the cheese feels soft and melted, get it out. If not, let it in for a bit more. Cut into fourths with a pizza cutter. … […]

  17. chelsa on April 18th, 2008 7:05 am

    LOVE LOVE LOVE this post! thanks for some inspiration!

  18. lisa on April 18th, 2008 11:28 am

    another twist to pigs in a blanket-cut hotdogs or brats in half or thirds, flatten a pillsbury biscut, wrap it around the meat and bake. my daycare kids and marc love these. i like it because it makes not such a big quantity as an entire pack of crescent rolls, cut into pieces.
    did you make all this food especially to take pictures for the post?

  19. Beth on April 30th, 2008 12:49 pm

    I really like the open faced meat/cheese sandwich, closed face! It’s really good if you do it on the George Foreman Grill. MMMMM to the max!

  20. Beth on June 2nd, 2008 11:29 am


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