Recipes and Cooking Ideas for Homemakers and Amateur Cooks

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

It appears that the cook around here is on strike, doesn’t it? I think it’s more a thing of needing to hire a scribe because I currently have pictures for 4 posts. I’ve made supper the last 2 evenings, and for some crazy reason, I can’t remember back farther than that. Probably several snacky fend-for-yourself meals in there somewhere. Yeah, we do have those weekly, and then some more on the weekend… that’s why I try to keep frozen pizzas, hot dogs, nacho stuff, cheese & pretzels, and cold cereal on hand. Anyway, the last 2 evenings, we’ve had grilled chicken salad and wet burritos, respectively. I like the grilled chicken salad because all I have to do is throw a couple salads together and possibly pop some refrigerated Pillsbury breadsticks in the oven… the rest is on the grill, which, if you’ve been reading Kitchen Scrapbook for any length of time, you’ll know I don’t touch the grill. I have the 4 plates of salad sitting out on the counter and Shannon brings the chicken in AND cuts it up and puts it on top of the salads. On the wet burritos, I read my post on that last night and thought it was strange that I served crescent rolls and salad with it. Huh? That sounds more like lasagna sides! I don’t even remember serving that with it; now I serve tortilla chips salsa with it. And sometimes applesauce, just because I have a thing aboout that there’s gotta be at least 3 different things on the table, not counting condiments, otherwise it looks skimpy. 

I finally made my salad that I’d been craving a couple weeks ago. So, what does the word ‘colorific’ mean? I decided it must be a made up combo, merging colorful and terrific. And that would fit this salad. I got this recipe from Jolene. Thanks, Jolene, it’s a keeper! Connie, thanks for your recipe too, I’d like to try it sometime… I don’t go for feta cheese, but I’ll bet that could be substituted for mozzarella.


Colorific Salad
1 c. craisins
1 c. red peppers
1 c. honey roasted sesame sticks
1 c. pecans
2 c. shredded cheese
1/2 of a purple onion
1 head of romaine lettuce

Posted on April 16, 2008 
Filed Under Thursday Thirteens


 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 
 Only 3 ingredients and about 1 minute in the microwave. Lay 1 tortilla out flat and sprinkle shredded cheese on half.
 Sprinkle some Italian seasoning over it.
 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
 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!
 First, a piece of toast.
 Then some deli meat.
 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
 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
  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
 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
 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
 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
 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…
   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

    […] 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


ing.jpg” alt=”colorific-salad-before-mixing.jpg” />
Mmmmm… you know it’s gonna be a good salad when you have to say “Where’s the lettuce?” ????

Oh, one little tidbit… I took the idea from Connie’s recipe to saute the pecans… yum! I didn’t sugar them though.

1 T. mustard
1 c. sugar
1/2 c. oil
1/3 c. vinegar
1/4 c. water
1 tsp. salt
1 Tbls. minced onion
Blend dressing in blender. I put this picture on here so you can see what color the dressing is…
Toss with salad ingredients.
I was taking this to a carry-in meal at church, so I took it in this big bowl with a lid (more room for tossing) and put the dressing in a separate container… you can see it all in the background here.

And then, instead of letting the kitchen help take care of tossing my salad, I went out when church was almost over to do it myself so I could get a ‘done’ picture. ????


Next up… Megan’s puppy birthday cake. How did my baby turn 1 already?!

And this afternoon, I’m planning to bake monster cookies. Yay! I just did last week, but who cares. In a perfect world, I’d bake ’em every week. :)



5 Responses to “Colorific Salad”

  1. joe on June 17th, 2011 6:15 am

    No comments?!?!……hmmmm….well I ain’t sayin a word! LOL

  2. Kay on June 17th, 2011 8:18 am

    Too late… you already gave your opinion on this AWESOME salad yesterday.:) You don’t know what you’re missing, especially with those nuts and craisins in there. Ha.

  3. Liz on June 17th, 2011 5:23 pm

    Monster cookies again? :) They are really good and the scales showed it. :( Oh, well, I’m dieting again anyway. Ha!
    Looks like a salad I would try. If someone else made it. I can’t see it going over real good in this household.

  4. Connie Stoll on June 18th, 2011 9:24 pm

    Yum, this does look good! I’m going to try this one, too.

  5. Kim on June 25th, 2011 7:32 pm

    Finally, something a dieter can eat! ???? It looks delicious. Gonna have to try it soon.
    …always fun to browse here!