Real Food Lunches: My Top 3 Strategies

3 strategies for quick and easy real food lunches!

I believe real food lunches should be quick, easy meals that you make, serve, and eat in a matter of minutes so you can get back to whatever your day is about–school, work, or play!

My husband comes home for lunch most days so, in our home, lunches are a sit down family meal, much like dinner. This could mean spending that much more time in the kitchen every day fixing a full, nourishing meal at noon as well as breakfast and diner.

But that’s just not the case (thank heavens) because of my Lunch Strategies:

3 strategies for quick and easy real food lunches!

Lunch Strategy #1: Leftovers

Leftovers are the save-the-day superhero of the real food kitchen, rescuing the cook from burn out on a regular basis. But leftovers don’t just happen–they must be planned for and cultivated–they won’t just show up out of thin air. I take care of lunch most days by simply making sure whatever I make for dinner the night before will serve my family twice. That way lunch is a simple matter of heating something up.

Lunch Strategy #2: Bulk food Prep

On the days when there just aren’t leftovers, or we need a more portable lunch, I look to my pantry and freezer for prepped food that can become a quick lunch. I regularly keep pizza dough, bags of homemade tortillas, grated cheese, and leftover meat (like taco meat) in the freezer to have real food ingredients for quick lunchtime feasts. You can also freeze one loaf of bread (sliced) each time you make a batch and stock up on healthy lunch meats when they’re on sale and freeze them so sandwhiches are just a quick thaw away. An extra quart of soup or chili is also a great thing to throw into the freezer for a future rainy or busy day.

Lunch Strategy #3: Embrace Simplicity

I look for lunch give me and my family a solid protein, some good fats, and some unrefined carbs for lasting energy through the afternoon. If we can get that with some hot dogs (I love the nitrate-free beef ones) served on a paper plate (minus the roll, because I don’t have time for that most days) and a bowl of yogurt with some fruit, that works for us. Lunch doesn’t have to be fancy as long as it’s nourishing. Other simple lunches for us include peanut butter and bananas rolled in tortillas, cheese and chips, or a simple quiche.

But mostly, we just love us some leftovers.

More real food lunches…

for more inspiration, including my two favorite quiche recipes and best packed lunch ideas, check out my book Real {Fast} Food–it’s all about real food as fast as possible so we can go back to real life! (And did you know you could get it on your kindle?)

What’s one of your favorite quick-and-easy meals?

Tomorrow–30 real food dinner ideas!


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