Monday, March 28, 2011

Lunch Lady

Before Thatboy lived with me, I'm not sure how he survived. I have a vague idea that involved eating very little or frozen meals. Once we were married I took over making sure he had "three hots and a cot." (Who says marriage isn't like prison.)

When we were first married, my typical day involved arising so early that the roosters were shooting me dirty looks. I was out of the house by 5:15 am and heading down to San Diego for either work or school. I would work or educate all day, arriving home around 8:30 or 9pm, make dinner and lunch for the next day, and head to bed. Most nights I would bring my dinner with me, so it had to be made a day ahead of time. And likewise, lunches were made the night before.

During that time period, I usually brought leftovers for lunch and Thatboy had a very basic meals - peanut butter and jelly, a piece of fruit, and some little snack like pretzels or crackers.

Then we moved down to San Diego and suddenly I was home by 7ish many nights (and some nights I was home even later, but that's a story for another day). Which meant I had time to make us both some more creative lunches. And lunches just happens to be the theme for this week's Eat.Live.Be.

I love the bento-style lunch boxes that have separate compartments that make packing lunches so much easier. I use the "Fit and Fresh" box because I love the way that the icepack sits in the middle, and the bottom is microwaveable which makes it even more versatile.

Here are a couple of examples. Today's lunch:

Some cubes of skim mozzarella cheese (protein), half a cara cara orange (fruit), and some homemade crepes filled with lemon curd (carbs/dessert). Thatboy LOVED this lunch and sent me a thank you text. It's light on veggies, but we'll make that up with tomorrow's lunch.

And tomorrow's lunch:

Whole wheat pasta tossed with broccoli, edamame, walnuts, and olive oil. (Carbs, protein and veggies), Carrots with dressing (veggies), and roasted beets with cara cara orange (fruit and veggies).

But it's hard to be creative with lunches day after day. Which is why I turn to my favorite lunch bloggers for ideas and inspiration. And I'm more than happy to share them with you.

The one that started it all for me was Lunch Nugget. This introduced me to the whole idea of bento lunches and creative treats. Geared for children, they work equally as well for adults.

And some others:
Cooking Cute
Lunch In a Box
Bento Madness
Vegetarian Lunchboxes
Another Bento Blog

Next week's topic is creative ideas for fruits and veggies. Where I'll address some of the concerns voiced in response to yesterday's post. Or "Is that how your parents behaved?"

And here are a list of the other bloggers participating:


  1. My linhces usually consist of leftovers. I really need to be more creative.

  2. Your bento sounds delicious. I'm really bad though. While I love the way they look I'm not up to that much prior thought when it comes to lunch. I tend to be a reach and grab gal when it comes to lunch. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

  3. I tried to explain to my parents the other day why I love bentos so much. And they just didn't understand. I should show them a picture of your lunches...I think then they'd get it.

  4. Those lunches are too cute. You are a great wife!

  5. Bentos are so cool. I wish I took my lunch so I had a reason to get one.

  6. We always do leftovers - with an occasional sandwich. I love the lunch boxes - have never seen them - but was probably not looking. You are better on variety!