No sandwiches. Nothing that takes too long. Nothing that makes too many dirty dishes. Has to be fairly healthy. Preferably vegetarian. And not boring.
My lunch standards for taste are high, but my patience for lunch preparation is low.
My kids are happy with standby lunchbox staples, but lunch needs to be something that I can look forward to. If I’m going to defuse blow-up fights all morning, corral the people for morning time when they’d really rather hide out in the toy room, and explain prime numbers, I need to know that there’s something tasty in the plans for our lunch break. Because, for better or worse, I reward myself with food like a dog. Woof.
For me, the lunch solution that’s been working lately has come courtesy of my Costco card.
Read on for five easy, fast, healthy, delicious lunches to look forward to.
1. Vegetable Yakisoba
Straight out of the freezer, it comes with noodles, sauce, and vegetables, all in one handy dandy single serving packet. There are instructions for microwaving, but I’m not a microwave person, so I follow the stovetop instructions.
It doesn’t come with srirachia, as shown here… perhaps in excess, but if you like a little heat, it’s a nice touch.
2. Madras Lentils
I like to make a big pot of rice to use throughout the week, and it’s so easy to heat up a packet of these chili-like lentils and plop them on top of some rice for a complete meal. These lentils are also sold at the grocery store, but they’re a much better deal at Costco. Find the box of 8 pouches around the pantry items.
3. Paneer Tikki Masala
What comes in the packets: the paneer and the sauce. I added some green beans and cauliflower that was hanging out in my produce drawer and let them simmer in the sauce. Here it’s all on top of some rice (also from that big pot of rice I made earlier in the week) and topped with a little cilantro.
You’ll find it close to the Madras Lentils in the pantry section.
4. Yakisoba Chicken Fried Rice
This fried rice is another wonder from the freezer section. The only directions on the package are for microwave preparation, but it works well on the stovetop if you heat up a tablespoon or two of water and a little oil in a nonstick skillet and then throw contents of the rice packet in. The chicken has the texture of actual chicken, not the weird rubbery stuff that usually comes out of commercially-prepared freezer food.
I’ve added a little swirl of sriracha on top because I love it. No, I have no idea why I have heartburn.
5. Sweet Kale Salad
This salad is packed with superfood greens, seeds, and dried cranberries that add a nice sweetness against the bitterness of the greens. Also included in the bag is a not-too-heavy poppy seed dressing. It’s in that super cold refrigerator room. Brrr.
Do you have any Costco favorites for lunch? Tell me all about them in the comments, please!