Friday, August 7, 2015

15 quick and easy lunch ideas. (guest post by sonya of sea salt and caramel)

hey folks! while i take a little bit of a break after having the baby, i have some great guest posts lined up from some wonderful blogger ladies! today i have sonya from sea salt & caramel sharing some great inspiration with 15 quick and easy lunch ideas (something we can definitely use with a new baby in the house!). now thats enough of me, ill let sonya take over from here: 

Pita :  Pitas are a great way to satisfy your carb cravings while still having a light and fluffy bread substitute. 
  • Tomato & Feta Filling: Use 10-15 cherry tomatoes to add a sweetened zest to the dish. Mix an even amount of diced tomatoes and feta. Feel free to swap out the feta for any cheese you prefer, or mix a few together. Buy feta which is either pre-crumbled or which is relatively hard so you can cut it into pieces without getting the pita soggy. 
  • Hummus & Peppers: You will need half a pepper to fill up the whole pita up. You can either cut the pepper in strips or small chunks, whichever you prefer. Lather 2 tbs of hummus onto the warm pita and then fill it with the peppers slices.
  • Chickpeas: There are a myriad of ways to prepare chickpeas, you can toss them with some olive oil, lemon, and seasoning, cook them, or bake them and make chickpea “chips”. You can even add some hummus or cream cheese if you want a creamy filling. Or perhaps use feta for some added flavor. 
  • Tuna & Hummus: I love tuna and mayo sandwiches, but sadly, it’s not the healthiest thing around. A great alternative to mayo is hummus, it gives you the creamy touch with the nice flavor to boot. You can even season the tuna with some light olive oil or lemon juice. 
  • Eggs: Cook a hard boiled egg (should take roughly 10 minutes in boiling water), after removing the shell, cut it into small pieces, you can even use a fork to smash it. Toss with a sauce, such as a vinaigrette, and fill the pita with the mixture. 
Toast: Slices of toast lathered with butter, jam and savory toppings are an age old favorite.
  • Avocado & Tomatoes: Use half of a ripe avocado, the smoother the better, and lather onto the toast. For this recipe you can either use cherry tomatoes, for added sweetness, or any you have on hand. Place the sliced tomatoes above the avocado. Drizzle a small amount of olive oil above and then season with salt and pepper and some lemon zest. 
  • Salmon & Cream Cheese: On warm bread, spread some whipped cream cheese (I love the one from Trader Joe’s), and place smoked salmon above. Add a touch of lemon juice and some ground pepper to season. 
  • Cucumber & Cream Cheese: If you want to try the veggie version, you can use thinly sliced cucumbers instead of salmon. Place them above a layer of cream cheese. You can toss the cucumber slices in a sauce of your choice, a lemon vinaigrette, for example. 
  • Cheddar &  Peppers: This one is for the grilled cheese aficionados. Heat a skillet on high and allow a small amount of butter to melt. Place your sandwich, filled with cheddar and pepper slices, into the skillet. Cover and put on low heat. Once the cheese has fully melted, remove from heat and add some chilli flakes if you want a spicy grilled cheese. 
  • Bananas & Strawberries: If you love “brinner” (breakfast for dinner), and you have an insatiable sweet tooth then this is the combo for you. In terms of spreads you can choose whatever suits your fancy, some butter, nutella, peanut butter, or almond butter. On the side you can cut your banana up and your strawberries into slices. After choosing your spread you can place your fruit pieces above. Sprinkle with some cinnamon. 
Salads: Salads don’t need to only be green, and boring. With the right mix of ingredients they can be both healthy and delicious. 
  • Pasta Salad: This is the perfect way to use your evening leftovers. If you cooked a batch of pasta the night before, either reserve some unseasoned or just use whatever you have left. You can add salad leaves, olives, tomatoes, cheese and a protein to make it a hearty lunch. 
  • Prosciutto & Mozzarella: Use 2-4 slices of prosciutto and cut into thirds. Slice the mozzarella into medium-to-small pieces. Toss both ingredients with some salad leave and add your prefered sauce. I think a lemon-oil sauce works best. 
  • Chicken Salad: Use leftover grilled or baked chicken, or cook some in the morning. If you have the chance, let it marinate in a flavorful sauce: barbeque, sweet & spicy, or lime & cilantro.
  • Veggie Only: If you have tomatoes, olives, peppers, and cheese leftover from other lunches use them for the salad. I like to call this the anything-you’ve-got-on-hand-salad. Add in some cucumbers, a hard boiled egg as a source of protein and some salad leaves to freshen the mix. I recommend using 2-3 eggs to make it a hearty meal, if you choose to forgo the salad leaves. 
  • Sweet & Savory: Use a handful of cranberries, and sliced grapefruit to add some sweet flavors to your mixture. Add chicken, tuna, prosciutto or steak for some added protein. On a bed of cabbage, arugula, and spinach this is a great way to mix up the traditional salad. 
I hope you’ve been inspired by my list of 15 quick & easy lunches. All of these different recipes can be combined to make even more delicious meals. I would love to see what you come up with, share your creations with me via twitter or instagram!

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