Your formula for lunch, simplified.

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What’s for lunch?

I loathe that question. It’s a simple enough idea – what to eat for the noontime meal – but it can inspire panic, especially if I haven’t planned ahead. What IS for lunch? Is there anything healthy? Anything appetizing? Anything QUICK that doesn’t require a lot of effort in the middle of my very full day?

Lots of folks assume that since I’m in the nutrition business and my hubby is a chef, our mealtime must be an effortless combination of nutrient dense foods creatively and deliciously prepared.

Well, it’s time for me to burst that bubble. Cooking daily meals is as big a pain in the arse for us as it is for anyone. Sometimes more so because of those dastardly expectations that creep in since, didn’t you know?, we’re “experts.”

Since skipping this meal isn’t an option for us and we know too much to go out for lunch on a regular basis, that means we have to answer that question from the inside of our refrigerator more days than not.

I don’t like having to think much about extra things during the day, so we’ve come up with a simple system for lunch: dinner leftovers, four ways.

The first step, of course, is to make sure there’s enough dinner to last you for lunch the next day. Once you’ve made dinner, then you’ve got four options:

Leftovers, four ways. |

Option 1: Straight up.

That’s straight outta the fridge. Heated if appropriate, cold if you’re down with that. This is by far the easiest, but not always the most appetizing since it’s a full repeat of last night’s dinner.

Option 2: Salad-ified.

Get some nice mixed greens, throw on leftovers from dinner, add a homemade dressing and you’ve got lunch! This is our summertime preference.

Option 3: Soup-ified.

Heat up some bone broth, add last night’s dinner. You’ve got soup or stew, based on the water to solids ratio. Hat tip to my client Glenn for this idea.

Option 4: Wrap-ified.

Wrap those leftovers in a lettuce leaf, a tortilla, or a collard green leaf, add some fresh greens if it suits you, and roll it up.


What’s your best lunch strategy? Please share in the comments below.

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  1. Debra Joy

    September 22, 2016 at 2:37 pm

    So smart. I was sitting down with a cup of bone broth as I read this. So I got up and added some of last night’s salmon dinner. Such easy soup.


  2. Leslie

    September 23, 2016 at 5:58 pm

    So helpful! I’m always stumped about easy lunch options…mostly because I never seem to make enough dinner the night before…so now my challenge is to make sure my dinners stretch a bit more! Shouldn’t be a problem since we’re slowing adding to our family…and soon enough I’ll have an extra mouth to feed (it may only be a puppy for now, but later….) Love the four options!

    • Margaret Floyd

      September 24, 2016 at 4:22 am

      Yes… all it takes is a little advanced planning, but it makes life the next day SO easy 🙂

  3. Find Your Fine

    November 9, 2016 at 9:33 pm

    Thanks for the tips. Great article.

  4. WLMZ

    January 20, 2017 at 3:31 am

    Planning is key. Great tips you have here.

  5. Josh | BrainSharp

    March 8, 2018 at 11:14 am

    Thanks for the post. Simplicity is always great but at the same time planning can also lead to a healthy nutrition plan and healthy diet. Thanks

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