10 Easy Lunch Box Recipes My Kids Ask For Constantly
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Eleisha Smith, Teacher Assistant
These burritos are so flavorful and simple to make. Lunch comes together in 20 minutes. The spinach-mushroom filling is packed with healthy ingredients, but the ooey-gooey cheese is what sells kids on this combo. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. 1 to 2 minutes, stirring until wilted. Stir in lime juice, salt, and cumin. 1 minute or until thoroughly heated.
Warm tortillas according to package directions. Kids Can Help: The kids can help scoop the mushroom mixture into the tortillas and then roll them up. For more information about creating a healthy plate, visit www. Build-a-Meal Find recipes with ingredients that you have on hand. Sign Up for our Newsletter Join our newsletter for free recipes, healthy living inspiration, and special offers. Will keep in my meatless burrito rotation. Delicious and healthy recipes customized for you!
Food Collection and the Time Inc. Offers may be subject to change without notice. I’ve learned that the one of easiest ways to stick to a budget is managing how often I go out to eat. Behold, the glory of Trader Joe’s zero-prep, no-hassle Southwestern Chopped Salad. 99 kit contains cabbage, romaine, carrots, radishes, crumbled cotija cheese, pumpkin seeds, tortilla strips, green onion, a bit of cilantro and a zesty avocado dressing. Is the salad kit exciting and beautiful? Walking through the store with this little guy in my basket sparks more conversations and compliments from fellow fans than I ever imagined.
Anyway, I thought I’d give you a heads up! What are your go-to easy meals? Or other Trader Joe’s items I’m missing out on? Trader Joe’s meal hacks, and what food geniuses eat for lunch. Top photo of Elvis in 1958.
I know that other commenters have backed this up, but the Costco bagged salads have completely changed my work lunches. They’re very inexpensive, extremely tasty, and pretty much guarantee that I don’t go out and buy lunch. I often have leftover meatballs, or chicken, or grains from last night’s dinner to load it up with too. At any given moment there are at least 4 bags of the salads in our work fridge. I’m a longtime reader who rarely comments but just wanted to let you know that this post was so helpful! I tried buying the southwestern salad kit soon after this article but my Trader Joe’s said it was a seasonal item and out of stock.
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Thank you so much for your kind comment, Holly! Just wanted to let you know that we tried this salad based on your review. Unexpectedly, my 2 yo son absolutely loves it! My go-to lunch is Trader Joe’s Cruciferous Crunch Collection with their Goddess dressing. I let the dressing break down the veggies overnight and add avocado and rotisserie chicken the next day, I sometimes add a little hot sauce also. I’ve been eating this lunch for years and it’s so delish! I have been struggling to find this in stores, despite my desperate attempt to do so after reading this article, and was recently told by a TJ’s employee that it is seasonal.
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I’ve been snagging a bunch every week to throw in my lunch or accompany dinner. This post and all the comments seriously made my day! Eh, I’ll just make my soup and tuna. Now I have more room for dinner. Cook the rice, heat the tuna in the pasta sauce, stir in a good sized dollop of pesto, and dump the lot over the rice. It turns into this soupy, almost-risotto-like concoction that literally takes 10 minutes.
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It’s one of my late-home-from-work dinner staples! Love love love all the ideas! I bring for lunch but they also tell me they’re jealous because it looks so good! Toss that on some brown rice and mashed sweet potato.
If you re-heat it with a wet paper towel over it, the rice tastes almost as yummy as it was fresh! LOVE everything at Trader Joe’s . Ricotta cheese with no additives that make the texture gummy. Most store bought ricotta is gross! I could go on and on. Of course our Trader Joe’s is on the other side of town from me, but I’d be willing to make the drive for an inexpensive lunch! But I’d probably need to add some chicken to it as well.
5 lunches but they are definitely not the healthiest. So I am super thrilled to find this suggestion. Bought this yesterday for the first time coincidentally. I had this for dinner and plan on consuming the other half for lunch. Chewing on something is so much more satisfying than drinking a smoothie or having soup, etc. Taylor Farms makes great salad mixes as well. Kroger has at least 10 different versions of these bagged salads as well, and they have also changed my lunch game.
We have a Whole Foods literally next to my office. The hot bar is like kryptonite for my wallet. My office pals and I have started having an informal competition for budget-friendly lunches from WF. It was very good when all heated in the office microwave. My mom made a version of this when I was growing up and I’ve made it since at least the early 70s. I was just thinking that this summer’s inaugural batch will probably appear this weekend since we’re due to have highs in the 90s.
This was always a regular dish while I was growing up. And 2 cans of tuna and some frozen peas. Throw it all together and my boyfriend and I could eat on it for a week. This is the content I crave! I stopped drinking wine for 10 weeks and we saved a small fortune lol.
And isn’t Trader Joe’s just the best? Started a new job with no lunch options whatsoever- have been seriously patting myself on the back for bringing these baggies in everyday! On weeks when I’m well prepared, I love making this salad and it holds for at least 4 days in the fridge. Great over quinoa or mixed greens too. She makes five tupperwares full of it at the beginning of the week and puts a paper towel in the container to soak up moisture. I thought I was the only one excited about this salad! I’m on my third bag this week!
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I am truly the most boring person in the lunch room and am teased relentlessly for my lack of creativity, but I just sit silently and smugly as I know how much money I save by my budget friendly lunches. During my 20s that’s what I lived on. While lamenting the weight I’ve put on since then, it dawned on me one day that I now consume a much bigger meal at dinner than a tuna melt. They were such a hit with him — you’d think I’d suddenly graduated from the Cordon Bleu!
It’s making me hungry right now! I sometimes add a crisp finely chopped apple into the mix- sounds weird, but it adds a delightful crunch and sweetness! Lately when I’ve been in a rush I’ll grab those premade bean salads from TJ’s or the Co-op across the street. But the ingredients are clearly listed and very simple, so the next week I go to the store, buy those 8 ingredients, and throw together a big bowl of the same salad, and it lasts me a week! I’m always interested in trying new things from Trader Joe’s, so I just added this salad kit to my shopping list. 1lb ground turkey, which doubled the recipe. I stuffed some of it into peppers and have been eating the rest of the filling plopped on top of mixed greens with a dash of hot sauce.
I haven’t calculated the price per serving, but my bet is that it’s pretty cheap! Stella, it looks like you are making admirable progress on your financial goals that you mentioned in the post awhile back about tax season. Would love to see more budget-conscious posts and ideas! Your website is forever making me wish we had Trader Joe’s here in Canada!
The majority of salad kits in my local stores look wilted and sad. The few good ones are always 6-8 bucks! You’ve got a good thing goin’, American friends. Also wishing Targets expansion to Canada was successful! So true, I regularly lament the lack of TJs and Target! Costco has a salad mix that is almost the same as this.
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Seriously, you are speaking my language with this post! As a vegetarian, I am ashamed that I didn’t think to add black beans. You just took this to a WHOLE NEW LEVEL! This is making me laugh so much, Sandra. I would definitely be a reader! Oh my gosh, you need to start this blog!
Or at least an Instagram account! Let me know when you start it up! Would love to read that daily! Oh my gosh that looks soooo good!
I wish I lived near a Trader Joe’s still, maybe I should move back to Pittsburgh just for this. BUT, my hack is getting a small tub of hummus from the grocery store next door and a few carrots. Fried egg in a corn tortilla with hot sauce. We found that saving a few dollars here and there while out and about made a big difference. Trader Joe’s Japanese Style Fried Rice with a fried egg on top! I can make three meals from one bag of the fried rice and three eggs. 3-4, so that’s a pretty cheap meal.
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I haven’t been to TJ’s in a while because life has been hectic, and it out of my usual path. I love their premade foods though! I love making little naan pizzas with this! I’ve been making a much more concerted effort to bring my lunches in.
This Monday I brought in a few everything bagels along with pickles, sliced cheddar, avocado, and mustard for bagel sandwiches throughout the week. Nice and filling to get me through the long day! 7-ish a carton in my world. These comments are all so great! I never have more than 20 minutes to scarf it down so pre-prepped or picnic-y lunches are a major win.
Then when I’m stuck for inspiration, I can just look at the list on my phone and I’m back to great lunches. My lunch list just got much, much longer and more inspiring thanks to these comments. Love all this love for TJs! Have you all seen this website?
I make mine in the crockpot and eat it all week. Now I know what I’m buying on my way home from work in the morning! The only problem is that when I am at the market, I usually have to reach over the locally grown kale to grab this bag filled with vegetables from 1,000 miles away and like 4 separate plastic sachets of add ons. I’m a little surprised by some of the negative comments- this isn’t worth the money or there are better options. The truth is there are million ways to eat lunch. I used to stress out so much about making everything from scratch- I could make 4 salads for the cost this bag, I could make a gallon of dressing for the cost of this bottle, etc.
Maybe those things are true but at some point I just gave myself permission to take shortcuts. Thanks for voicing this sentiment, Danielle! Danielle, you’ve hit the nail on the head. If buying a premixed bag of chopped salad gets me to have fresh veg at lunchtime, I’m going to do it. On the whole I hate buying pre-packaged foods but to be honest, on a busy week, the pre-cut tray of vegetables or the bag of salad keeps me healthier than the take out I would end up buying otherwise.
We can be too hard on ourselves sometimes. YES sometimes the semi-convenient way to do something is much better than not doing it at all! Danielle this is such a good comment I came back to read it again. Turns out a bag of precut broccoli means we actually eat broccoli. 50 chance I’ll actually take the time to put it together while I’m running out the door in the morning. On the other hand, if I have something quick and ready to go, I’ll always pack it in lieu of eating out. For us, the other option is takeout or delivery.
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35 worth of takeout or delivery. That’s a huge difference for our overall budget. I can see it and seeing how much I did not spend on food I did not need to buy! I actually am doing this will all my random purchases in an effort to get a tangible idea of just how much money I spend senselessly.
I tally at the end of each month and keep a record for the year. Actually, I’d love to see an article on what women here have on average in savings. The attention you’re paying to your spending and the intention behind redirecting spending to savings makes my financial planner heart happy! I’m just as guilty of mindless spending, but also a firm believer that if you measure it you can manage it. Could you please share your trail mix and granola bars recipes?
I’m in this really stressful time at work, so please don’t think I’m weird when I tell you this made me cry. It’s so hard to figure out what to do for lunches when I’m this harried. You never let me down, Cup of Jo. You can get other cheaper versions of this anywhere. Its literally broccoli bits and scraps of frozen vegetables that customers didn’t want to buy. BROCCOLI stalks sheds of baby carrot.
Save further money with skin on chicken thighs. ROAST IN OVEN, ADD A CUP OF COLE SLAW, ADD WATER OR BROTH TO CHICKEN. The extra skin makes broth especially for marinated chicken. It is a perfect lo carb lunch that has less prep then a cup of noodles.
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If you are on Keto you can even eat the skin. It probably could be vegan broth too. With a bit of salt or msg. 3 can of salmon to make salmon patties. This recipe makes 6-8 patties, so that will be 3 to 4 meals for my husband and me.
I actually prefer it on tortillas! One container is enough for 2 lunches. Literally eating this salad right now! Eating the shredded kale one with added avocado and goat cheese while I read this! Lunch is so challenging for me.