Sure, I can do a pb & j and survive, but it leaves me kind of cold. Cold-cut sandwiches are great for picnics and boat rides, but at home, every day? I need variety. I need warmth. I need something to sustain me through the afternoon. But I don’t need to spend 30 minutes cooking up a lunch that will be consumed in 15 minutes. I need quick. I need simple. I need ideas…
- Quesadillas: the only absolute requirements are tortillas and cheese. Any kind of cheese will do. Sprinkle, spread, or layer the cheese on one tortilla, top with whatever other ingredients you happen to have, top with a second tortilla, and slide onto a frying pan. Cook on medium high heat for 2 minutes, flip, and cook until all melty inside. Slice into wedges. Garnish as desired. Eat.
- Open-faced Toasted Sandwiches: I really do like sandwiches, just not the plain old cold kind everyday. But give me a thick piece of bread, some leftover cooked chicken or roast or a slice of ham, a piece of cheese, maybe some thin slices of pear or apple, or a few diced tomatoes… Two minutes under the broiler. Perfect.
- Wraps: not the cold kind. Get your wrap material, whether it be a plain old tortilla, a piece of pita bread, or a fancy sun-dried tomato and herb flat bread. Heat up your tasty leftovers, toss a bit of shredded lettuce in the wrap, load with the heated eats, fold, consume. If you don’t happen to have any wrap-appropriate tasty leftovers, try 1) rice and beans, 2) refried beans, cheese, tomato wedges, 3) a wrap version of tuna melt, 4) scrambled eggs, diced ham/onion/anything, cheese.
- Leftover Pasta: as you will recall, the pasta possibilities are endless. Plain noodles can be heated, tossed with butter and parmesan, and eaten as is. Or throw in a bit of whatever else looks appetizing in the pantry or refrigerator. Steamed veggies? Leftover cream of something soup? Jar of black olives? Little bit of Greek salad? Handful of spinach and a few mushrooms? You’ve got gourmet lunch waiting to happen.
What are your great, quick, simple, warm (or even cold) lunch ideas?