What’s On Your Plate? Good Question

First, let me apologize to my friends, Donna and Deb, the co-hosts of the monthly What’s On Your Plate? virtual potluck party. I am going to misappropriate their gathering shamelessly and use it as a way to generate meal ideas – specifically lunch ideas – for myself.

Breakfast is easy around our house… and usually not overly imaginative. My husband and I often fend for ourselves – pancakes, French toast, or cereal for him; oatmeal, a poached egg, or toast for me (and coffee… always coffee). Dinner is more involved and requires longer prep time, but we almost never seem to run out of inspiration (and, when we do, there is always pizza).

Ever since we retired, lunch has been a conundrum. Coming up with meals that are tasty, healthy, and relatively quick – the meal trifecta, as far as I’m concerned – hasn’t been easy. Too many times, we look at what is available in the fridge and/or pantry, find nothing inspiring, and decide to go out for lunch. As much as I enjoy a change of scenery with my meals, eating out can get expensive, and most menu choices tend to be calorie dense.

So, before the What’s On Your Plate? co-hosts notice that I’ve hijacked their topic, can you help me out? What do you typically make for lunch in your home? Do you put together a different lunch every day? Do you make a big bowl of something yummy and eat it throughout the week? Are there lunches that are tasty, healthy, and quick that you love to eat? Are there ingredients that you always have on hand so that lunch is never an issue? I would be very grateful if you shared some favorites.

And, to avoid Donna and Deb kicking me out when my ruse is discovered, here is a recipe for a lunch we have now and then when we are desperate:


Peanut Butter


Please check out Deb’s (The Widow Badass) and Donna’s (Retirement Reflections) blogs for their What’s On Your Plate? monthly dinner – or breakfast, lunch, or midnight snack – party. Get inspired by the various dishes they and other bloggers feature and share one of your own (a lunch dish would be nice 😊).

Author: Janis @ RetirementallyChallenged.com

My blog is about travel, relationships, photography, and whatever else pops into my head (even, sometimes, issues surrounding retirement and aging).

126 thoughts on “What’s On Your Plate? Good Question”

  1. A-HAH! I have discovered you Janis, and will not kick you out. Love your…ahem…recipe! I too have made this one…bwahahahahahaha!
    My lunches usually consist of reheating leftovers as I have not yet learned how to cook for one, or even two for that matter. I still cook as if feeding a family (or my late husband, who had the appetite of 2 men)…and that gets kinda old by the 3rd time I have to eat yet another portion of whatever it is (which is so NOT the charm, no matter what they tell you). Sorry that I can’t be more helpful….


      1. Good advice! My mom had next-door neighbours who never ate leftovers either. I think she was permanently scarred when she witnessed the wife throwing the remains of a perfectly good beef roast in the garbage after a dinner she attended at their house. I commended her for not reaching in and grabbing it to take home 🤣. I knew she wanted to. Both my mom and dad were forever scarred by having survived the Hunger Winter during WW2 in occupied Holland. We never wasted food.

  2. I eat leftovers from the night before (or two nights before), or combine small leftovers into a new meal. I always have small flour tortillas and canned black or refried beans; with a little salsa and a little cheese, sort-of-enchiladas do very well. In the summer, I gorge on tomato sandwiches: mayo and fresh tomatoes on toast. I also like baked beans over buttered toast, with or without an egg on top. And, speaking of eggs, sometimes I just have breakfast for lunch (or supper).

    1. Oh, tomato sandwiches! We had a ton of those last summer… straight from our garden to our plates. Alas, due to a backyard project, we won’t be growing tomatoes this year. I like your idea of making things with tortillas. Sometimes a slice or two of bread is too much.

  3. With Z-D working from home for over a year now, my mid-day meal has changed. He likes a balanced *real* lunch while before I was just a nibbler. We’ve gotten to a balance wherein we eat last night’s leftovers [his serving larger] with raw veggies and fresh fruit [more for me]. I insist on a cup of hot tea after lunch and he’s joined me with that little caffeine burst. It’s an easy approach to a mid-day meal.

  4. Janis, in part it depends on what I had for breakfast. A heartier breakfast will lead to a salad for lunch. A lighter breakfast may lead to leftovers. Keith

    1. Salads are a good idea and I should have them for lunch more. They can range from just a collection of veggies to also including proteins. My stomach usually hasn’t woken up enough to want a hearty breakfast. But then, of course, I’m hungrier come noon.

      1. Janis, the pre-washed lettuce mixes make it easier to put together one salad. I try to mix it up with a fruit and nut based salad one day, a Greek salad (feta, kalamata olives, etc.) another day and maybe some other kind another day. That keeps it interesting. Keith

  5. I agree with you completely — it’s one of the unexpected tasks generated by retiring! I have friends who just graze, but we like the break of leisurely conversation after a morning of being in our studies (or our bikes). For us, it depends on the season, but the basic idea is that we rotate a few things. Leftovers, as so many people have commented. Soups in the winter. (I buy them, but better cooks/human beings might make and freeze them.) Sandwiches in the summer –often cheese, avocado, and tomato. I usually buy a rotisserie chicken, and we eat either chicken sandwiches or chicken salad sandwiches (when I have the oomph to make it). Don’t forget hot dogs (the all beef, kosher type), too! As you say, the key thing is NOT TOO MUCH TIME in the prep!

    1. Although I love it when the weather warms, I do miss my soup lunches. I try not to eat too much bread (that’s my kryptonite), but I usually just eat just half a sandwich so I guess that’s not so bad. And, cheese, avocado and tomatoes… yum! My husband is a big hot dog fan and he’ll often have one when we run out of ideas.

  6. I like salmon and Tim doesn’t, so I bake it on Monday and have enough for three lunches throughout the week. It’s great with salad and a veggie. Tim says my lunches look more like dinner but it’s really not all that filling. Otherwise, a turkey sandwich and chips will suffice. Unfortunately, Tim likes to go get something, so we do eat burgers and other takeout at times. I love to eat leftovers, which I also do a lot. Lunch is easy for me; I don’t need much.

    1. I love salmon! We usually share a portion for dinner but I like the idea of baking more (as long as the oven or grill are on anyway, right?) and using it for lunches too. There is nothing wrong with your lunches looking like dinner – all the yum without the prep!

  7. My wife has not worked since 2008. I “retired” in 2019, but I still consult/work about 3-4 months per year. When I am working from home or not working, I walk dogs first thing and make coffee. My wife generally makes soft boiled egg and toast for us at about 10:00. We have a meal between 2:00 and 5:00. When I work and go to a location which is mostly court houses where I monitor civil trials ( I also do audit and consulting advice from home) I eat a sandwich, a sleeve of crackers and cheese and a sleeve of oreos.

    1. I really like the idea of shifting meal times. I think having a late breakfast and an early dinner (skipping lunch entirely) would work for me but probably not for my husband. Oreos are so good, but I don’t think I could eat a whole sleeve (well, I could but I probably shouldn’t 🙂 ). Thank you for your comment!

      1. I like them, but they’re kind of weird: I cook baby spinach, egg whites, a tablespoon of quick oats, 1/2 tsp lime juice and a tablespoon of salsa. I put the cooked mixture on a low-carb wrap with a little shredded sharp cheese, a third of an avocado and a tablespoon of low-fat Greek yogurt. Crazy, huh?

  8. We almost always have a big salad for lunch with mixed greens and protein (usually leftover grilled chicken/roast pork tenderloin/salmon/shrimp) from the night before, or sardines/tuna if there are no leftovers. What makes the salads interesting are the add-ons: garbanzos, kalamata olives, pickled asparagus, pickled beets, cherry tomatoes, avocado, feta cheese, roasted corn, chilled quinoa pilaf from the night before, fresh herbs, etc. We top it off with good olive oil and a drizzle of good balsamic vinegar. I always want tasty, healthy food but I’m kinda lazy, LOL. So salads are the perfect solution.

    1. Your salads sound wonderful! I like an all-veggie salad, but adding protein and other interesting toppings elevate them to a whole new level. I think the key is to have those toppings around so you can add whatever strikes your fancy at the moment. (And the wonders of a good-quality balsamic can’t be over-stated.) Thanks for the suggestion!

  9. Who can’t love a good PB&J? Well done, my friend. In our home, I’m the one who gorges on the previous night’s leftovers for lunch (unless we’re having them again for dinner, of course). My wife without fail has the same exact lunch every single day: a cup of vanilla yogurt with fresh blueberries or raspberries on top, a dash of granola, and then a drizzle of golden light agave. It never changes unless we go out to a restaurant. I’ll mix it up with with Chinese or sushi takeout occasionally, but she only ever eats that same combo every day. I guess she likes it! – Marty

  10. We often cook too much for dinner so that we can have leftovers. We love them. But we also keep celery and humus, apples and salami in the fridge all the time.to supplement. I also make deviled eggs quite often and they are a good lunch time snack. I haven’t had a PB&J in years. I’m craving one now!

    1. Oh, deviled eggs… that sounds so good! I often cook more food than just for one meal too, but I usually keep it for the next evening’s meal (I love, love not having a lot of meal prep for at least a few nights a week). I hadn’t thought of keeping hummus around as a lunchtime dip for veggies. Thanks!

  11. I don’t understand this concept of leftovers …

    We tend not to make a big thing of lunch. Pitta bread or ciabatta with fillings such as hummus, peanut butter, cheese etc, plus tomatoes, jalapeños and anything else suitable to hand.

    1. I don’t understand not understanding the beauty of leftovers 🙂 ! Isn’t it funny how so many of the commenters (and me) make leftovers on purpose. They are such a great timesaver and often taste even better the second time around. Good idea about having pita bread around. Tasty, but not as bready as sandwich bread.

  12. I love this post. It completely cracked me up.
    To me, L is for Lunch and for Leftovers.
    I have a thing about FRESH food, and for not wasting, so I usually try to get to any potential leftovers right away.
    On your recommendaiton, Richard and I have recently tried Hello Fresh dishes. We have found that we usually have enough left over for a perfect sized small lunch the next day.
    For today’s lunch, I had some lunch meat turkey left over from our recent camping adventure, a half of tomato left over from last night’s dinner, and some mini potato buns in the freezer (which heated up quickly under our oven broiler). Instant lunch and very delicious. No fuss, no muss!

    1. We did the same thing with Hello Fresh meals. At first, we’d eat the whole thing in one meal but we soon realized that it was too much. When we added extra veggies and maybe some starch, we had extra meals. Your lunch sounds yummy… much better than PB&J 🙂

  13. Because I’m dieting…or rather making healthy choices as I’m coached to think of it as, I’ve been making soups. It’s been fun to try different recipes with veggies I may not often use. If, after a few lunches, there is still some left, I freeze it. I just froze the remains of a West African peanut soup which I thought was delicious but rather heavy for this time of year. I also keep a bag of cooked shrimp in the freezer for a quick lunch or dinner. (As of this morning, 10 lbs gone!)

  14. Oh LOL! Would you believe I’ve never had a PB&J (see what I did there?)? I suppose the equivalent here in Aus would be vegemite and cheese – which is my go-to comfort food sandwich. Lunch, now there’s a question. I make a batch of soup every couple of weeks and pop it in portion-controlled containers in the freezer ready to defrost and heat up in my lunch hour ( work from home). At least a couple of times a week there’ll be leftovers from the previous night’s dinner – maybe some Thai curry, stir fry, or whatever.

    1. Well, then, we are even… I’ve never had vegemite (and I just might keep it that way 🙂 ). Since you are in your cooler seasons, soup is a great go-to lunch. I make a lot of stir fry dinners and they make wonderful leftovers. Thai curry sounds so yummy too. I’m getting some good ideas!

  15. I eat leftovers too. I always make enough for at least 2 meals because I’m lazy! My husband will eat a half sandwich, good sliced beef with butter and tortilla chips. Always. Boring! I get the wonderful leftovers!

  16. We love leftovers, only they disappear unexpectedly. Two of us four are on very different schedules, and one likes to graze at odd hours. I often find the leftovers I had planned for dinner have shrunk to a snack. We have to stay flexible!

    We have a late breakfast after walking to the creek, so our second meal is at 2 or 3 o’clock. We just snack at night. Both John and I have lost weight on this schedule!

    1. I really like that schedule and, often, all I want at night is a snack… but when I’ve gone to the trouble of cooking dinner, I feel it’s only right that I get to indulge. It’s obvious that you are a much nicer person than I am. If anyone ate the leftovers I had planned for dinner, I think I’d have a problem… or, the person eating them would have a problem 🙂 Fortunately, it’s just my husband and me so we’d know who to blame.

      1. We lived alone for a couple of years, so I do remember what it is like. If I had a choice of left-overs not disappearing or having a family member living here, I’d let the food go. It’s wonderful having a son and grandson with us, and they won’t be here forever. Son $ is eager to save money and move to Washington state. Grandson David would love to live on his own, but he’s not there yet financially. Right now, I can’t imagine our racking around this house by ourselves. It would be a bit lonely for me, because John spends 20% of his days in Tennessee. Another thought — I know there are frozen burritos and pizzas in the freezer if leftovers disappear. You see, I’m not nicer than you; I’m devious.

        1. Haha! It sounds like you have a wonderfully full house. It is great that you are able to help you son and grandson save some money… I moved back with my parents many moons ago so I could afford to buy a house (I probably eat a few of their leftovers too 🙂 ).

  17. Sometimes I make a pile of quesadillas for dinner, with most of them going for subsequent lunches. Or I make chicken salad with a Costco chicken and we have it over lettuce one or two days and then in Trader Joe’s pita pockets for a couple more days. And, of course, leftovers from whatever may have shown up on the dinner table the night before…. I’ve gotten some great ideas from others’ comments. Happy munching, Janis.

  18. Yum! I like PB&J! Except for me, the J is for Jam, not jelly. We eat leftovers a lot. He-Man will grill up tri-tip for dinner which we eat with a salad, and a veggie then the following days we’ll make a steak salad with it. When he grills up Salmon I make a salmon spread which we put on crackers or in our green salad to use it up.

    Sometimes if we’re hungry earlier than dinner time he’ll grill in the early afternoon and that is our lunch/dinner. I love doing that because I prefer eating my largest meal in the middle of the day rather than in the evening.

    We buy some Japanese noodle and/or rice dishes with chicken that are frozen at Costco and we microwave those for lunch if we haven’t got any leftovers, and in the winter I make soups and stews that we eat for lunches and dinners until they’re gone.

    Today I’m not having dinner because I had half a loin steak with roasted potatoes and veggies for lunch. I’m still stuffed even after a 2 miles walk! If I get hungry later on I’ll have a slice of toast with peanut butter to banish the hunger pains.

    1. I prefer a larger mid-day meal too but my husband, who never seems to gain an ounce, likes his three meals (and I’m not very good at not eating a meal if I’ve taken the time to make it). I’ll have to look into those Costco frozen dishes, they sound like a good thing to have on hand. I’ve learned from you and others commenting that I need to become mush more creative with leftovers.

  19. Interesting topic. If I had an egg (protein) for breakfast, then I go light with lunch, salad or yogurt. If I had cereal, then I want protein for lunch so I make a sandwich with meat, lettuce and tomato if I have it using one piece of bread. Sometimes, chips jump on to the plate and have to be eaten too. It also depends on if I’m going back outside to work, and coffee always follows lunch. 🙂

  20. Love all the responses – I’m sure you have plenty of ideas to sift through so I’ll just tag along and say simply:
    lunch for me is 99.9% of the time a salad with ceci beans and/or feta. Salads are in my blood so making them from scratch is like second nature to me!
    I, too have an addiction to bread, so I sometimes add a handful of Rosemary crackers as a starchy contrast and – here’s the different part, I think – I almost always finish it all off with a crunchy whole carrot as a ‘dessert’ HA!

    1. For some reason, I don’t often think of having a salad for lunch. I don’t know why as I always enjoy them. A few crackers on the side – or even crumbled over – and you have a enjoyable and healthy lunch. (Not sold on the carrot “dessert,” though… my taste buds aren’t that easily fooled.) 🙂

  21. I pray for leftovers for lunch. Sometimes just knowing that I’ll need something fun for lunch the next day, will help me resist going back for seconds at dinner. I love leftovers. Barring that, I try to eat a big salad for lunch. Often lunch is rather late, so instead of a salad before dinner, I have a late salad lunch.

  22. My hubby would be happy with a sandwich for lunch every day. Really. Every. Single. Day.

    I like sandwiches but 1 a week is plenty for me. I like to have salad fixings on hand. I could eat a salad every day, but hate to make them. I wash, dry, and tear up lettuce, get some colorful grape tomatoes, good olives, slice some radishes, etc. Whatever appeals to me that week. Then I add different stuff every day – goat cheese, avocado, pear, craisins, sliced almonds, whatever is available.

  23. I often eat leftovers for lunch, especially if I’ve eaten out at a restaurant recently. The portions are so large that there is almost always enough to take home for the next day!

  24. This is so funny that you are high jacking the plate question!
    For me lunch (from Oct to April) is home made soup. I make up 1 or 2 big batches per weekend and put it in individual containers labelled soup so it’s always a surprise! My other half has a grilled cheese sandwich almost every day. If it’s super cold he might have the soup but it’s basic grilled cheese for him. French bread, old cheddar and a slice of ham. In the summer I have salads, usually with whatever is on hand in the garden. I lean towards cabbage more than lettuce and just vary my dressings.

  25. Hey Janis! Good for you for jumping in and playing with the others in your own unique way! And while I am not into peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (I do my best to avoid bread if I can) I am all for making lunches easy. Like many of the other commenters we do eat leftovers whenever possible. But a couple of other things I fix regularly include tuna salad, scrambled eggs (we seldom have eggs for breakfast so they make a good lunch) and once in a while we even have a bowl of oatmeal. Because we primarily have smoothies for breakfast, having breakfast food for lunch just works for us. Fun question and interesting to read everyone’s answers! ~Kathy

    1. I have loved getting so many great suggestions. Leftovers and interesting salads seem to be winning. I guess the key is to have a variety of items on hand so we don’t find ourselves staring blankly into the fridge. And, you are right, there is no law that says we can’t have breakfast for lunch!

  26. Hi Janis, Aside from sandwiches or salads, on my lunch rotation, I make a small platter or charcuterie board with cheese, fruit, crackers, mixed nuts, meat deli or hard boiled egg, etc. It’s easy to do without involving cooking or too much prep time and easy to control the portion to your level of hunger. The different colours and textures make the lunch appealing. Here are some ideas: https://www.eatingwell.com/gallery/11425/easy-cheese-boards-appetizer-party-board-ideas/

    1. I hadn’t thought of a charcuterie board for lunch… good idea! We have one for dinner now and then when we aren’t too hungry but want to graze. It’s a great way to satisfy the taste buds without going to a lot of trouble. Also, since you tend to eat more slowly as you put the various combination together, it’s easier to stop before you’re stuffed.

  27. Sounds familiar – the ever present question – what are we having for lunch/dinner. 🙂 We tend to have a late breakfast – my SO prefers a big English breakfast. I sometimes join him, other times I’ll have oatmeal or toast and cheese. We hardly ever have lunch but if we do, it is often left overs from the night before, or a bread roll with cold meat and cheese (my SO is German, so that is one of his favourite things to eat.) Dinner is our big meal for the day, and a lot of discussion normally goes into the planning of that. So in short, I wrote a long story to say I can’t help you. 🤦‍♀️
    (I find in winter a bowl of soup always goes down a treat, and in summer a tuna salad. )

    1. I really like the idea of eating a later, larger breakfast, then not again until dinner. I think I could train my tummy to work with that schedule. Sometimes I find myself looking at the clock and, seeing that it’s around noon, putting together a lunch even though I might not be too hungry. I’m a creature of habit, I guess 🙂

  28. I love what you did in this post, Janis. Dry creative. See, you are imaginative. 🙂

    Our lunches are always easy, quick, and healthy and we almost always have all the ingredients at hand, because we make the same thing for every meal (unless we haven’t made it to the store and then we improvise with crackers and cheese for me, PB&J for him or avocado and corn chips, this happens once a month or so).

    We make sandwiches every day. Two slices of whole wheat bread for each of us. Muenster cheese for me, goat cheese or hummus for Mark, topped with slices of tomato, cucumber, red onion, and lettuce for both of us and some mayonnaise for me. When we have a toaster around (never in the camper), we toast the bread before building the sandwiches.

    We always have these ingredients in our fridge and buy bread often. Yep. Tasty, healthy, and quick.

    1. Lunch always seems like an afterthought so we don’t keep as much on hand as we should. Next time we go grocery shopping, I’ll stock up on cheeses, hummus, and other sandwich/salad ingredients. I guess just about everyone enjoys the ease of leftovers like we do 🙂 Thanks for your suggestions!

      1. I guess we eat too much, as we rarely have leftovers. And, for us and our lifestyle, grabbing the sandwich ingredients out of the fridge and not having to cook anything and do more dishes for lunch makes things easier. 🙂

  29. I had to laugh at this topic, because I was so excited to be on summer vacation and stop planning all my meals in advance (okay, so I buy pre-packaged food during the school year!)…and I have failed completely! Being home means being able to cook, but it doesn’t always mean that you want to. I am working on finding that balance as well!

  30. Funny you should ask. A few months ago I had a brainstorm: Salad week followed by soup week followed by salad week, and so on. On Sunday I’d make either a batch of soup or do an hour of prep work readying salad ingredients in a container we have that has compartments for each different salad ingredient. Then I’d eat either the soup or the salad (depending on the week) for lunch each day. It was easy to switch soups each time and to alter salad ingredients from week to week. I’ve taken some photos and am considering doing a blog post on it. We’ll see, but for now, feel free to take this idea and run with it or not! Happy lunching.

  31. Lunch after retirement. An interesting question as my lunch regime has definitely changed since finishing work. I don’t have it every day but we do tend to have a larger morning tea – not so healthy. My antidote is to have an open sandwich – only one slice of bread with my cup of tea and sweet treat ( usually home cooked something ).
    As the Moth (Man of the House) doesn’t eat salad, I also make up a big salad and eat that for lunch for several days. I see there was a few comments about leftovers, and the Moth doesn’t like them either, but I make him eat them on occasions. Can’t make all meals one time only.

    1. I’m definitely on Team Leftovers but sometimes I add a few fresh ingredients to supplement the dish or change it a bit (maybe your husband wouldn’t notice 🙂 ). I think making a big salad, or doing all the prep at once and eating it over several days, makes so much sense. Chop once, eat multiple times.

  32. I have some bags of salad and I poach 2 eggs and have them on the salad with some kind of dressing. My current fav is a light curry dressing. Cheese and grapes are another fav for lunch. Also portable. Cottage cheese and fresh strawberries is my current jag. Leftover salmon also yummy on a salad with a teriyaki dressing.

  33. I love what you did here Janis!!! I have to admit lunches can be quite difficult – I often like a small grazing plate, cheeses, ham, crackers, sun-dried tomatoes, olives….it all goes down quite well! I have also made your recipe before 🙂

  34. I just gotta say that I’m impressed that pancakes and French toast are a breakfast option–and to make just for himself? That’s so much work for one meal and the first one at that. Where does he get the energy? Maybe the coffee comes first. 🙂

  35. Your recipe of PB&J cracked me up, Janis! Since my hubby and I still work, our lunches consist mainly of healthy sandwiches: wheat bread, turkey, sometimes cheese, pickles, tomatoes, light mayo and mustard, then some kind of fruit. Nothing too special, but easy enough. If I make a bigger dinner the night before, then leftovers it is! And occasionally, we crave your recipe, too. 🙂 We’re never too old for a good PB&J!
    As to breakfasts, usually some kind of healthy cereal or oatmeal. Pancakes, French toast, or eggs and omelets are saved for the weekends when we have more time.
    Dinner during the summer is something on the grill with grilled, steamed, or roasted veggies. And/or a green salad. We don’t eat potatoes or rice often. During the winter, we love casseroles, spaghetti, lasagna, enchiladas, and tacos – some meals also calorie dense, but it’s all in the portions. Happy eating!

    1. For some reason, breakfast and dinner aren’t a problem, probably because we choose between just a few regularly-rotated items at breakfast and dinner is more of a focus. Based on some of the comments, I picked up a few new-to-me lunch items while grocery shopping this morning. I’m looking forward to adding some variety into our noon meal!

  36. I haven’t had a PB&J in years – we made them often for the kids for lunch though. According to their pediatrician, a PB&J sandwich and an apple was a complete meal of 500 calories. After over a year of eating low-carb, healthy fats, Mr. and I don’t eat lunch. We’re down to two meals a day, sometimes just one. We have a late breakfast and then just dinner. So my recipe for lunch is not to bother with it. I do have an afternoon cup of Matcha with some sea salt and maybe 5 olives or 5 macadamia nuts to go with it. Sea salt curbs appetites and the nuts are satiating. Cheers to you for your clever twist to what’s on your plate prompt! I hope you gathered plenty of recipes to enjoy!

    1. Your way of eating is working well for you so I understand why you are keeping at it. I’d definitely have to retrain my tummy to skip lunch regularly, let alone an additional meal. Pre-pandemic, I was out and about more so it was easier to skip meals. Hopefully, those days will come back soon. I didn’t know that about sea salt.

      1. I do hope the out and about mode is returning for you. We’re pretty much back to normal here. Sea salt is a good thing! It’s sad that so many people are deficient in minerals due to some dietary recommendations. I hope you’ve found some great ideas for meals from this post. It’s a fun way to gather together!

  37. I love it Janis…the highjacking of What’s on Your Plate, I mean! As for my lunches, I typically prepare something that will last throughout the better part of the week. This week I made stir fry with ground turkey, cauliflower rice, and edamame. I have a couple of other standby recipes.

    1. I think that makes a lot of sense. One big prep that creates several meals throughout the week. I don’t mind eating the same or similar things for lunch several times a week (especially if that means that I don’t have to think about it 🙂 ).

  38. Your post brought me a big smile, Janis. Not too many foods beat bread, peanut butter and jelly, and the memories that go along with this.😀 I also like the meal ideas I get from this series. When I was working I was a big “shake” person, since I did not have time to chew food (and then floss) during the day. I still often make shakes and then eat quite basic – cottage cheese, yogurt, fruit, vegetables during the day. We often do not have 3 meals a day. I am getting great ideas from these posts. I love your phrase “virtual potluck party.”

    1. Smiles are good! I’ve had breakfast shakes but, at least for now, I want something to chew at lunch. I agree I’ve received a bunch of good ideas here and I’m so grateful. I’ve already purchase some deli meat and cheese and that’s working out well. I think next I’ll put together a big salad to eat throughout the week. Covid has added a few pounds (at least I’ve blamed it on Covid and I’m sticking to it) that I’d love to see go away, so best to avoid eating out for a while 🙂

      1. We were big on sandwiches for brunch/picnic when we were camping. A good excuse to go for a hike and have something to eat. The big salad throughout the week is a great idea. 😀

  39. Laughing at your last image, and yet, it suddenly made me ask myself- why DON’T I have p and j for lunch? I love that sandwich, particularly on a good wheat or rye bread. Breakfast for me is yogurt with some fresh blueberries on top, maybe a spoonful of granola. Lunch for us is usually left overs – yup, I make enough dinner that we can have more of it at lunch time. Otherwise I’m stumped what to do. However…. I have peanut butter AND jelly (jam actually) at home. Hmmmm. 🙂

    1. You sound very much like me… I often have yogurt with some muesli for breakfast and leftovers for lunch (if I have them). PBJs can be the perfect, quick, go-to lunch for when we are completely stumped. I’ve already started to incorporate a few of the suggestions I found in the comments… lunch is starting to look better and better 🙂

  40. What a hilarious post, Janis. I love your recipe. Vince and I have the same lunch problem. Today I made chicken quesadillas. I hope the chicken was good. It’s been in the refrigerator for a while. Vince said it smelled okay. We could have made pizza, but that’s about it. Maybe cooked soup, but who wants that in the summer? So let’s go out, what do you say?

  41. [Sorry for the tardiness in commenting Janis – in late May we had a computer crash at work and it hogged some of my personal time and I got horribly behind in Reader.] I am also an oatmeal for breakfast gal and have had it for decades. In fact, I made up my oatmeal, a week at a time, but not how you’d think. I just make the dry ingredients up, so it’s grab and go and not in a microwave as I got rid of that a long time ago – I use a disposable large paper cup and run very hot water into it to mix it up and dissolve the oatmeal. I use the Old-Fashioned Quaker Oats and it completely dissolves. My oatmeal is more like a warm muesli. I add roasted/shelled sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds, raisins, cranberries and sometimes walnuts to it. It is nice and thick to have under my belt for a long walk. Since it’s just me, it’s a sandwich for lunch, either PB&J or I use the tear-open foil packages of salmon or tuna with cheese. I just mix up vegetables and have that for dinner with a cup of yogurt. I’m not very creative and I can’t cook. 🙂

    1. It sounds like you have your meals down to a science. I don’t think they need to be creative, just satisfying. I hope you have your work computer up and running again. That would be so frustrating… it’s amazing how much we rely on them. It doesn’t seem all that long ago when we didn’t have computers on everyone’s desks.

      1. I do, but when I’m retired I would like to learn to cook. I got a crock pot last year and bought a lot of crock pot cookbooks to try some creative meals, then a fellow blogger who writes a recipe blog suggested I try a Facebook site for easy crock pot meals and I’ve not yet touched the cookbooks. No time mostly and when the computer debacle hit, I had even less time. I was from that era as well – I used IBM Selectric and Wheelwriter typewriters for many years before going we went to a desktop computer.

  42. You had me in stitches!!! What a great way to start my morning! And I love PBnJs, incidentally, although I tend to do make mine open-faced with crusty spelt sourdough bread.

    Lunch is also a challenge these days as my husband has been working from home – which means we need something substantial enough but not too heavy. One of our favourites which has emerged is a stuffed wrap which we put under in our panini grill. Including a link to show you the “hack” way of filling and folding the tortilla:


  43. You really don’t need more suggestions but I’ll add one. If we have a little something left over from the previous dinner, we make a simple Italian frittata…similar to a quiche but without a crust. It can be made with anything from a little sautéed veggies, a small amount of pasta, etc.

  44. Hi again Janis, I decided to link this hilarious post to your name on the attendance roster in the June Story Chat Summary. Thanks so much for commenting. I love your writing. You should do a piece for Story Chat. 🙂

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