sesame noodle salad

sesame noodle salad / loveandlemons.comsesame noodle salad / loveandlemons.com

They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day but I think Monday lunch is the most important meal of the week. If I’ve destroyed myself indulged a little too much over the weekend, I like to recover with a good healthy Monday lunch. Start the week off right and it’s easier to make healthier choices throughout the week. I’m also trying to make more meals in advance (I’m hoping these kinds of recipes are helpful for you too).

sesame noodle salad / loveandlemons.com

This is a noodle salad, but secretly there’s a kale salad hidden in here as well. I like to go light on the noodles and pile on a rainbow of veggies of varying textures – this time I went with soft kale, thinly sliced cabbage, meaty mushrooms and some crunchy carrots and radishes. (There’s also some tofu that’s not pictured, but feel free to sub in whatever protein you like). We ate this for dinner one night and I packed it up for lunch the next day.

A good start to the week… even if all bets might be off by Friday.

sandwiches: his & hers

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Growing up, my mom packed my school lunch every single day. From the first grade to my first year in college (yes, really)… she would send me off with a well rounded meal. I can remember my first lunchbox – it had Strawberry Shortcake on the front and it was made of tin – inside, it contained a pb&j sandwich on wheat, cut-up fruit in a tiny orange tupperware container, and 3 cookies.

I’ve never known what it’s like to be without lunch, (or any other meal for that matter). If ever I forgot my lunch, you’d better bet that my mom drove over to the school to drop it off. Even now, it would have to be an exceptionally crazy busy day for me to be distracted enough to skip lunch.

Feed a child. Nourish a mind.

This is sadly not the case for many many kids around the world… which is what today’s post is about. You may have already seen a lot of lunch all over the internet today … my friend Nicole from The Giving Table has organized yet another wonderful campaign. Food bloggers all over are posting about lunch to collectively raise money the The Lunchbox Fund, an amazing organization who provides a daily, nutritious meal to children in South Africa. For many, that school lunch is their only meal of their day. Our goal is to raise money to provide 100 school children a meal for an entire year. We’re encouraging everyone to give what you can – the $4 you spend on your morning latte, or $6 green juice can make a world of a difference. Click here to learn more // Click here to help out 

Oh, and I also have a small recipe… pictured at the top of this post are typical lunches for myself and Jack. I love anything and everything with avocado, he loves sandwiches slathered with almond butter.

Click through for a recipe for this white bean spread that I’m currently loving… it’s a perfect spread for quick lunches all week…

easy pita lunch ideas

easy pita lunch ideas / loveandlemons.com

There’s a category that’s seriously underrepresented here, and that is: lunch. Lunch, for me, is the meal that happens in between all of these recipe posts. It’s usually a quick throw-together meal that utilizes a previous night’s dinner and/or an assortment of random on-hand ingredients… (ie. a half of an avocado, a few leaves of kale, leftover quinoa, an opened container of greek yogurt). I love a big lunch salad but when I don’t have enough greens & things to make up a full meal, I take what I do have and put it in (or on) a pita.

easy pita lunch ideas / loveandlemons.com

I keep these Stonefire pitas on hand, usually in my freezer for easy access – they reheat and toast up perfectly. (And yes, they are sponsoring this post, but I’ve seriously been buying their pita and flatbread for years).

You’ll notice I haven’t included actual measurements in this ingredient list – since I’m usually “cooking” for one, my measurements are truly “a bit of this, a pinch of that.” Feel free to adapt & interchange things, using what you have. Everything here can be made ahead & stored for days in the fridge. It’s all pretty packable – just keep the pita separate and stuff it when you’re ready to eat. (A soggy pita would be a pity!)

easy peanut noodles {2 ways}

easy peanut noodles / loveandlemons.com

I don’t make peanut sauce nearly enough. I forget how easy it is, and that I usually already have all the ingredients on hand. I’ve made other variations before, but this time I wanted to simplify it down to just the necessary six ingredients. It takes about 5 minutes (tops) to stir it together… then toss it with noodles & veggies. Dinner is done.

spicy peanut noodle lettuce wraps / loveandlemons.com

We rarely have leftovers at the end of a meal, but when we do, this is what my lunch looks like the next day. Of course you could just eat the cold noodles on their own, but I get bored easily so this is an example of how I like to slightly switch things up. In this case, I loved the creamy noodles in the crispy lettuce leaves. (And a little extra spice).