Let’s Do Lunch!: Easy-to-Prepare Meals When Kids Are Off From School

Prepare this brunch burrito for a healthy at-home lunch for kids. | Image via Getty Images Plus

Need some fresh lunch ideas and easy-to-prepare meals for your kids on days off from school? These recipes come to us courtesy of Nourish Culinary Co. You can find out more about them at nourishculinary.com.

Grilled Cheese & J

Is it grilled cheese? Yes. Is it peanut butter and jelly? Sort of. We take a page out of our Eastern European roots book here and combine salty and sweet for the perfect Grilled Cheese … and J.

Serves 2

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 slices of whatever bread you have
4 slices of your favorite cheese (we love Havarti here, but try cheddar, Muenster or brie)
2 tablespoons of apricot preserves

1. Heat a large skillet or griddle over medium-high heat and melt butter until it foams. Place four pieces of bread into the butter.
2. Spread the jam on each of two pieces of bread, then top with the cheese.
3. Turn two of the slices of bread onto the pieces with the jam and cheese to form closed sandwiches.
4. Slice into triangles or rectangles or whatever shape your family likes.

Brunch Burrito

Eggs are one of our favorite proteins to get in every day. On the days when breakfast is oatmeal, cereal or a bagel, we like to squeeze the eggs into lunchtime.

Serves 2
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 eggs
1 large handful of spinach
¼ to ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 large or extra large whole grain tortillas
¼ cup mild salsa (optional)
½ ripe avocado
Sour cream (optional)

1. Heat a medium skillet over medium heat and melt butter until it foams. While the butter is melting, scramble the eggs.
2. Add the handful of spinach to the pan and stir until it begins to wilt.
3. Add the scrambled eggs and stir with a rubber spatula until the eggs begin to set. Flip to other side and turn off your heat. Sprinkle desired amount of cheese onto hot eggs and allow to melt.
4. Remove the eggs to a cutting board and divide into two portions.
5. Wipe out the pan and warm each of the tortillas until pliable.
6. Spread half of the salsa and half of the avocado in the center of each tortilla. Top with hot eggs.
7. Fold the bottom of the tortilla up over the eggs. Fold the sides over and then roll upward to seal the filling inside.
8. Wipe out the pan once more and place the burrito, seam side down over medium heat for one to two minutes to crisp the outside. Flip to the other side for an additional minute.
9. Slice in half on the diagonal and serve with sour cream.

Refrigerator Stew Soup

Every now and then, we look in our fridge and realize there are some things that we should use up. Our favorite way to do this is with a delicious free-for-all vegetable soup that only requires a couple of pantry
staples and then a whole bunch of whatever you have lying around. Make this one ahead and warm it up whenever you (or they) are ready to eat. We like to make a double batch and freeze half.

Serves 4
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 onion, chopped
1 stalk of celery, chopped
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 cups mixed chopped vegetables
1 14-ounce can chopped tomatoes
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Leftover Parmesan rind (optional)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 cup cooked grain of choice (brown rice, farro, barley, orzo, quinoa all work great here)
1 quart low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth

1. In a large pot, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium heat until it just begins to shimmer.
2. Saute the onion, celery and carrot for 3 minutes over medium heat. Add the garlic and saute an additional minute.
3. Add the remaining ingredients, except for the cooked grains
4. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook for 20 minutes. Uncover, cook for an additional 2 minutes and remove Parmesan rind if using.
5. Add cooked grains. Stir to incorporate and heat through.
6. Drizzle with remaining tablespoon of olive oil and serve.