Friday Favorites: Back to School Lunch Ideas

{I think this is the first time I’ve show you my CLASSROOM ūüôā big deal, right?!}

Man, it’s been a WHILE since I’ve posted a Friday Favorites! To be honest,¬†I’ve strangely missed scouring my pinterest, yummly, and blog lovin’ accounts for all my recent foodie obsessions to share with you lovely readers— and I’m realizing now how much of a recipe inspiration that was for my own personal cooking.

But with all the craziness that came with August, I decided to take¬†a small step back from my blog (and other blogs). I certainly had mixed feelings about it. At times it felt kind of freeing¬†to tone down on all the electronics I use so regularly, but I also missed my routines of cooking, photographing, writing, reading, and gawking at others’ amazing eats. Blogging is actually a way I relax and de-stress. That’s honestly one of the reasons I started in the first place. So it feels natural¬†bringing it back into my weekly routines, especially as the school year comes to a start.

Speaking of school starting— I’ve decided to make that the theme of this week’s Friday Favorites! Whether you’re a teacher like me or a mother getting back into routines, or a professional simply¬†continuing¬†that daily 9-5 grind you’ve been doing all summer, simple, healthy, delicious lunches are always necessary.

Here¬†are a few ways I’ve mastered the art of simple, healthy lunches over my past few years of teaching:

  1. Leftovers— My current favorite way to lunch it up. I tend to¬†make large dinners, so I reserve a portion or two from that night for lunch the next day. It’s SOOO easy, mostly because¬†you don’t even have to think about tomorrow’s lunch until you’re serving dinner! Plus, who doesn’t want to look forward to¬†Lentil Loaf with Cauliflower Mash or Creamy Avocado Pasta for lunch every day?!
  2. Sunday Prep— This was how I USED to prepare my lunches for the week (and sometimes still do). On Sundays, I’d make a huge pot of chili, soup, or a large casserole that I could literally eat for lunch all. week. long. This was a great method when I lived alone, because I’d still be able to make normal sized recipes, but really use my leftovers in a practical way (that never went to waste). The down-side is obviously that you eat the same thing every day for a week. I was ok with that, but it definitely depends on the person.
  3. Sandwiches/ Wraps (the night before)— I also used to do this lunch option A LOT, especially when I was¬†in college and student teaching. Instead of a cooked lunch, I’d throw together quick wraps or sandwiches (paired with an apple, some carrots, a yogurt, granola bar, etc) the night before. My wraps were usually raw, which made it very easy to prep… like I’m talking 2-3 minutes. My favorite combo is still a layer of hummus, avocado, spinach, cucumber, and tomato! Again, very simple, but takes a bit more thinking and prep the night before.
  4. Snack Bento Box— You know those days where you don’t feel like cooking anything, but you obviously still need to eat tomorrow…. but of course there’s no bread to be found in the house. Don’t worry, it’s happened to the best of us. That’s where my “snack bento box”¬†lunch comes into play: hummus with whole grain crackers, rice cakes, or tortilla chips (whatever’s in the house), fruit, yogurt, carrot sticks, raw nuts, healthy granola bars— the list is endless. So on the rare chance I have literally NOTHING to make for lunch, I throw together a balanced snack bento-box¬†¬†(making sure I get in my protein, fiber, whole grains, fruits and/or veggies). We’ve all been there.

So those are my thoughts on school/ work lunches. You can adapt basically all of them for your kiddos as well! I had a student last year that came with a “Snack Bento Box” every day— and it was even in a cute bento box shaped tupperware with all those fun compartments! {can you tell I was secretly jealous?}

Here are some of my favorites from the blogging world!

Back to School Lunch Round Up // pumpkin & peanut butter

… great for leftovers …

meatless black bean loaf with creamy avocado verde sauce // ambitious kitchen

thai green curry fried rice // crazy vegan kitchen

lemon garlic orzo with roasted vegetables // vanilla and bean

vegan burrito bowl enchiladas // pumpkin & peanut butter

quinoa kale bowl with mushrooms & asparagus // 86 lemons

rainbow vegetable noodle stir fry // chef savvy

hearty vegetarian bolognese // ceara’s kitchen

homemade burrito bowls // fooduzzi

… keep it cold (aka no time for microwave) …

easy mediterranean chopped salad // pumpkin & peanut butter

asian cucumber noodle salad // two peas and their pod

quinoa vegetable salad with lemon basil dressing // the garden grazer

asparagus pasta salad with creamy peanut dressing // the lemon bowl

balsamic veggie pasta salad // pumpkin & peanut butter

thai cauliflower rice salad with peanut butter sauce // the awesome green

texas caviar couscous // pumpkin & peanut butter

… sandwiches and wraps …

dijon dill chickpea salad // knead to cook

balsamic pesto and hummus sandwich // the organic dietician

quinoa vegetable wrap // eat good 4 life

avocado pesto chickpea salad sandwiches // edible perspective

spicy lentil tahini wrap // feasting at home

california veggie sandwich // sarcastic cooking

… big pots o’ soup …

vegan greek lentil soup // veggies don’t bite

one pot quinoa veggie chili // pumpkin & peanut butter

spring vegetable kitchen sink soup // ceara’s kitchen

white chickpea chili // two peas and their pod

kale and quinoa minestrone // cooking classy

creamy vegan broccoli potato soup // edible perspective

power greens noodle soup // pumpkin & peanut butter

… snack it up …

no bake double chocolate peanut butter granola bars // averie cooks

rosemary roasted almonds // the friendly fig

carrot cake zucchini muffins // pumpkin & peanut butter

cucumber dill hummus // vegan family recipes

pumpkin oatmeal anytime squares // oh she glows

roasted tomato and red pepper hummus // ceara’s kitchen

6 ingredient no bake energy balls // pumpkin & peanut butter


I’d love to hear what your favorite lunches are too! Leave a comment with your favs and recipe ideas!


Hi, I’m Liz and this is my food blog where I share my love of healthy foods and whole ingredients. You will find mostly vegetarian dishes, plenty of sweets, and lots of love from this little kitchen in Durham, North Carolina!


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