It’s the holidays and we have to eat!
I don’t know about you but I find coming up with weekend lunch ideas such a challenge let alone the holidays. Coming up with something healthy for the family to eat that’s quick and easy, appropriately “lunchy” and relatively healthy at the same time can really hurt the brain when it’s supposed to be at rest. And variety is the spice isn’t it. They don’t want the same thing all the time and neither do I for that matter.
To compound the degree of difficulty, none of us here do well on gluten so we can’t just pop down to the bakery for a few bread rolls – ah those were the day! I love the weekends but I don’t love weekend lunch making decisions!
And now it’s the holidays and my problems are simply multiplied. But I do have the resources! I do have the ideas. I just need to write them down in one place!
So here it is. My list of quick and easy family friendly lunch ideas that can take you through the holidays and then into the weekends again when the world gets back to normal all too soon.
- Good sausages (preferably organic and preservative free) – done on the barbie of course. Chopped up on a central platter so everyone can pick at them with their own fork. Serve with good quality mustard.
- Chicken satay – chopped up chicken thighs marinated in peanut sauce and threaded onto skewers and grilled on the barbie. Make a stack of them and throw the ones you don’t cook in the freezer.
- Salad bowls – Need to get more veggies into the day (who doesn’t!)? Try a salad bowl. An individual bowl for each of you. Try lettuce, baby spinach or rocket and then some other colours – grated carrot, grated raw beetroot (so good!), cucumber sliced or cubed, snow peas, capsicum, baby tomatoes, some real fermented sauerkraut, avocado and/or hard boiled egg as well as some grated cheese or cubed feta and some cubed cold meat like leftover roast lamb or Christmas ham or turkey or shredded chicken. Dress it all with a yummy home made dressing and dig in.
- Or more salad – a Caesar salad (sans croutons for us) with cos lettuce chopped into wide strips, crispy quality bacon, grated Parmesan cheese and a creamy home made dressing. Toss and top with a lightly boiled and “carefully” peeled egg (a 3 minute egg would be perfect).
- Or more salad and our personal favourite- a different take on a Caesar Salad- Bacon, lettuce, feta and pine nuts salad. Lots of fresh mesclun style lettuce with crumbled feta and chopped crispy bacon, dressed with a good home made dressing and lightly toasted pine nuts scattered over the top.
- And another salad – Roast Sweet Potato and spinach salad – Roast some cubes of sweet potato in ghee or coconut oil till golden caramelised. Cool slightly and then toss in lots of baby spinach leaves, some feta and pine nuts (we like pine nuts, you could use any nuts you like or leave out). You could throw some shredded chicken in too if you like.
- Beef burgers – (or pork or lamb or a combination) grass fed mince (the fattier the better for burgers), salted with Himalayan salt. Mix well and form into patties. Gently grill on the barbie. Serve with chutney and a salad. Make lots and freeze them.
- A leftovers platter – at this time of the year, that consists of ham, turkey or whatever cold meat is in the fridge, olives, celery sticks, left over chicken liver pate, carrot sticks, perhaps some leftover cheese, dill pickles, baby tomatoes. Put it on a gorgeous platter and offer individual plates for everyone to take what they please.
- Chicken wingettes – a family staple in our house and great because they are cheap. A kilo of chicken wings will feed 5 people easily – we use a half kilo for the 3 of us but 1 of us only eats a few as she’s smaller than the others. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Make a rub by mixing 1 tsp each of smoky paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, Himalayan salt, sesame seeds and some chili powder to taste or black pepper if you prefer. Grab some organic (or at least proper free range) chicken wingettes, wings or “drumettes” and pop in a container with a lid (I use a large glass snap lid container but whatever you have) and cover with rub. Put lid on tightly and shake to cover chicken. Place on oven tray and bake for 20 minutes on 200 degrees Celsius, turn wingettes and cook further 5 minutes. Eat! Yum! Can also be cooked on the barbie! And be adventurous with your rubs/marinades. There are lots to choose from on the internet – be careful if you pick one with sugar in it as sugar burns and goes black if cooked too high.
- Chicken nuggets with a salad. We use thigh fillets cut into nugget sized pieces and soaked in buttermilk or yoghurt (fermented dairy seems ok with us) and rolled in almond meal mixed with grated Parmesan then fried in ghee.
- Scotch Eggs – a bit more trouble but very delicious if you have the time. I like this recipe from Eat Drink Paleo
- Mini Tacos – a good one if you have cooked up some Mexican flavoured mince in the freezer. We spice up 1 kilo of grass fed beef mince with 1 and a half teaspoons of ground cumin, 1 x teaspoon of Himalayan salt (more if you need) and 1 teaspoon each of chili powder (more if you like) and black pepper, 1/2 teaspoon of paprika and a 1/4 teaspoon each of garlic powder, onion powder, dried oregano,,, and fry it off in some ghee in a fry pan. Pop in in a bowl on the table with the usual taco gear – bowls of grated cheese, tomatoes, shredded lettuce, and whatever else you like – avocado, grated carrot, cucumber cubed and a bowl of certified organic corn chips (I’m pretty fussy about this as there’s lots of rubbish corn products out there including GMO corn and unless it’s certified organic or says very clearly on the label, you just can’t be sure – don’t do GMO corn, it will ruin your gut bacteria!). Grab a corn chip and pile up the ingredients any way you like. Messy but fun! Kids love this one!
- Sweet Potato wedges with sour cream and guacamole (inspired by Lola Berry’s The Happy Cookbook – highly recommended). Cut your sweet potato into long fingers and oven roast in ghee till golden caramelised then serve with sour cream and guacamole for dipping – you’ve seen this kind of thing done before.
I’d love to know if you have any other ideas for yummy weekend/ holiday lunches. Let us know in the comments