pop quiz: what did you eat for lunch?

Monday of last week, this was my lunch:

I had leftover kale and sauteed mushrooms in the fridge, so all I had to do was heat up the veggies and fry an egg.


On Friday, I had black forest ham, grainy mustard, mayo, and sharp cheddar on homemade rye. And chips. (Sometimes the younger kids fuss about getting stuck with all the leftovers while the older kids get to pack the “special” food—the yogurt cups, crunchy apples, granola bars, and chips. Lunch that day was all about me trying to be diplomatic.)

The rye came from one of the guys that works with my husband. They were at work and the radio was playing and the guy said, “If any of you can name this band, I’ll give you a loaf of bread.”

My non-musical husband thought for a second and then said, “The Band.”

After the guy scraped his chin off the floor, he said, “Okay, so what do you want? Sourdough? Rye?” 

My husband said, “I already know your sourdough is good, so I’ll take the rye. And when you deliver, it better be warm.”


Yesterday I had a bowl of leftover punjabi-style black lentils. They’re supposed to have cilantro sprinkled on top, but I used parsley instead.

I ordered the black lentils since I couldn’t find any in the grocery store. It felt a little ridiculous, spending 15 dollars for several cups of legumes that my family probably wouldn’t like all that much, but I did it anyway, chalking it up to self-education and sophistication and a palate-stretching exercise. Anything to justify, right?

Full menu disclosure: Late morning, I found a pint box of leftover chips in the back hall and ate half of them while staring out the little window at my older daughter, watching as she patiently trailed her horse around the field trying to catch her. And after lunch I had some leftover apricot wreath with coffee, and a couple chocolates.


What did you eat for lunch today? Are you a planner, or more of a wing-it luncher? Do you eat the same thing every day, or are you all about the variety? Apparently, I’m a leftover wing-it-er, and the more variety the better. I’m a grazer, too, though it’s often to my detriment. 

Inspiration for this post comes from Cup of Jo.

This same time, years previous: last and first, the quotidian (3.21.16), piggies!, a morning’s start, over the moon, the walk home, our house lately, getaway.


  • Crystal

    Im in a horrible food rut. I am pregnant (11 weeks) and I've been so nauseous that cooking just isn't happening. My sweet husband and kids have been doing their best but we've had way too much take-out (we usually never eat out). I long for homemade food and leftovers. Big pots of soup and homemade bread sound divine! This is baby #7 so I am surprised by how sick I am. I've been throwing up everyday since 4 weeks. IV fluids have been my lifeline.
    Looking forward to getting past this and eating yummy foods again. I love your blog. Its a bright spot in my day:)

    • Athanasia

      Crystal, so sorry to hear you are having this problem. I pray it ends soon. Is there a way your family or neighborhood group or church ladies or your Sunday school class or Bible study members could help with bringing over a meal a day for a couple weeks? Don't be afraid to ask for help.

    • Lana

      Oh, I am so sorry. I was that sick with my third one and meals brought in by our church were a lifeline for us. Please ask for help! I was able to load the crockpot and put it outside to cook on my better days but could not stand smelling it cooking inside.

  • Athanasia

    The lentils look good! I have a cookbook of 1000 Indian recipes. I will look in there for something similar. Last week we had a vegetable curry with naan and rice.

    I pack a lunch for work, my youngest in college either eats at home or packs according to her schedule and my husband eats home everyday. His workshop is on our property so he just walks up the road and either heats leftovers or fixes sandwiches.

    Today I had lettuce salad (with added radish, carrot, cucumber, red bell pepper, celery and cherry tomatoes). I like to mix the salad up in a large tupperware so it's always ready (sans cukes and tomatoes…I keep those separate) I sprinkled it with some grated pepper cheese, a dollop of plain yogurt, and a scoop of vegetarian sloppy joe. Then I dumped the end of a bag of tortilla chip bits on to all that. I'm having it with some pumpkin soup and a sliced up apple. The sloppy joe was left from Sunday, I always grate a whole chunk of pepper cheese and store in the fridge so folks can easily make quesadillas, burrito etc with a little less work a.k.a mess.

    No, I never eat the same everyday. My middle girl did take a peanut butter and strawberry jam sandwich every day for lunch grade school through college. She still eats them now that she is employed. It was her idea for the kids to plant me the strawberry bed one year for Mother's Day so that I would have no shortage of berries.

  • mommychef

    Hmmm, I wished I'd read this yesterday…a piece of toast, sharp cheddar, some chocolate mini-eggs and a sugar cookie plus tea….very bad I know, please don't tell my kids. The day before though was grilled chicken breast on spinach with Honeycrisp apple, pumpkins seeds, celery and cucumber & balsamic. When I am alone I sometimes revert to my single lady/shift worker ways and just eat carbs. Maybe I should home-school to keep my self accountable? lol!

  • beckster

    I had a freshly made kale salad with mango and a granola bar. I generally have leftovers, but I needed to use up that kale and mango, and my husband is not a fan. I have a broccoli/beef stir fry leftover for today. I am impressed with everyone's leftovers and lunches! What a bunch of sophisticated luncher-munchers!

  • Margo

    Leftovers, baby!! Today was leftover Mexican potato soup (R's recipe) and falafel from the freezer on bread with cucumber and mayo. The baby and husband had different leftovers. And when she wasn't looking, I had hot chocolate with a dollop of Italian meringue (leftover from the snowstorm – hot chocolate required) and a currant caraway scone from the freezer.

    I only make lunch if no leftovers are available.

    I made the punjabi black lentils too! They were fine, but not wow (we are smitten (ha!) with the More with Less dhal). I'm going to use a Julie Sahni recipe for the rest of the lentils. Too bad you don't have an Indian store in the valley – you could get all kinds of legumes there.

  • dr perfection

    chicken thighs, chopped winter veggies, brussels sprouts and garlic cloves all roasted together in one pan for 40 minutes at 425. So easy and so good.

    But I'm eyeing those black lentils…

  • farm buddy

    I had spaghetti and meatballs, made with my own farm-raised grass-fed beef and eggs, and homemade yogurt for dessert with an apple.

  • Unknown

    Leftovers all the way! Today was Nathan's fantastic curried black beans on brown rice with a bit of avocado on the side. Yesterday was tomato coconut soup (your recipe!) and carmelized onion grilled cheese sandwiches. Oops, the day before that was Ramen noodles. Leftovers most of the way. 🙂

  • Rebecca

    Did you and yours like the lentils? We loved them and if you want more I'll send some south with my college kid. Yay, PA bulk stores!

    Lunch around here is strictly catch as catch can. Usually leftovers, but we have our own sweet bologna in the freezer as back up. We rarely have chips because I consider chips, sweet tea, and a novel to be a perfectly reasonable way kill lunch time plus an hour or two.

    • Jennifer Jo

      My husband (!) and I liked the lentils, and the punjabi-style recipe was delicious. But, as expected, the rest of the family wasn't crazy about them. Certain children ate complied without comment, but other fussed (though all ate them when required, with no gagging, so that's progress). I have some leftover, so I'm going to try another method and see how it's received.

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