Q. Now that I’m working from home, I’m looking for some easy weekday lunch ideas. Ideally they would be things I can make the night before and to help streamline the next day. Any ideas? – Peter, Kaukauna
A. As a recent empty-nester still trying to adjust to cooking for two, my knee-jerk response is planned leftovers. My wife has taken her own lunch to work for many years, and the focal point of her lunch is either a planned (or unplanned) leftover or a signature homemade soup. She loves my soups and when we make them, we portion them in microwavable containers and freeze them. At any given time she could have as many as 60 little lunches in the freezer. Even when we make soups, the base of her soups is often leftover ham, turkey, pork or beef. We also make our own broths whenever we can using ham bones, turkey bones, beef scraps and other culinary utilizations. Another trendy idea are bowl lunches, which could start with a base of rice, pasta or mashed potatoes topped with any combination of meats, vegetables, cheeses and sauces. We make a low-carb “egg roll in a bowl” which reheats very well. Preparing any of these dishes in significant quantities can provide you a quick, cost-effective and easy way to have your lunches ready when you are!