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Small Victories: Easy Healthy Lunch Boxes from Julia Turshen + Giveaway!

by Grace Bonney

9781452143095_flat cover
Grace and I both work from home and one of the perks of this set-up is that we get to pause and enjoy a meal together in the middle of mountains of emails, assignments, and deadlines. While I am always grateful for all of the time we get to spend together, weekday lunches feel like icing on the proverbial cake. To me, they’re a symbol of the fact that we’ve built our lives and our work on our own terms.

Every now and then, though, one of us has to leave our house in upstate New York for a work obligation. I never look forward to when Grace goes away, but I do jump at the chance to pack her lunch. I get really into it. I wrap a real fork in a real napkin. I leave notes. I pack dips and dressings on the side in their own little containers. I make sure she has enough healthy food that will keep her blood sugar numbers stable all day long (Grace’s recent diagnosis of Type 1 Diabetes means the icing on our cake is more like vinaigrette on crudité).

For my entire life, cooking has been, and continues to be, the most tangible way I know to take care of those I love. Packing lunch for someone is a simple thing, but I honestly think it’s one of the sweetest things to both create and to receive. Whether it’s for your wife who is off to a big city for an event for her upcoming INCREDIBLE book, or for your kid who is just getting into the groove of a new school year, or for your roommate who is heading into a new office, you get to be reminded that even when you’re not with your person, your person is right there with you.

Starting today and going forward for the entire week, I am so excited to share daily “lunch boxes” right here on the best website on the whole Internet (#proudwife). Each menu features EASY, very do-able recipes that are healthy without being “in-your-face” healthy. They also all include food that can sit comfortably in a container for a few hours and tastes great at room temperature. All of the lunch box recipes are inspired by recipes in my brand new cookbook Small Victories (it’s out today! yay!). Here’s the part where I tell you that if you dig these lunch boxes, I think you’ll really enjoy Small Victories. But really, I think you will!

All week long Grace will be sharing some fun behind-the-scenes stuff from these lunch boxes, like cute little videos on Instagram, that sort-of thing. We really hope you enjoy these posts. They were so fun to make. Oh, and the giveaway! I almost forgot about the giveaway! If you let us know what you think about the lunch boxes or what YOU like to pack for lunch in the comment section, we’ll be choosing four winners. Three will get a copy of Small Victories and a limited edition Julia’s Caesar tote bag… and, drum roll please, one grand prize winner will get both of those plus a 5.5 quart Staub Cocette and a selection of Hudson Valley favorites from us! With lots of love from our kitchen to your lunch box, Julia.

[UPDATE: The contest is now closed and winners will be announced this week!]

7

TUESDAY LUNCH BOX

MENU:
Turkey Merguez-ish Meatballs
Yogurt + Herb Dip
Whole Wheat Pita, Olives + Sliced Cucumbers

This lunchbox features turkey meatballs laced with the wonderful flavors you typically find in North African merguez (lamb sausage). There’s a great recipe for Homemade Merguez patties in Small Victories that uses lamb and a hot grill, but for a lighter and more weeknight-friendly option, I opt for turkey and the oven. If you can’t find harissa, which is a very garlicky chile paste from North Africa (the most widely used type comes in a very chic tube), you can substitute a large pinch of red chile flakes or an equal amount of your preferred chile paste or hot sauce. These meatballs are equally great when they’re hot out of the oven as they are cold from the fridge.

Turkey Merguez-ish Meatballs
Serves 4

3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon harissa paste (leave out if you prefer these mild or add more if you prefer them extra spicy)
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 large handful finely chopped cilantro and/or parsley
1 lb/453 g ground turkey (preferably dark meat)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

Preheat the oven to 425ºF/220ºC. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.

Place the garlic, harissa, cumin, coriander, salt, and cilantro and/or parsley in a large bowl and stir everything together. Add the turkey and mix well with your hands (just get in there, they’re the best tools for the job) until everything is evenly combined. Form the turkey mixture into 16 golf ball-sized meatballs and place them on the prepared sheet pan in even rows. Drizzle the meatballs evenly with the olive oil and use your hands to spread the oil over the surface of each meatball.

Roast the meatballs until they’re browned and firm to the touch, about 20-25 minutes.

Yogurt + Herb Dip
Makes about 1 cup/240 ml

1 cup/240 ml plain Greek yogurt (whatever amount of fat you like, if any)
A large handful of finely chopped fresh herbs (dill, mint, cilantro, chives, parsley, and/or basil all work well)
1 small garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
A large pinch of kosher salt

Place everything in a bowl and stir together. Done and done. Store extra in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to a week.

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Comments

  • I’m planning to change my currrent workhours into a reduced one and that will mean I’ll need to preprare a lunch box every day. I wasn’t very happy about that, as I’ve never done it, but your book is here with a superhero cape and powers! This first recipe seems faboulous and doable in a short amount of time and effort, things very welcomen by a working mum of three. Thank you very much, I run now to buy the book, even if I’d need a translator for some of the indications. Big hughs from Spain.

  • I rarely pack lunch, but when I do, I like to make a grain bowl of quinoa and roasted vegetables. Easy to pack (and unpack at one’s desk in the office).

  • love to pack make your own sandwiches with crackers that can assemble as the kid likes. every young kid likes to build.

  • I like to pack curried chickpeas for lunch! I sautee them the night before work with some diced peppers, shallot, and sweet curry powder. It’s a great lunch because it’s cheap, healthy, filling, and interesting!

  • Hi Julia, love the idea of these lunch boxes, as both my husband and I freelance and often have to take the bus from New Paltz into NYC. We are vegetarians, however. Is there a good substitute for the turkey in the meatballs? Maybe some vegetarian faux ground beef? Do you think that would work? Because they sure sound delicious! Love the yogurt and herb dip, as well.

    Congratulations on publishing day!

    • oh no way! I bet we’re often on the same bus! :) I will tinker with a veggie version…I bet some sort-of crushed chickpea situation would be great….a faux ground beef would probably work well, too, but I’m not too familiar with them. More veggie ideas coming up in this series this week though! And lots in Small Victories! :)

  • I know exactly what I’m making for lunches this week! I have garden cukes to top it off! Thanks Julia!

  • I love packing lunch! And really enjoy reading recipes that help integrate new spices and dishes into my routine such as your lean rendition of merguez. My favorite lunch to pack is a soba noodles with marinated tofu and seasonal veggies. I love it because I can enjoy it hot, warm, or cold!

  • I love this recipe! I like to make salads of farmer’s market veggies and mix them up for work lunches with different proteins like boiled eggs or turkey sausage.

  • These look great – and I’m always on the lookout for new recipes to shuffle into my lunch box routines. My favorite recipes currently are: Joann Chang’s autumn quinoa salad (from Flour, too) and J. Kenji Lopez-Alt’s chickpea, tomato, and spinach stew (from The Food Lab). Thanks!

  • I pack lunch every day, as my husband and I are on a reduced income while he’s in grad school. Today it’s whole wheat pasta with homemade tomato sauce and meatballs.

  • I always struggle with what to pack for lunch. I usually go with veggies and hummus with some crackers and cheese. Can’t wait to see the other recipes!

  • ‘Wow, that Lean Cuisine really filled me up’, said no one ever.

    I am the only one at my work’s lunch table that packs a lunch and it never ceases to mystify me! Why not have something as simple, filling and delicious as these recipes instead of spending $15+ a day on a sandwich or microwavable meal?

    I solemnly swear to make some of these recipes for my lady friends to show them what they’re missing :)

  • my favorite thing about your lunch recipes isn’t the food (which sounds delicious), but the loving details you mentioned. packing a real fork, folding a napkin, leaving a note. when my partner makes lunch for me, it’s those details that really brighten my day and remind me of the good things no matter what’s going on at work. it’s an added bonus when the food is made with love, too, as yours is. excited for your book!

  • I’m really looking forward to this series! I only go into my office a few times a week, so I really like to take the time to put together a nice lunch (most days at home I just cobble things together from the fridge). I keep frozen jars of homemade soup on hand and then add a variety of little sides, because having good snacks to look forward to makes the long day of having to be around people a little easier :) Plus, my office is always subarctic, so having a warm lunch is key!

  • i used to be so embarrassed when my mom would pack me an asian lunch (all asian 2nd generation kids have gone through this) but now i embrace how delicious (and healthy!!) my culture is! i honestly make this for lunch sometime! it’s bibimbap!! it’s all leftovers of side dishes you have in the fridge (kimchi! spinach! sprouts!) and mix it in with chilli paste and add a lean marinated meat into it! done! :) i always treat myself with an egg on top too (if i feel like treating myself!) xoxo fin

  • This book looks wonderful! I like to pack fresh summer rolls for lunch because they are delicious and easy to eat in any situation. Our favorite combo is rice noodles, greens, carrots, cucumber, and bell pepper. Yum!

  • I’m trying to eat healthier so that I don’t get gestational diabetes while pregnant. This is great inspiration for lunches and dinners!

  • I love this recipe, turkey meatballs are so versatile! We have nonstop cucumbers from our garden right now, so these flavors work great.

    Can’t wait to give a copy of your book as a wedding present next month!

  • I love this. I work in a midtown office and find nothing more sad than colleagues eating chain store salads at their desks. Having good ideas for homemade lunches is so helpful!

  • My daughter is nine months old, so I’m not packing lunch for her yet, but I can’t wait! I remember my mom packing my lunch and being so excited to see what was in there (and yes, it usually included a note). I love a mezze-type lunch, with lots of containers of different items– bread, cheese, olives, pita, veggies– or all tucked together in a bento box. By the way, have you read Bread and Jam for Frances? The description of her lunch is wonderful.

  • I love looking forward to unpacking my mid-day meal. It feels like a little reward for working hard all morning. In Michigan, where we’re from, there’s a tradition of eating savory hand pies for lunch. Miners used to pack them in their lunch boxes and they would stay warm all morning. I can only imagine how much they looked forward to that warm meal. I like to make them in large batches and then freeze them. When you’re ready pop them in the oven and voila, a hot lunch!

    Keep up the good work! We’re looking forward to trying some of your recipes.

  • I have to agree, meatballs are one of the best lunch box items. They can be made in bulk and frozen without much extra effort, and they’re so versatile. Have some leftover cheese and marinara–make a sub or some pasta. Put them in a fusion bahn mi, add them to your favorite canned organic soup, top a salad with them… on and on. Can’t wait to see your book (and get re-inspired for lunch!) soon!

  • So excited for the release of this book! I love to pack salads or wraps (chicken,hummus,avocado) in summer and soup in winter. I make soup once every week or two for dinner and freeze the leftovers in single portions. I love when I have many soups to choose from- some days I don’t know what’s going to defrost!

  • I love packing any leftovers from the night before–often soups, casseroles, pastas. So many of my coworkers are munching on salads but I’m pretty dependent on the office microwave!

  • I really wish you made my lunches. I have to make four lunches each night (2 kids, 2 adults) and I often run out of inspiration. Luckily, today we had enough leftovers. I’m eating a bread casserole with eggplant, tomatoes, banana peppers, bresaola, and mozzarella cheese. Mmmm…

  • This is exactly how I love to eat! It feels like snacking and has variety. Can’t wait to get my hands on this cookbook. We need more inspiration in our house that works with our opposite work schedules. Things that keep well, but are still delicious and packable. I’m excited to see more lunch ideas this week!

  • I love the lunch idea. I have a 10-year-old who is interested in venturing with food, but in baby steps, and this is a perfect way for her to do it.

  • I’m really looking forward to getting my copy of the book in the mail. I really like lunches with hummus, veggies and cheese. The best lunches are always the ones that take a bit more effort to chop up. These meetballs sound like the perfect addition to my grazing style lunches. Though they don’t always happen, they’re always my favourite lunches.

  • I pack a lunch most days: either leftovers, tuna on greens, or a PB&J with carrot sticks and a piece of fruit. I work downtown in a mid-size city, so I consider the fact that I don’t buy lunch everyday a small victory! Looking forward to getting some inspiration from the new book. The yogurt and herb dip sounds amazing!

  • Everything looks DELICIOUS! I’ve been too laid back lately and bringing frozen lunches. I need to get back in the game and make some of these healthy recipes~ Thank you!

  • My lunches are usually leftovers from the previous evening but that tends to leave me scrambling if I go out the night before, so I love having a template for quick, throw-together lunches like these. Not that making sausage patties is inherently fast, but if I prep a few things on Sunday I can grab and go during the week!

  • My husband and I are vegetable farmers but our main garden is a five minute drive from home. On big project days when I know we won’t make it home I like to pack a picnic style lunch of good bread, some sort of meat like salami, cheeses, pickles and fruit. Then we add what ever raw vegetables look good straight from the garden. This time of year its tomatoes of course.

  • I just got a $50 Amazon gift card and I cannot wait to spend it on both Julia’s and your book!! I’m a type 1 diabetic as well and love a protein/veggie heavy meal. For years I’ve been the girl in the office who always has leftovers from the night before for lunch. I even got my husband to embrace the idea of a leftover and now every meal we make includes multiple servings to be enjoyed, then and later. :)

  • My kids go to a private school where lunch is not provided, so we get to pack theirs everyday. I totally agree that it’s a great way to show love. One of my kids is super picky and gets pretty much the same thing every day, but I love coming up with unique, healthy alternatives for the others…always with a fun little treat thrown in ☺️

  • I always bring an adapted leftover for lunch and I do light cooking at work. For example, I’ll bring my leftover spiced red lentil soup with some salad greens on the side but I’ll also bring along an egg. When I heat up the soup, I’ll crack the egg in and let it cook on top – like insta-shakshuka.. I also frequently bring whatever leftovers I have and a baggie of greens/herbs, then I always have a package of springroll wrappers at work and will make spring rolls from whatever! I tell you – spaghetti spring rolls? peanut noodle? taco filling? tabbouleh? anything!

  • These lunches look so beautiful! I always just pack a sad salad with some variation of beans, fruit, and nuts on top. It gets the job done, but it’s not particularly inspiring. I’d love to try my hand at one of the recipes in this cookbook!

  • LOVE!
    I love making soups for lunch i make a huge batch on Sunday freeze half and warm it up at my desk at work with a huge piece of crusty bread.
    Its my little slice of heaven in my office.

  • My roommate sophomore year of college packed me breakfast & lunch nearly all of our second semester. Fresh crepes w creme fraiche & strawberries, breakfast burritos w/ homemade salsa, little cheese plates with crisp pickles and fresh chocolate chip cookies – the care and love Karen put into preparing these little meals meant more to me then she’ll ever know.
    Thank you for sharing this series of recipes Turshen. It’s the small, quiet gestures that often speak the most of love. Also, mmmmm these meatballs look DELICIOUS.

  • When my daughter’s were younger, they used to ask me to make them a “cute” lunch to take to school. I wish I had Pinterest and blogs like yours back then for inspiration. However, as someone who typically brings my lunch to work, I’ll just have to pack some of these “cute” lunches for myself.

  • My CSA share makes packing lunch for me and my partner easy during the summer, but it’s hard to feel inspired in the winter. One of my favorite lunches right now is a chopped salad of tomatoes, celery, cucumber and peppers, topped with fried chickpeas and a tahini sauce.

  • This book inspires me to be more creative with packing lunches for my daughter. I try to plan out the week and prepare food on Sundays (or at least come up with the menu) and I think my lunches could use a little makeover. This book looks perfect for that. Plus you have reminded me to put extra effort in the details. Thank you!

  • I will definitely be trying this recipe! I am looking forward to more inspiration through the lunch boxes. Thank you for sharing :) I try to make big batches of food on Sundays and pack it up in Tupperware to take to work during the week. I had a really yummy white bean gnocchi last week. Some weeks, like this week, life gets crazy and I end up with leftover takeout. And that is a-OK too!

  • I love this! I’m a T1-D myself, and the lunch packing continues to be a struggle. Thank you so so so much for including recipes that look delicious and are also diabetic-friendly!

    • Rachel

      Sending you a big fellow-T1D hug. These are ALL super low-carb friendly (swap Miracle Noodles for Soba maybe though) and I’ve eaten all of these with blood sugar good results :)

      Grace

  • My favorite thing to make for lunch is Joy the Baker’s Tuna, Egg, and Kale salad on a pita with feta. I could eat that every day!

  • I work from home, so I just scrounge around, but everyday I put a lunch together for my husband. Sometimes it’s a salad or sandwich, but usually it’s leftovers from the previous night. I try to give him a fruit and vegetable, but he won’t eat carrots without dip. When I’m really on top of my game, I’ve made a batch of hummus. Still haven’t found the right recipe though!

  • My favorite lunches are always LEFTOVERS! Curried Madras Lentils with rice is one of the best, something about reheating curry dishes, all the flavors blend together even better and it’s such a comfort food. Like to top it with some fresh spinach and a dallop of yogurt mmmmmmmmmm… now i’m hungry.

  • I don’t usually pack a lunch for myself(school & working from home), but I pack my honeys lunch all the time, today he got last nights leftovers which was Chicken Cordon Bleu w/Pasta, tomorrow he gets Spaghetti! Can’t wait for the book!!!!

  • I don’t love packing lunches…but maybe some new recipes would change that. Today’s definitely sounded delicious!

  • I can’t wait to check out the new cookbook and I love the idea of theses lunch box recipes. I often pack lunch for my husband. Sometimes it’s leftovers, but fresh salads and delicious homemade hummus and veggies are a favorite of his too! Best of luck with the book tour!

  • gah, this is heartwarming!! i can feel the love.

    i work from a home studio, so i’m happy to not have to think about packing a lunch, but i do like to make something on the weekend that i can throw together on weekdays. i also eat a fried egg and kimchi burrito every. single. day.

    excited about this cookbook, the concept is so great. congrats!!

  • When I graduated college and moved back home my mom would pack my lunches for work when I had my first real job. I’ll always remember the strawberry and spinach salad with the vinaigrette in its own little container and a wedge of laughing cow cheese with a few crackers. She loved making these for me as much as I loved eating them because food = love.
    When I moved out on my own shortly thereafter we’d just meet out for lunch instead. :)
    I pre-ordered your book and am anxiously awaiting its arrival on my doorstep. Cheers!

    • Oh this is so sweet! Your mom sounds like my kinda lady! Thank you so much for pre-ordering the book. I hope you love cooking from it and I will daydream about you and your mom making lunch out of it! :)

  • I’ve often had trouble with compiling appetizing lunches. Since I don’t have time to go out for lunch I’ve no choice anymore. Usually I take either leftovers or my bf will make me a great sandwich. I’ve always been terrible at sandwiches. Lately tho I’ve realized it’s easy and delicious to make a pot of curry and take that with some naan. This is especially useful because my bf isn’t a big fan. This way I get my curry fix and he doesn’t have to eat something he isn’t fond of.

  • looking forward to new lunch ideas!! I pack a lunch on a daily basis as i have never been a fan of fast food and all the adults in my family get adult onset diabetes, so i eat as healthy as possible. The book looks amazing.

  • I pack bento lunches for my son and husband every day, but rarely take the time to do it for myself, even though it’s such a great way to do both portion control and make sure there is something special to look forward to at midday. Everyone usually gets rice with some side dishes left over from dinner, some cut fruit and some sort of extra vegetable to fill the empty spots. It’s Japanese style done lazily.

  • At the moment my favourite lunch is a big grated salad of beetroots and carrots and whatever other hardish veg will submit to the microplane, usually with a load of lemon zest and juice and whatever cheese is around (goat or feta is best but anything really – I’m a big proponent of no cheese left behind) and some toasted nuts and/or seeds. Its some variation of that most days and it’s bright and cheerful and healthy and tasty and an excellent way to use up verging-on-mouldering bits in the veg drawer.

  • As a mama of two, packing daily lunches is something I’ve grown to love but still struggle with from time to time. I’m excited to get new ideas from your book, Julia! These meatballs look delish. xo

  • Lately I haven’t been packing a lunch – I’ve been trying to actually leave my desk and go home for an hour away. It makes such a difference. Lately I’ve been eating my favorite “stuff” lunches – fruit, cheese, crackers and hummus, today I added prosciutto. It’s been a really lovely way to break up the day.

  • My favorite lunch to pack is a kale caesar with some rotisserie chicken thrown in. Easy and delicious! I also try to bring leftovers from dinner as much as possible!

  • I am looking forward to the “lunch box” posts! As an Art teacher I am out the door by 6:30am and starving by 11:00am. I try to avoid the teachers lounge….full of naughty food! But I don’t always pack a lunch or the best food and find my self running out to get something quick or when in doubt chocolate. I do love a good avocado toast however and sometimes a sweet potato with broccoli tossed on top. Thanks ahead of time for your ideas.

  • I love this idea-although my husband is a vegetarian and I’d probably swap in a falafel-like main! Looking forward to seeing some other options that are also veggie-friendly!

  • My favorite lunch is the one I’m eating right now: whole wheat pasta Mac n cheese with spinach and kielbasa. (Homemade cheese sauce of course!)

  • I’m really looking forward to these lunchbox posts! I’m always trying to come up with ideas to pack something healthy for my husband to eat — he’s a social worker, so he’s often out in the field without access to a fridge or microwave. I like to bring grain-based salads to work for myself, but he often gets stuck with a PB&J or granola bar (or worse, fast food.) Can’t wait to read more and check out the cookbook!

    • It’s so sweet of you to pack him healthy food while he’s out doing such important work. Lots of ideas coming your way all week long. Thanks for checking out the book!

  • Favorite lunches to send my son off to school with are hummus, turkey meatballs, carrots & grapes. Nothing too fancy but he’s three and has a palate on the picky side. He’s getting much better at trying new things as he gets older and eating meals together, eating the same food together has helped him feel more comfortable. Also getting him cooking with us has been so fun. Watching him get excited about food is always a treat. My husband gets sent to work with whatever leftovers we have from the night before. Today’s lunch was shrimp fajitas, rice & beans. Can’t wait to get Julia’s book and find more new things to make as a family!

  • I recently purchased a bento box and am having such fun with it! Today’s lunch was cold cheese tortellini tossed in pesto, cubed salami, red grapes and a few squares of dark chocolate.

  • I LOVE leftovers for lunch, and I’m lucky to have access to a fridge and microwave for storing and reheating. I would have to second Kelli’s comment above about second-day curries. Yum. We’re having curry tonight, so I’m already looking forward to lunch tomorrow.

    My daughters have been lucky to go to an elementary school with a culinary arts program – they eat amazing lunches, and get to help prepare and serve them as well. So I don’t pack their lunches that often, but I do pack up a healthy snack. Right now my seven-year-old has a pretty gummy smile – she’s lost six of her front eight teeth and has two more that are loose. So it makes me smile when I slice up her fruit for her snack. She was always the kind of girl to take a whole peach or plum for snack and eat it like an apple. These days it’s sliced fruit, sliced cucumbers and Babybel cheese – anything she can eat with her teeth on the side!

    Congrats again on the exciting book times in your house!

  • I have a huge problem with cooking. I feel like a false Mexican. Every year I promise to try to cook more but there is something so overwhelming about it that just discourages me. Lunches are my biggest challenge. In Mexico we have our biggest meal around 2PM and when I moved to Canada lunch consisted only of sandwiches or flavorless salads. These meatballs look so good! I vow to try them this weekend. I really want to make my lunches more varied and yummy, this way I won’t have to eat too much at night. Thank you for sharing this recipe!

    • Hi Luisa! I hope you enjoy making them and seeing how easy it is to make something delicious. I firmly believe that cooking doesn’t have to be difficult to be good. Lots more easy ideas coming this week and also in Small Victories! xo

  • As a parent, graduate student, and my family’s main cook, I am always looking for simple recipes like this that aren’t boring, pack a flavorful punch, and work for dinner as well as lunch (or, better yet, as bonus quick-to-pack leftovers for lunch). This dish also has the hallmark of my favorite kind of meal–a modifiable main dish with garnishes/sides that can be customized by each eater according to their tastes. I can see dividing the turkey in half and going all-out with the spices on one batch for my husband and I and toning down the other portion a bit for the kids. And then when it comes time to plate, those of us who love dip can pile it on and the others can leave it off, the sandwich lovers can pack it all into a pita and the bread-averse can grab extra cukes and olives, and everyone is nourished and happy!

    • Are you available for hire to help write recipe descriptions?!?! :)

      I love the idea of splitting the batch and making one half spicier than the other, so great!

  • I usually put a grain in the bottle of my lunch can’t ntaa ear and build from there. For instance, a quinoa lentil mixture with nectarines, avocado, pumpkin seeds, roasted squash, fermented beet and cabbage mix, feta, sun gold tomatoes. I top it with yogurt mixed with olive oil and whatever spice strikes my fancy, sometimes I add hummus if I have it. I try to include a grain, a fruit, a seed, a couple of veggies and cheese.
    I pack my lunch weekly and I’d love new ideas, please

  • The office job I’ve had for the last 7+ years doesn’t offer much by way of nearby lunch options (and “nearby” is a 10-15 minute drive) which has forced me to become an expert lunch packer. I have learned: 1) if you eat varied lunches for a long time, a basic pb+j or salami + cheese sandwich with chips will feel like a REVELATION every once in a while and I love that and 2) it is worth it to take the time to prep a real meal for lunch, even if it means a lot of small containers to separate different components. I’m not going to want to eat a soggy salad or sandwich, best to assemble it at work.

    Today I’m having some squash pizza from a Smitten Kitchen recipe – it’s delicious!

    This recipe looks amazing – I’m excited for your cookbook!

    • Thank you for your excitement Carol! And for your great tips. I couldn’t agree more about the revelation of simple childhood favorite meals. So true! And lovvvvvve Smitten Kitchen so much!

  • this book looks beautiful! i have been on a big bibimbap with tons of kimchi kick. and turkey meatuballs with hummas and tzatziki.

  • My favorite thing to pack for lunch is a chickpea salad with tomatoes, basil, and corn. However, this book looks amazing and I’m looking for ways to change up my typical lunch.

    • hi Allison! I promise you the book will give you lots of great ideas to change up your typical lunch…though your typical lunch sounds so good I don’t know that it needs to change! :)

  • At the end of summer, I make large batches of ratatouille.
    I freeze some and bring some for lunch — often for several days in a row!
    I also bring a cloth napkin with a fork wrapped in it.

  • So looking forward to this cookbook! My three kids just started a new school and I’m definitely trying the meatballs for them this week!

  • I really like the idea of lunch box recipes, although I wonder if I can get myself together enough to follow them! Most days I take leftovers. Homemade chicken soup tastes a lot better than whatever is in the cafeteria! Fridays I work from home and my husband and I will make sandwiches (turkey with dill mayo and cucumbers, yum!) or omelettes.

    Can’t wait to check out your book!

    • hey i have an idea! what if you try some of the recipes for dinner and then just pack the leftovers for lunch? that’s basically how we roll :) also that turkey sandwich sounds so good. thanks for checking out small victories!!! xooxx

  • Julia, that sounds delicious!! I love lamb and herbed yoghurt combo on the weekends but this sounds like a perfect light version for a weekday lunch! I am happy with any sort of lunch.. as long as there’s a nice helping of protein.

  • Leftovers, as many others have mentioned, are the very best lunches. I also love braunschweiger and mayo sandwiches. And sometimes just a hunk of soft cheese and a half baguette.

  • When I was in elementary school, my mother would carve messages into my orange with a zester. My own daughter was born in Nov. and we’re just getting to the point of beginning to enjoy exciting lunches. She starts daycare next week, and I’m looking forward to packing her little lunch. Thank you for sharing this series. I’m so looking forward to a week of inspirations- what a great first entry! Meatballs are kind of magical.

    • That orange message is the sweetest thing!!! And so fragrant! So sweet about anticipating packing lunch for your daughter. Oh i’m just teary thinking about all of this!

  • I have never been good about packing lunches. I love an interesting and varied lunch but have a hard time with planning. I am always looking for new ways to help make planning less overwhelming. I am happy with many foods in a lunch as long as there is a protein and some variety of vegetables.

  • I love leftovers, especially roasted vegetables. I usually mix the roasted veggies with greens and make a salad. In cooler weather, any leftovers with a cause or gravy is nice and comforting at lunchtime.

  • We try to cook in bulk so there’s something leftover for lunch the next day. Today’s lunch box for my husband included last night’s spaghetti with creamy tomato basil sauce and a slice of pumpkin olive oil loaf I made. We’re not always that good at lunch though and sometimes all there’s time for is a quick sandwich… So I write my husband little notes of encouragement and tuck them into his lunch bag, especially when I know he’s stressed. Like you said, it’s all about letting your person know you’re there with them in some small way. :)

  • I love packing my lunches!! is that normal? Lately I’ve been on a veggie burger kick. I make them and then wrap em up and freeze for ultimate convenience throughout the week or month. I recently made some smokey beet burgers from Sprouted Kitchen that were awesome. And also some yellow lentil patties from The First Mess! Veggies burgs are so easy to have with a grain plus a serving of fruit or over a bed of lettuce with a light vinaigrette. Really really excited about Small Victories–hope to get my hands on a copy soon :)

  • Two recent favorites are the lentil salad with feta and walnuts from David Lebovitz’s My Paris Kitchen, and the spiced lentil soup from Heidi Swanson’s SuperNatural Cooking Everyday. Both keep really well and are delicious leftover! This recipe looks fantastic, and I appreciate any meatball receipt that doesn’t require me to get out the saute pan separately.

  • These meatballs look delicious — definitely pinning this recipe for later.
    Typically I’m a leftover lunch lover, but lately I’ve been really struggling to figure out how to prepare food for my day: I quit my full-time job a few months back, in order to work a part-time job and build my own business. Now that I’m at work 8-1 and working from home 1:30-dinner, I find myself grabbing whatever I can at breakfast, eating a granola bar on my break, and then stuffing my face with whatever I can find when I get home. It’s definitely not ideal, but I’ve never had to figure out small meals/snacks before! And 10:30am feels a little early for a lot of the dinner leftovers that I’d ordinarily pack for lunch. (Also I’m a really slow eater, so I don’t want to spend half my 15-minute break microwaving something and the other half eating too fast.)

  • I love homemade soups and casseroles in the fall/winter and hearty salads in the summer. It’s fun to see what others enjoy, and I look forward to trying out some new recipes!

  • I love this series! I need to spend more time making my own lunch, I love when I do. i just started making English muffin pizzas for Charley’s lunch. Then I fight the urge to eat them for MY breakfast ;)

  • Big fan of a garbage salad- whatever leftover meat/fish/roasted veg from dinner, some kind of cheese, over pre washed argula or baby kale with some good olive oil, Balsamic glaze from TJs and S&P

  • Congratulations on your big day! I cannot wait to get home and open my pre-ordered copy. I bought it ages ago as an early birthday gift for myself. So we sort of share a birthday. (Hope yours is very happy!) I pack breakfasts for my husband and lunches for my son. I’m looking really forward to some Julia-spiration for my crew.

  • I am super excited about your book, Julia!
    Also excited about this series, as I pack my husband lunch frequently throughout the week and get in ruts. Usually hummus with some munchies and leftover helping of what we had for dinner the night before. I cut out comics occasionally and stick them in there, which he seems to like! Excited about your giveaway!

  • Leftovers are my favorite for lunch too. I live alone so don’t often cook big meals for myself, but I love to pick a new recipe to try on Sundays, and then eat the leftovers all week for lunch. Cooking with a glass of wine is such a relaxing way to end the weekend, and I love searching out and trying new recipes—looking forward to trying some from your book! The roast chicken mentioned in the WSJ review sounds especially delicious :-)

  • This morning I looked at my daughter’s two lunch boxes with dread on the first day of the work week…but, asked myself if I could drop into a spirit of adventure and gratitude to fill their lunch boxes with some beauty and nourishment. And, it worked – last tomatoes from the garden, creative mish mash of end of the bag seeds and nuts and a trail mix was made! Bright orange cheese and red red strawberries…nothing fancy but there was love and a beautiful napkin and the desire to put more intentionality and joy into Our lunches. I can’t wait to read your book.

  • We live in a small town in Michigan where the high school has an open campus for lunch. I had the good fortune of working from home for a couple of years. The highlight of my day was making lunch and and spending an hour with my kids almost every day :)

  • This is awesome! I have kids who eat well, but like really different things. I will totally use this for dinners, so I am only making one meal, but everyone gets to build the bowl he/she loves. Healthy family meal without whining?! Major (not so) small victory. Thanks!

  • My favorite lunch is collard wraps – the collards hold up so well for a few hours and I vary the fillings based on what I have in the fridge – mashed leftover roast veg, turkey meatloaf, hummus, grilled shrimp and quick peanut sauce… It’s a great and far more satisfying (and lovely) way to polish off leftovers and as a southerner I like using local collards. I can’t wait to check out SV!! Congrats!

  • I’m really excited to see this book — that chicken soup on the cover looks delicious. Today I sent my boyfriend off with a chicken salad sandwich made from the bird we roasted this weekend.

  • These meatballs sound (and look) amazing! I am excited to try out the recipe. I have been eating a whole lot of salads for lunch lately, but am getting tired of the same thing every day. I definitely need a little more variety in my life!

  • Congratulations on your book Julia!! We love the books you have co-authored in our house!

    For lunch we like to do leftovers (from any and all of Ina’s cookbooks), people fight over the weeknight Bolognese! We also do huge platters to go. With hummus, mixed salads, hard boiled eggs, crepes! You name it, we eat it!

    Congratulations again on your book! Can’t wait to get it and to see the CAESAR recipe!! That is my absolute fave dressing on planet earth!!!!

    xo Ellie

  • I would love to win a copy of Small Victories! I am purchasing one as well but this way I’ll also have a great gift with a sweet back story to share. When it comes to packing my lunch, I’m more quick than creative. A boring PBJ, banana, and mini Diet Coke is my go-to. Fortunately, I work at a public school that serves up healthy and hearty lunches. The ladies (and one gentleman) who work in the cafeteria happen to be some of the warmest people at school, and it’s always nice chatting while in line.

    There are still some classics like chicken nuggets and (baked) fries but most meals are fresh and fulling. My absolutely favorite is whole-wheat spaghetti topped with a homemade meat sauce and accompanied by a leafy spinach salad, fresh apple, steamed broccoli, and 1% milk. The changes to school lunches may have some people complaining but not I! They really have gotten better and we can certainly live without drinking a chocolate milk each and every meal. Furthermore, my school has a large percentage of students free or reduced lunch so this meal is THE big meal of the day; it’s essential for it to pack a punch of good nutrition!

    I eat school lunch partially out of convenience and partially out of solidarity but, most of all, I do because it’s delicious and healthy! However, I enjoy cooking dinner and Small Victories will provide new inspiration! Those meatballs seem like a great start. Thanks, and congratulations on your book coming out today, Julia!

  • Received the book yesterday and I’m already planning this week’s dinner menu around it. Congrats on putting this beautiful book out into the world.
    I’m a huge fan of leftovers for lunch, but that’s not the case for my kiddos. They usually get fruit and deli meat on the side with a cracker of some sort. Looking forward to this week’s series, so I can up my lunch game.

  • My lunch is my dinner for the day so I get creative since I restrict it to one container that fits into the backpack. Salad and main gets combined together – spinach is the normal salad, couscous with veggies/meat, or a snack size burrito cut up with salsa and cheese added (burrito salad!) Cook large amounts over the weekend – sauerbraten with spatzel? Yum!

  • This lunch (and book!) sounds amazing! My favorite go-to lunch to pack is savory diced up chicken breast, cucumber chips with hummus, raw almonds, and small chunk of baguette bread with brie. It keeps me full without causing me to feel the 3PM energy crash the way take-out does.

  • Inspired by my sister, I’ve been trying to eat salads for lunch. My favorite is arugula, spinach, goat cheese, strawberries, avocado, plus or minus leftover sauted chicken from the night before. I usually use balsamic vinaigrette dressing. It packs, doesn’t get cold when it takes me extra long to get the kids fed, and doesn’t make me feel stuffed to the gills and drowsy post-lunch!

  • I would love a copy of your book! I work 12-hour nights, so I need a good lunch in the middle to keep me awake and alert. I often bring leftovers, salads, frozen Trader Joe’s meals, and always fresh fruit and veggies. I do have a refrigerator so my food stays cold.

  • I’m so excited about a week of lunch ideas! When I bring lunch, it’s either a kale salad with cheese and apples, or a grain-based salad like farro, carrots, and feta with some greens. But I’m in a rut- looking for more recipes that are easy to prep and make a few of to bring into work for a few days a week!

  • I’ve been on the road for the past month completing a house move. From truck stop food to grocery store take out, it has been a struggle to eat well and not fall into the junk food abyss. Seeing this cookbook with the splendid recipes come at the perfect moment to savor homemade delicious meals. Well wishes and thank you for the cookbooks timely release.

  • I pack lunch for my 15 year old daughter every day and she doesn’t like sandwiches so I have to get creative. One of my easy go to snacks to send to school are grape tomatoes, small mozzarella balls, and homegrown basil leaves. I’m hoping to find some inspiration in your book and already I think the turkey meatballs with dip will be an amazing addition to her day! I’m just like you, I show my love through the food that I cook for my family so I totally appreciate the thoughtful additions that you add to your lunch boxes. Looking forward to this week’s recipes that you’re sharing, thank you!

  • I’m a flight attendant and am always searching for great recipes I can pack on my multi-day trips to avoid dreaded airport food! I love to make grain salads with farro and hearty greens like kale or chard that won’t get soggy after sitting in my bag for awhile. So excited for your cookbook and amazing new recipes !

  • I would eat the Turkey Merguez-ish Meatballs morning, noon, and night! Most of my lunches are dinner leftovers from the previous night, so I have a vested interest in making tasty food.

    Congrats!

  • oh this looks fab! Going to try it for my daughter’s lunch this week. My go-tos for her have mostly been soups or salads but I’m trying to get more creative with wraps and hand pies. Thanks!

  • Congrats on your book, Julia! Can’t wait to get a copy in my hands. This lunch looks delish – I am a huge fan of herby, garlicky yogurt sauces and find myself building entire meals around them.

    Lunch for me during work days looks a lot like some combination of grains, greens, whatever veggies I have on hand, chick peas (or another bean) and a soft boiled egg. I’m lightyears late to the soft boiled egg game by, my god, do they make your lunch feel a whole lot fancier. Maybe it’s just me. :) I do my best to make grains in bulk and chop greens or sauté veggies ahead of time, so lunch prep is much more like assembly and less like cooking on a busy morning before work.

  • So excited to add your book to my collection Julia! Our lunch formula tends to be something pickled, something protein, crunchy veggies, a fruit, a treat (usually a tiny thing of coconut and chocos) and something savory & crunchy. I spend about 40 minutes a day packing lunches so am excited to hear more ideas!

  • I’m on a new work assignment that’s taken me away from my office mini fridge and microwave. I used to bring leftovers for lunch, but now I’m having to come up with things that don’t require reheating. I’ve been bringing lots of snacks (carrots, mozzarella, deli meat, crackers, etc) but this looks so much better! I can’t wait to see the rest of your ideas!

  • Congrats on your new book!!
    For lunch I like to keep it light. My favorite salad is mixed greens, sliced mini bell peppers, sliced cucumbers, crumbled feta, and fresh dill with a lemon vinaigrette! So delish.

  • So excited for your book, Julia! My go-to lunch is greek yogurt filled with fresh berries and granola!

  • I’m a big fan of lunch boxes. My friend and I have a CSA share together, and every week one of us will make lunches for the week for the both of us. Not only is it healthier and cost-effective, but has really deepened our friendship! When we pick up the lunches, we’ll often use the time to catch up, which is such a treat now that everyone’s lives are so busy. My favorite current favorite lunch is making a big batch of quinoa, a batch of roasted veggies, and a couple of simple dressings. That way you can mix and match the components, and feel like you’re eating a different lunch each day.

  • this is perfect! i don’t get a formal lunch break so i’m always looking for small bites i can munch on throughout the day! thank you for thinking of people like me! can’t wait to try this!

  • What perfect timing! the kids back in school tomorrow, their planetbox are out and ready for packing! Tomorrow we’ve got avocado sushi, salted chickpeas and carrots on deck but I’m adding your meatballs to next week’s shopping list. I love you for acknowledging food that stand up to sitting around for a few hours. Way to keep it real!

  • I’m so excited for this book! I would love to spice up my lunches – they usually consist of a salad with chicken or a protein smoothie – anything that is quick and easy! I’m expecting twins in the next month or so, so I would love to get some more ideas for easy meals/lunches/anything I can prep ahead of time :)

  • I like to pack a cold soba salad with tofu and vegetables (today it was edamame, broccolini, and green beans). Looking forward to your suggestions!

  • Today’s meatballs are on my cooking schedule! I’m always on the hunt for healthy choices for me here at home, as well as my husband’s lunch at the office. What a wonderful alternative to salads, although a few on top with some tahini sound yummy!

  • I have a funny arrangement where I work in the evenings (life of a baker – never a normal schedule) and my boyfriend works at home, so we eat lunch together and I end up preparing dinner for him to eat while I’m at work. Lots of corn salads right now, fresh shelling beans in chili, and I’ll cut a melon up for him to sprinkle tajin on. I feel better about spending my evenings away from home when I know he’s eating healthy food cooked by me. Your book looks beautiful, can’t wait to get it and get more inspiration!

  • Hi Julia & Design*Sponge Co! I’m writing this from bed, as I’m home with a vicious cold. Just looking at the soup on the cover makes me feel better! I can’t wait explore the other nourishing meals you have in the book!

    Lunch is tricky business in our house. We have two kids under four, and they are selective eaters. At this point in our family food life, we don’t have a universal meal that unites us. However, 3 of the 4 of us love quinoa! My husband makes an excellent quinoa dish with sautéed onions and blistered cherry tomatoes. We add a sprinkle of feta cheese on top, and it makes for a delicious lunch. In our house, that’s what we call a “small victory!” Hopefully in the future, 4 out of 4 of us will get on board with this, and other meals.

    Cheers on the publication of your book, Julia! Thank you for sharing your wonderful work.

  • I like to make a quick salad of kale (because then I can dress it at home) or arugula with whatever veg I have on hand and some quick chicken meatballs, which I heat up and throw on top. Dressing of lemon juice, olive oil, s&p. Excited for this book!

  • Often I can’t decide what I want to eat for lunch because I have my eye on several things in the fridge. Enter snack meal. I pick 4-5 of my favorite snacks — a hard-boiled egg, kimchi, a falafel or two, some yogurt on the side — and make a lunch out of it. It’s strange tapas, indecisive, and everything I want.

  • lunch? what’s lunch? hoping your book will inspire me to get out of my less optimal work from home – work straight through lunch unhealthy rut. my spouse also works from home now and we can do better. we need small victories! congrats on your labor of love and best wishes.

  • This lunch looks amazing! My regular lunch to go has been homemade vegetable sushi with avocado, cucumber, and sweet potatoes because it is one of the things my three year old and I both always want to eat when we are out, especially this past summer. Looking forward to starting making meals for my spouse to take to work for all the loving reasons mentioned here. Congratulations on the book!

  • I leave time on Sundays to pack lunches for the week, and I find that bean-veg-egg salads in a jar hold well and can be changed up enough to stay interesting. I’m going to pick my favorite of your posts this week, though, and plan for next week! And I’ll be picking up the cookbook on my way home tonight, but my best friend’s birthday is coming up, so if I win, I know what she’s getting!

  • Hi Julia – I am the mother of a Julia! She loves it when I pack her a bunch of little things in separate containers – cheese slices, baby carrots, hummus, sliced cukes, I also zoodle zucchini so she gets “pasta” with chopped Tomato and Goat cheese feta. It’s fun for her and doesn’t get boring.
    Congrats on your book. I look forward to getting my copy.

  • I love packing salads with a variety of items…lentils, quinoa, roasted veggies, and whatever is in season and around the house!

  • My two kids that are in school are picky eaters (why?!) so we keep it simple with homemade Lunchables… turkey pepperoni, cheddar cheese cubes, whole wheat crackers, and a fruits or veggies that they’ll eat (grapes, strawberries, or sugar snap peas). It’s simple and boring (to me), but it’s packed with love!

  • This is great! My personal favorite lunch is southwestern quinoa salad. It varies a little each time I make it, but the basic recipe is

    2 cups dry quinoa
    1 can black beans
    1 can corn
    2 jalapenos
    1 cucumber
    1 bell pepper
    juice of 1 lime
    bunch cilantro
    1/2 cup olive oil
    1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
    1 tablespoon cumin
    1 tablespoon coriander
    salt and pepper

    Chop everything small and toss it together. Can be served warm or chilled.

    I make it with insant microwave quinoa, which makes the prep about 10 minutes. It gets better as it sits in the fridge and the flavors mix, so I make a big batch over the weekend and then bring it to work during the week for lunch.

  • Looking forward to checking out your book as I have a six year old with food allergies and texture issues who cannot bring what he loves to school for danger of kicking off his classmates’ allergies. His go to is what he calls “simple lunch”: sliced apples, cheddar cheese, sliced carrots and crackers. Peanut butter if at home. Edamame occasionally. I’m having a tough time getting kiddo to branch out beyond these staples and hot dogs. Hoping that if he cooks your recipes with me, he’ll be inclined to try new flavors. He does cook waffles/pancakes and burgers with me from scratch on the weekends, so a new cookbook would be like a vacation for allof us. His mamas are adventurous eaters who LOVE to cook and bring new tastes to our dining room every week. CONGRATS to you both, my favorite power couple! xoxox from another two gal couple (and kiddo) in Boston.

  • Counting down until I get the book in my hands!
    I like to pre-make my lunches for the week, and these days it’s been a lot of salad – usually kale (holds its body longest), some grains, some nuts, and whatever veggies I can pull from the garden or the local markets. Summer is winding down, so I’ve been combining spiced yams with (still growing!) tomatoes from the garden, and loving the mix of summer + fall flavors!

  • Omg. I am so excited for this series. For one thing I have been working on bringing more lunches to work to save some cash but honestly if you search “office lunch” or any of that variation on Pinterest, it looks like it was made for children. Can one adult woman be full for an entire day on cherry tomatoes, greens, and 2 ham slices? Not this adult woman. Hurrah for (filling) adult lunches!

  • My Mom used to pack my lunch every day, leaving little handwritten notes of encouragement, particularly during those times in life when I was being bullied. Those notes had the power to turn around even the worst of days, so I totally agree about the joys of a well-packed lunch. These days, my work is pretty intense, so I like to pack healthy comfort food to keep me fueled up and focused. That might include savory brown rice porridges, sandwiches on hearty whole grain bread and vegetable soups.

  • So excited to get my hands on your book! Congratulations! My favorite to go lunch is a big salad with leftovers piled on top and tahini dressing on the side, a piece of fruit and a cup of hummus for later rounds out my brown bag.

  • my go-to lunch is an arugula and spinach salad, with fresh corn kernels and red onion, topped with a fried egg, and drizzled with olive oil.

  • These look so good! My go-to use usually soup- I can make a big batch for the week- and if j am on top of things some fresh bread as well. Congratulations on what looks like a wonderful book!

  • I follow you both on Instagram and I am very excited to be able to get a copy of this book! Food is also part of my “love language” (cheesy but true) and cooking special things for others makes me happy! My favorite packed lunch is not very special but I always look forward to it, snack lunch! I pack different meats, cheeses, crudités, dips, crackers, fruit, olives (really all my favorite things to eat as apps) and munch away!

  • Just finished flipping through my pre-ordered copy and already have a loooonng to-try list! I’m particularly excited for the inspiration to generate spin offs for my own go-to meals and how to use of my CSA vegetables. This week’s lunch rotation includes nicoise-ish salads and CSA vegetable grain bowls, both tossed with my favorite herby, creamy vinaigrette.

  • I can’t wait to try all this week’s lunch box recipes and the many more in the book!!! I love packing lunches that flip leftovers into something new, a skill I honed with the BA annual cleanses. Some favorites are a soup with rice noodles (office friendly cooking!) flaked salmon, edamame & scallions, or a grain bowl with roasted cauliflower, carrots and carrot with pepitas. Looking forward to new ideas!

  • This cookbook looks amazing and I love both of your IG feeds! For lunch, I love a good hard cheese, like Gruyere, with seedy crackers, apple slices, almonds, and maybe a scoop of homemade chicken salad. I love lunches with components that can be combined or enjoyed on their own.

  • Congratulations on the publication of your book! The turkey meatball recipe looks great, and I look forward to the others this week.

    My go-to lunches to pack, for me and my family, are grain/greens/veggi/fruit/nut/cheese salad (today’s was quinoa/kale/bok choy/red & yellow peppers/orange segments with a sesame vinagrette) or turkey/bacon/avocado/cheese sandwiches. I always pack fresh fruit salad for everyone for a post-lunch pick-me-up, and like including notes (Happy Friday! Good luck on your test! Enjoy these cookies!)

  • I can’t believe my luck with this post – I just told myself I needed to find a way to get out of my lunch rut. A rut that has included purchasing way too many heavy sandwiches and chips that make me feel down and tired by 3 pm. This post just gave me the push I needed to purchase the book (if I win, I’m giving the copy to my BFF!)

  • Can’t wait to try your lunches! I pack my twin 6-year-olds lunches everyday and get so bored with the same old things. Thank you so much for sharing and giving me inspiration!

  • Leftovers from the night before always make a good lunch. For those times that dinner is too good and there are no leftovers, I make a lot of grain bowls topped with chopped or pickled veggies, nuts, a hard boiled egg for protein, and anything else that I have around. I use this as a standby lunch because I like to mix and match. Stuffed baked peppers with quinoa and chopped veggies have also been on heavy rotation lately. Congratulations on the book! I can’t wait for all of your delicious meal suggestions!

  • Just left the schoolyard talking with the other parents over the lunch dilemma! My child isn’t crazy about sandwiches, so my go to is salami slices, cheese, crackers, a few cherry tomatoes or broccoli trees, and a cookie.

  • If only September’s lunch creativity didn’t wane in the final weeks of June! (Delicious) leftovers are our go-to for grown up lunches, while well-balanced whole foods are what we aim for for kiddies lunches, with preferably zero waste. This time of year lunch ideas are clickbait i totally bite at. I’m looking forward to your cookbook for the myriad alternate ideas for each recipe (enjoyed your interview on the BA Podcast!).

  • These recipes are such a good idea for healthy lunches and I can’t wait to try them. My fiancée makes the same thing for lunch everyday: a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Adding in a special lunch during the week is going to be great!

    But then again, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich sometimes just hits the spot, and is extra special when it is made by him-which always makes that my go-to!

  • I need stop buying lunch and start bringing and making my own lunches that are healthier. This lunch box is right up my alley, with nice medley of different foods and flavors—and it can be served at room temperature! bonus! The bowl of soup on the cover of your cookbook is making my mouth water. Looking forward to your advice and recipes.

  • I keep a box of baby arugula or other greens in the house and keep a variety of topings on hand for satisfying salads all week. Tomato and cucumber, oil-packed tuna, boiled eggs, feta, red onion and olives have been in high rotation lately. Would love to get some fresh ideas!

  • I pack sandwiches for my boyfriend’s lunch when I’m home from grad school in the summers–his favorite is turkey/brie/arugula/dijonnaise/apricot, with fruit or crudités. It’s gotten to the point that his (French) colleagues have started calling me Madame Sandwich!

  • This cookbook looks amazing and I’m loving these lunch ideas! I try to pack my lunch everyday – typically roast turkey, olives, veggies and some fruit.

  • This looks delicious, and the photos are so cute! I almost always pack leftovers for lunch – stir fries are a go-to, and PB&J is the typical backup for days when I haven’t planned ahead. Thanks for providing more inspiration!

  • I always appreciate new lunch ideas. Today I had a snack lunch, an apple, carrot sticks, some whole grain crackers & a few pieces of salami. Thanks for sharing your ideas, best if luck with the book.

  • I love these lunch boxes. They are giving me so many good ideas. I really need to get away from eating out.

  • I am all about the soup/stew route for lunch – both because it’s the easiest to make a huge batch of at the beginning of the week, usually has so many veggies in it – and can be eaten cold or hot. Usually with a side of good bread.
    Also just wanted to add that I saw the book in a bookstore today and LOVE it – I immediately thought of 5 people I want to gift it to. Congrats to Julia!

  • Every day I try and pack lunch for my boyfriend and I – it’s always great to try new things, and I. Love. Meatballs. Thank you for all your work!! I’m so glad you (Julia) are finally taking a turn in the spotlight – it’s a joy to see you there. Mazeltov!

  • Lunch is Love!
    My Mom also shows her love through food. She packed my lunches for school every day. One April Fool’s Day when I was in middle school, she even dropped my ‘lunchbox’ off at school for me. It included an entire loaf of bread, a head of lettuce, a roast chicken, a jar of mayo, a bag of apples, a family size can of beans and, of course, the can opener. I was mortified. She is still laughing. Once when I was terribly sick during college finals, she drove to see me with an entire pot of (my favorite) chicken tortilla soup. I moved to New York from Texas a few years ago, and I miss her cooking and being in her kitchen more than I ever have. Now I have the opportunity to feel what it is to feed the people I love. Whether it be an ordinary day, a celebration, a comfort, a condolence, a collaboration or a (slightly less than perfect) version of my Mom’s chicken soup, I know that with a lifetime of lunches, she wasn’t just teaching me about being healthy or the joys of food. She was teaching me how to love.

    Congratulations on sharing some of your love! Can’t wait to dig in.

  • So, I’m actually REALLY bad at bringing my lunch to work. I very much want to be one of those people. I’m really excited about your cookbook. Small Victories seems like it was written for me — if I can make a couple of easy things each week, I can work on chipping away at this ol’ habit of mine. Thank you for sharing your insight with us. Can’t wait to dig into Small Victories!

  • What a stunning cookbook! I love a vintage lunch boxes! On the menu today…Carrots with hummus and roasted butternut squash!

  • My favorite things to pack for lunch are a combination of snacks. I like to have one main item: whether that’s a tuna pasta salad, a normal salad, a sandwich on fresh bread with all the fixings, or leftovers from the night before; then build around that item. As I tend to eat breakfast and lunch away from home, I tend to bring a lot of tupperware dishes with me. My go tos for lunch tend to be some cheese with crackers, sometimes with salami or prosciutto, hummus with various veggies, some fruit, and nuts. Then for breakfast I’ll typically have a yogurt with some boiled eggs/hot sauce packed for when I get to the office.

  • Wahooo, go Julia! I’m psyched to check out your book and to get into the kitchen with it. I recently said “screw my landlord!” and installed an illegal dishwasher, so now I’m motivated to cook even more (plus, we’re still in a major drought in SF, so this actually saves a TON of water!).

    My favorite lunch combo is shredded chicken thighs over an Asian-inspired cabbage salad. I chop cabbage, carrots, and any veggies that I have left in the fridge, add in any type of nut and fresh herbs, and toss with a homemade sesame dressing. The cabbage holds its crunch, and it’s great at any temperature, plus is fantastic for clearing out the fridge!

  • Living alone has made meal-planning a bit of a challenge, but it’s a puzzle I enjoy. What can I make on a Sunday afternoon that I won’t mind eating three or four more times in the coming week? My favorite base things to play around with are my mom’s pizza sauce (perfect for flatbreads and pizza bagels with all kinds of toppings), taco salad/quesadillas (Mexican never gets old) and a great homemade vinaigrette that makes me WANT to eat salads instead of regarding the whole thing as a chore. (Which makes me very interested in trying this famous Caesar dressing of Julia’s.) Loving some of the other ideas here in the comments. So excited to read Small Victories! Many congrats on BOTH of your books!

  • I love this lunch idea! I’m looking for healthier foods to make for my husband’s lunch. This one looks perfect.

  • Congratulations on the new book! One of favorite lunches is a farrow salad with zucchini, carrot, grape tomatoes and feta. You cook the zucchini and carrot with some onion, lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, a little salt and lots of pepper. Then you toss that into some farrow and add halved grape tomatoes and feta cheese. It’s good hot, cold, or at room temperature and tastes even better when it’s had some time to sit and meld.

  • Those meatballs and dip and pita look so good I would never last until lunch time waiting to eat them! Often for lunch instead of a salad (which I do love) I will just slice up a bunch of veggies and some cheese and take some crackers and hard boiled eggs. I also love fresh berries in season. All of the above I can eat as snacks too if I get hungry for lunch before lunch, and I will still have something left for lunch.

  • what I love about this lunch box: MEATBALLS! plus, the fun component lunch that you can pop in and out of if lunch hour is actually five minutes here and there. can’t wait to read the book. congrats!
    my go-to lunchbox lunch: grain bowls, bc with one batch of grains ready at the start of the week, they can be customized with add-ins each day. so it’s fun lunch, but also healthy.

  • Julia, I’m such a massive fan of your work! Still lamenting that it’s not your voice I hear on Radio Cherry Bombe.
    Let alone Grace…!
    I pack my lunch every day, and I have it down to a science. I steam a bunch of vegetables in the microwave (no water added = best kept secret.) Kale, brussels sprouts, broccoli, green beans…like “whole form green juice.” Then I add stuff depending on mood: cherry tomatoes, snap peas, sundried tomatoes.
    The difference daily is the protein, fat, and carb. Today it was tuna, 1/2 avocado. (Carb was Jolly Ranchers for dessert…) Sometimes it’s anchovies and black beans. I make a dressing based on whatever I have, usually involving a great mustard, various spices, oil, vin. Salsa, even.
    I never seem to tire of it! LUNCH is the best part of the workday, hands down.
    Congratulations to both of you!!

  • I LOVE that you included harissa! It has become my favorite thing to add to…everything, basically. This lunch is perfect for me. I’m a sucker for anything I can construct/deconstruct based on my food mood. Thanks, Julia!

  • Love this lunch idea and can’t wait for the rest of the lunchboxes to be posted! I pre-ordered Small Victories on Amazon, and it literally JUST got delivered. I’m hustling through my evening chores so I can snuggle up with it on the couch and pore over every page. Congratulations Julia! <3

  • Tuesday’s lunchbox sounds amazing! I can’t wait to try it .. I am fortunate to live very close to my office, giving me the opportunity to go home for lunch. My boyfriend and I enjoy making dinner Sunday evenings, which I always leave him a little extra to pack for lunch the next day. His usual bagel and peanut butter lunch just makes me sad! Thank you for the inspiration – Can’t wait to read the book for more fun and tasty ideas!! Xoxo

  • My favorite lunch includes 2 boiled eggs! My husband and I are lucky to have a flock of 5 chickens, and I love them so! They have the cutest personalities, and we love their tiny egg victories!

  • I am a architecture student and my hours at school are endless. I have been wanting to pack some healthy but tasty lunches/dinners so that they can help make long days a little lighter. I am so excited to try out Julia’s packed lunches.

  • My kiddos love quesadillas or leftover pasta or warm oatmeal and brown sugar in their lunches and I love a thermos of homemade carrot or tomato soup (so comforting!) with carrot and celery sticks and a small container of salted almonds for snacking. But I bet we’d all love the turkey meatballs! They sound (and look!) delicious. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  • Guacamole and chips because I know they will eat it. In addition to the usual suspects of cilantro, lemon, garlic, tomatoes I also sprinkle chia, black sesame seeds, cumin and turmeric with the traditional salt & pepper…it makes for a holy guacamole! Buen provecho!

  • I need some new inspiration! Like to pack leftovers from dinner, but with 4kids(3 boys) that is getting rare:)

  • Easy lunch when I’m on the run and haven’t been to the store: oil packed tuna + capers + herbs (parsley? yes! cilantro? sure! mint… hmm, why not?!) with some good pepper & salt & hot flakes and then over crackers.

  • My daughters like sandwiches, cheese sticks, berries, carrots, and granola bars. I want to find a healthy muffin/bread recipe for lunch boxes. Turkey meatballs recipe sounds amazing. I’ll try it soon for dinner.

  • I like to have leftovers from our dinners for our lunches. It makes me make sure our meals for dinners are healthy enough that I want to eat it again.

    Looking forward to trying some new recipes.

  • I am a pretty picky eater and not the most experienced cook. This lunch box is perfect for me! I recently found out meatballs are really easy to make. I’m excited to get to try a new flavor profile with them. Also cucumbers aren’t always first on my list for eating but they go so well with this meal I couldn’t imagine leaving them out. I can’t wait to see your next lunch boxes!

  • I love lunches that can be constructed from pantry items with 1-2 fresh ingredients. This recipe definitely fits the bill!

    Curious what the staple foods of this book will be.

  • My packed lunches ideally involve some sort of grain and kale salad – if I have thought ahead. Other days I piece together lunch with raw vegetable sticks, and an apple and peanut butter. Needless to say I am in need of some lunchbox inspiration. This cookbook looks lovely and I am looking forward to reading it!

  • Fresh, sweet homegrown cherry tomatoes (combine ripe with not-so-ripe for the best balance), halved; red onion, sliced; wild caught glass jarred ventresca tuna in oil, drained; fresh homegrown basil, ripped; good olive oil, poured; salt and Calabrese pepper if you dare (and I always do ;), sprinkled. Mix and enjoy with or it hour crusty bread. For dessert, dried figs with brokered pieces of dark chocolate(raw honey a top, optional).

  • Yay for lunch box ideas! My go to is leftovers, or some version of a green or grain salad that I invent on the fly with what I’ve got on hand…which lets be real, probably uses some leftovers/helps me clean out the fridge! Would LOVE a copy of Small Victories. Can’t wait to check out BOTH of your books! Great work ladies.

  • can´t wait to find out more about this wonderful book!

    oh, i love to pack slices of galettes, made the day before, or even better – those hand pies, filled with all kind of vegetables, cheeses and fruit. pretty much a lunch box in a lunch box!

    gratulation on your wonderful piece of work!!!

  • Love, love, love the idea of these post and hopefully it will help me with my lunchbreaks, as I’m about to change my lunch routine. Options near our company are far to heavy and unhealthy…

  • Hi Julia! My boys are creatures of habit so I’m hoping that once I get my hands on your book, I will be inspired to liven up their lunchboxes (as well as my own). I love your approach to food – good, wholesome, fresh and exciting ingredients! You and Grace make a fantastic team :)
    Best wishes from Hamburg, Germany
    Siobhán

  • So sweet to be so into packing your wife’s lunch :)
    My favorite lunch is something that brings back happy memories holiday I had with my partner in Gent, Belgium. We met over there so it’s a special place for us. The last time we were there we walked into a small sandwich shop where I had dark brown bread with a spread made of cubed roasted beets and whipped, soft goat’s cheese. Some arugula tucked under, and a dollop of apple compote on top. So good! If I feel really fancy I eat it with raisin bread. If bread’s not your thing you can eat it on a bed of mixed greens, I imagine.

  • Lunch? Outside (or with a view of the outside, in inclement weather) and always with something delicious to drink: tea, lemon water, hot chocolate. Food would be a hard boiled egg to mush into a egg salad sandwich then and there; messy and fresh! Add some pickled red onion and arugula for a punch. Crunchy crisps to balance the mushiness. And a bite of brownie for afters.

  • I always make a big batch of soup (this weekend was spicy peach/tomato – yum!) and slow cook a bunch of chicken thighs. It gets boring fast, but stays super easy and healthy with super smooth ahead of time prep.

  • I love to pack grain salads with lots of herbs and something crunchy. Now with a couple of these meatballs!

  • This lunch looks so yummy! I remember school lunch being mainly pale and yellow, so now I try to pack my family lunches full of colorful, fresh produce. They’ll try something new if it looks pretty.

  • Even though I’m in a rut with my job, I luckily work from home. This means most days I prepare a quick meal with my lunch break or have leftovers from last night. I feel this is one of the only perks or pick-me-ups for me during the work day.

  • I’m at home on mat leave with a new baby so lunch is usually left overs from the night before or an egg on toast (my favourite). But you’ve inspired me to pack lunch for my partner who starts a new job next week. He’s been buying lunch out a lot these days and I really like the idea of showing him I care by packing him a special meal during those first few hectic work weeks. Can’t wait to try the turkey meatball recipe!

  • Yum. This looks great. I’m always trying to figure out what to pack for lunch. Usually I just make enough dinner so that I have leftovers to eat the next day. I’m really looking forward to this cookbook, Julia!

  • I love the lunch box idea! I often make a big batch of something that I can have for dinner and then a lunch or two, but if I didn’t have time for that, my favorite assemble-as-I-eat lunch is sliced avocado, smoked salmon, and toasted seaweed snacks all rolled up in little rice-less sushi rolls! Yum! Now I’m hungry. . . .

  • Usually I make enough dinner to pack leftovers. This week I made a batch of muffin tin frittatas to have for ready for lunches. Having sauces for lunch though would take it to the next level!

  • I tend to pack salads with whatever leftover veggies we have around (lots of broccoli these days, since it’s the only green veggie my toddler will eat right now). Great giveaway – thanks!

  • I usually have salad with different proteins and this lemon-sesame dressing (from one of the Moosewood cookbooks) that I could eat with a spoon. That being said, some new ideas wouldn’t hurt!

  • My favorite summer lunch: fresh bread and chicken salad from Morning Glory Farm in Martha’s Vineyard, with a hefty slice of tomato or some lettuce for good measure. Preferably eaten at the beach, with a juicy nectarine and more often than not, a few grains of sand. I’m still holding out for a few more weeks of sunshine and warm weather!

  • Will someone please make the turkey meatballs for my lunch? I usually make a roasted chicken once a week, so we can have leftover wraps or salads for lunch for a few days.

  • A salad..with chopped nuts, chicken (of course), red onions, any left over veggies and an awesome home made dressing.

  • Lunch is usually my first meal of the day….I look forward to it so much, and if it is awsome, that is all I can think about until then!

  • i have two strategies for lunches, as someone who is terrible at mornings. either i pack a WHOLE bunch of food on monday and eat it through the week, or i bring bits to fill in a bought lunch – extra veggies for a sandwich or bagel, a hardboiled egg for a salad, etc. better than nothing, right?!

  • Lunch is usually some last-minute grab as I run out the door, or a sandwich from a place. But your post are inspiring me to step-the-heck-up! I will do it-thanks for inspiration!

  • I also work from home, so lunch is often whatever leftovers I can pull out of the fridge and eat while standing in front of it, but when I try to be civilized, or am packing for the road, I love a halved avocado with really lightly dressed tuna salad scooped into it, or any kind of grain/pasta based vegetable salad. Or my current favorite is a bunch of shredded vegetables, tossed with fish sauce, lime juice and thai chili, with a piece of salmon and some peanuts on top.

  • My favourite: quinoa salad with crunchy veggies, tomatoes, olives, feta and seeds drizzled with olive oil and lemon:) But I a m always looking for fresh ideas!

  • The deal in our house is my husband cooks dinner when I work a 12 hr shift and I pack his lunch when he has a long day. We typically pack leftovers, but i try to add chopped veg and dip, yogurt, and fruit to the mix as well so he doesn’t reach for unhealthy snacks at the office. Gonna try these turkey meatballs this week!

  • Congrats on the new book! I work from home as well so I’m often helping pack my partners lunch. It usually consists of fresh fruit salad and a veggie wrap of some kind. This is why I need your book, I’m a boring lunch packer! I know it’s true because she has stopped eating half of her lunch and it ends up back at home. :)

  • Oh, I’m so stuck in a rut with packing lunches. How do I find the balance between nutrition, fun, and something that will boost my energy? I often crash in the afternoon, so a good, good lunch is essential. Too often though, I cobble together snacks and call it a day. Not good. Need to check out this book and climb out of my rut!

  • My boyfriend is has Celiac disease, so packing lunches and cooking every week is important for us. Gluten free grab-and-go options are usually a sad salad from the market, but instead we spend some time cooking to make a variety of lunches. This week, we went with stuffed red peppers and a quinoa enchilada bake. Soup is another favorite of mine. Every week we find something new, healthy, and delicious to make on Sunday and pack up in glass containers for the week. Small victories sounds like the perfect book for more lunch ideas!

  • i am always looking for new ideas for my kids. my son loves to have the SAME peanut butter roll up EVERY SINGLE day, but my daughter loves to pack something in her thermos. We make crock pot chicken tacos with homemade salsa and she takes that plus a tortilla with her. She also loves when we make sloppy joes- we do a healthier paleo version. i am always looking for new ideas that she can pack so i am into this big time! i also am in the middle of job changes- very exciting ones- that will allow me more time in the kitchen i hope!

  • Packing lunch for school for our 4 kids has become both a creative outlet and a friendly competition for my husband. It all began when my third grader came home from school to report on the fantastic sandwiches in the lunch box of the new boy in her class. My husband was not to be outdone and quickly upped his game. The boy’s mother, now our good friend, kindly shared her recipes. For the first time I can share new recipes with her.

  • There is something so beautiful about simple meals, fresh ingredients, and stress-free lunch box packing. Thank you for this inspirational book!

  • The recipes so far seem so easy to throw together! We usually pack leftovers for lunches, so the days when we don’t make a big enough dinner leave us a little lost, but these posts to this point have made me amenable to the idea of a make-ahead lunch for those days.

  • I am in a lunch rut and looking forward to fall when it’s easier to bring leftover soups/cozy fall dishes. Looking forward to checking out the new book for inspiration! xox

  • I always look forward to lunch when I’ve packed a pb&j – crunchy pb, raspberry jam (with seeds!) and good bread.

    I love seeing your train/car lunch posts on Instagram, Julia and Grace. You can tell those lunches are acts of love.

  • Thanks for the opportunity to win!
    I only have myself to cook for and sadly I don’t do it a lot. I get tired of cooking the same old things.
    When I pack a lunch, it’s usually a salad. I pack all the components and then put them together at work. I love mixed greens, feta cheese, random raw vegetables, nuts and seeds and a bright, interesting dressing.
    I never seem to get tired of it.

  • These are perfect inspiration to drag myself away from my desk during the work week and devote some well-spent time in the kitchen! Keeping up with DC’s rat race mentality can often creep in on my lunch zen, but having a tempting, well-packed lunch can ensure I steal back my lunch hour and also carve time out in the kitchen with my sous chef (read: boyfriend)!

  • I call it ”toasted ‘dines ”. Crusty bread toasted lightly with smashed avocado, and a can of sardines, crushed and mixed with parsley, lemon zest, red wine vinegar, salt and pepper. So good, so fresh and zippy! I cannot wait to give this cookbook a good go. I have a feeling it’s pages will be crinkled and worn from frequent use.

  • Looking forward to order your book later this month! I work in downtown SF, so tons of lunch options but I try to pack lunch at least three times a week. Leftovers with a small jar of yogurt are my favorite. I also cook a large batch of soup every few weeks and freeze some in glass jars. My favorite is red lentil soup. If I don’t have any leftovers from dinner, these soup jars are my backup lunch. Another easy lunch is chickpea salad with lemon, olive oil and parmesan (+parsley/dill/cilantro/red pepper flakes, whatever I have that day).

  • The meatballs look great – thanks for sharing! I’m always on the lookout for simple meals I can make for lunch. I’m currently unemployed and therefore have a bit more time to spend on lunch prep – but if I spend ‘too’ much time, I lose my motivation to cook dinner later! I tend to alternate between yogurt with fruit and granola some days and a grain+protein+veg salad the other days…with a cold cut sandwich once/week for my ‘treat’.

  • This is perfect timing. I have been skimping on lunch lately, which is ridiculous because I love to eat and cook AND I work from home. Sometimes it’s just so hard for me to take a time out. Thanks for the inspiration to reconfirm my love for mid day meals! I will be trying these turkey meatballs.

  • I love these recipes because they are exactly what I like to pack for lunch – lean with high protein, grains and veggies. My go-tos are beans with whatever we have in the fridge or avocado toast. Happy to have a few more options to rotate in! I don’t eat this way all the time, believe me, but it’s so necessary to get through the workday.

  • This lunch looks absolutely glorious! It also reminds me a lot of what one of my go-to summer packed lunch of cucumber yogurt salad with dried mint, walnuts, & raisins. We started making our own yogurt and got the recipe for both the yogurt and cucumber salad from my mom’s friend from Iran. It’s so refreshing, delicate and filling when served with a side of flaxseed bread.I live and work in California, so this and my other go-to watermelon & feta salad will probably keep me going through September. However, come October I can’t wait for hearty portages made of garbanzos, saffron, and chicken broth!

    Anyhow, I am a big fan of both of you so please keep up the engaging and truly lovely work you both do!

  • I usually just have whatever is leftover from dinner the night before. and if we don’t have leftovers, I pack a big salad for lunch.

  • Yay for the lunch box series! Simple but delicious looking meals- I hope it becomes a regular feature! I also loved seeing the behind the scenes on instagram and now the final product on the site. I usually have leftovers for lunch but this series is making want to put more effort into my lunch preparation, since it really should be the meal we focus on the most. My most favorite lunch is a BLAT- bacon lettuce avocado on toast.

  • As a single person, packing leftovers from dinner for lunch the next day is essential. I’ve been cooking Blue Apron meals which are perfect because they’re only two servings. While I’m plating dinner, I just keep my lunch container out and split everything up. I’d love to have some new ideas, though!

  • Clearly, I need to step up my lunch game! Kids always get 2 veggies, a piece of fruit, and a protein (eggs, or roll ups of some sort) which I mix up, but it still gets boring. Hubby and I both work from home, so it’s leftovers or something quick and easy, like mashed avocado and heirloom slices on seed toast with salt and pepper (a favorite go-to).
    Love the heart you put into lunches and want to follow suit….starting with this meatball recipe! xo

  • Love these meatballs! I am totally going to make
    I try to grill or bake up a bunch of chicken breasts on Sunday, then pack with greens, veggies and sometimes some feta cheese. Need to switch it up more and looking forward to trying some of these recipes!

  • I try to make a bit of extra food at dinner so I can bring some for lunch the next day. If I don’t have any leftovers I’ll slice a piece of pita bread in half and use it as bread for a sandwich (not stuffing the pita, just using it like two slices of bread). I try to always have sliced cheese and greens on hand for a simple cheese sandwich. Looking forward to checking out this book, I am always on the hunt for lunch ideas!

  • Next week I head back to Savannah from summer in Rhode Island. The road trip will take four days as I stop to visit friends along the drive. I always pack my own travel meals, only making stops for gas. My diet is organic and locally sourced. Cooking is a passion. Enjoy every step in the process from finding inspiring recipes to shopping the ingredients, preparation and sharing meals with friends. I would love to have a copy of Small Victories. Forks and knives crossed!

  • Those turkey meatballs look amazing! I’m a teacher and don’t usually want to walk all the way to the microwave, so lately I’ve been sticking to cold items, like an avocado toast with slices of hard boiled egg, mozzarella, olive oil and kosher salt. So simple, and with a little lemon juice the avocado stays green until noon when I eat it!

  • Love this recipe idea. We have an abundance of cucumbers from the garden so I am eating them anyway I can — I’ll be making the meatballs this week!

    My favorite lunch is a healthy grain bowl with whatever leftovers and veggies I have in the refrigerator. Always delicious and a good way to clean out the refrigerator/eat leftovers in a way that is different from the night before.

    I can’t wait to see more recipes from the book! Congrats on all the hard work turning out so beautifully.

  • So excited about these lunch box recipes! I love my office, but the only complaint is that there’s no stove for reheating things. Lunches that taste good at room temperature are the best! I usually pack salads loaded with toppings, but am always looking for something new!

  • This is just lovely. I`m collecting cookbooks (together with at least hundred more other equally unnecessary essentials) :) These days I am completely enchanted with Italian cooking and I have prepared oven baked eggplant parmigiana for at least 6 times in a month. The other 24 days we were basically eating aglio e olio pasta followed with different herb salads. That’s pretty much what we take in our lunchbox. A piece of Italy :)

  • I love bento lunches — a variety of small portions of food is so satisfying to me, and you can do a simple/quick version (cheese, fruit, nuts, lunch meat) or mix in fancier things as time allows. These meatballs would actually be a great fit for a bento!

  • Lunch is my favorite meal, and the one meal I allow myself to eat like a “queen”. I’m always on the lookout for healthy, delicious & “feel good” lunches that leave me fueled for enough energy to carry on the day and not leave me lethargic. I’m looking forward to making Turkey Merquez-ish Meatballs!!

  • Lunch for me is usually a spinach salad with chicken sausage, hummus, tomatoes/cucumbers/carrots, Romano cheese and a lemon/garlic vinaigrette. Packing nearly the same thing daily helps to simply the stress of the workweek.

  • I plan enough dinner throughout the week so that my two boys have homemade lunches. They like Indian food with Naan and yogurt, or greens with grilled meat and roasted veggies. My oldest is away for a nearly 10 hour day and takes a cooler so he gets a frozen homemade burrito or two and more fruits and vegetables. They always get a note and real flatware and linen. No paper, no plastic. Not even when they were tiny. Lunch matters!!

  • I usually do some kind of soup, plus veggies with home made hummus for a snack. It’s always great to get new lunch ideas though!

  • Can I say that this topic is of the most critical importance to me right now? I tend to eat some crap, and eat for the wrong reasons, and eat too much. I do know better. I have lofty aspirations before I head out to food shop and even though my goal is to keep striving for meals that are a benefit to my body and my children’s bodies I usually flop. Three for $10 frozen pizza, empty processed carb, cheap, convenient everything…. I am busy. Four kids- two under two…two teenagers. Single parent. Self employed. When I do get lovely fresh vegetables and such they usually die in a recess of the fridge before I ever get to the prep cook/ prep chop afternoon U dream of having in my routine. I have a feeling you can help me! So I’m psyched. What has hooked me us how wonderful your chicken and zucchini kabobs look. Haven’t tried them yet.

    • Correction: “I” dream of having prep cook/ prep chop afternoon in my routine : ) psyched about turkey meatballs too!

  • Wow! Those meatballs look fantastic. Our favorite quick lunch lately has been spicy hummus with homemade crackers and some strips of our smoked salmon. Living in Alaska, fresh veggies are hard to come by- so we load up on the fresh fish whenever possible!

  • Oh my goodness, I almost stood up and clapped after your first paragraph. My family moved from the suburbs on Philadelphia to the Catskills last year and we gave up a lot in the transition, but what we’ve gained far outweighs any of the losses. At the top of the list are the our precious lunches at home that you mentioned – and I pack our daughter’s lunches every day as their school doesn’t have a cafeteria. While this could possibly be a nightmare for most wives and mothers, it’s a time I relish to fuel my loved ones through the day. Soups are at the top of our lunch menu as they can be reheated and enjoyed for a few days and easily packed in a thermos for school. Thanks for the delicious lunch inspiration!!

  • There can never be enough lunchtime ideas and inspiration, so I’m excited for your series and hope (!!) to be among the 4 winners.

    I recently OD’ed on too many arugula salads for lunch and couldn’t look at the stuff for weeks, so I moved to grain based bowls with mix-ins depending on what cuisine mood I’m in — quinoa with chopped tomatoes, cucumbers, olives and feta; Israeli cous cous with shredded chicken, black beans, diced avocado and salsa. I wish I was the kind of person who could eat the same thing every day for weeks but lunch is the highlight of the work day (the icing on the cake!) so I want to make it count. Can’t wait to read more.

  • I love the green yogurt sauce and can imagine it going on a lot of different grilled meats. For us, I pack my husband a chopped kale salad everyday that includes quinoa, roasted veggies and Caramelized onions and avocado. I can’t believe he’s okay with eating it everyday but he loves it. So happy this book is out I’m looking for inspiration on how to cook for our little family of three.

  • I love the recipe idea and want more inspiration! Currently I make a big pot of rice or quinoa and roast meat and veggies on Sunday to last for most of the week’s lunches. I’m always looking for suggestions for different spice or dressing combinations to liven things up!

  • I like to pack leftovers for lunch. Today, it was chili that was originally nacho toppings added to some lovely San Marzano tomatoes. I had homemade mole in the freezer that I cooked with grass-fed beef. Then I roasted black beans, sweet potatoes, and corn on a sheet pan with cumin, oregano, and a few other things. All of that went on top of chips & cheese one night and then into the pot with the tomatoes the next. Very haphazard but delightful.

  • I admit to not putting enough thought into my lunches—almost always a sandwich, carrots, and fruit, except for the rare days were leftovers need to be eaten. My best lunch stretch was when I was pregnant and couldn’t eat deli meat—lovely egg and bean burritos, hummus, veggies, and pitas, soups. The arrival of twins forced me to revert back to what was fastest (and boring). Need to up my game!

  • Right now my main job is being the primary care giver to my two daughters, Zoe (age three) and Mae (age one), and my husband’s work provides him with breakfast and lunch). Consequently, I am not really packing lunches for the first time in as long as I can remember. I make my girlies a lot of nut butter roll ups, quesadillas, and “grazing plates” with raw veggies, hummus, fruit, cheese, pumpkins seeds,etc. I often eat whatever they are having, but some days I need something hot, so I have left over, or a homemade frozen burrito from my treasured stash. I can’t wait to give some if these hearty, thoughtful lunch ideas a whirl!

  • My son is a first grader who has had some big time health issues this year. As he heads back to school, I want to give him the best food he can get that will last until lunch time in his classroom. Like most kids (and adults), he loves to dip things so I will have to try the yogurt and herb dip. Congratulations on your book-it looks beautiful and delicious!

  • I always pack leftovers from the night before so I can make sure I don’t succumb to expensive eating out too frequently. My favorite is a chickpea edamame salad along with plenty of fruit, veggies and nuts to snack on.

  • I think the most important thing when I pack my lunches is that they contain all of the food groups and something sweet for me at the end! I definitely am inspired by bento boxes, although that ends up being a bit too time consuming for me.

  • Thank you for this post! My lunch lately has been whatever my three or one year old leaves behind (yes, sometimes even pre-chewed – it can be that hectic). I am terrible at coming up with new things to make and am tired of all the old standbys. I’m looking forward to the rest of the recipes!

  • I just made these meatballs for a late lunch for myself (also working from home)–which is a big victory for me. Usually I eat whatever bagged junk food is on hand, or shell out a lot for takeout.

    It came together super quickly, I didn’t stress out about the ingredients I didn’t have on hand, and they turned out terrific. Thanks for the recipe and congrats on the book, Julia!

  • My favorite lunch is leftovers from dinner the previous night. I always try to make enough for another meal but it’s not always easy when feeding my 3 hungry boys. I’m often left with a pathetic sandwich.

  • This all sounds so good! I try to pack bowls with a grain + protein + veggies and a great sauce or dressing. I like to make a big batch of rice + quinoa or farro and then throw it all together in the morning. Thanks!

  • Love this recipe!! Beautiful pictures. You must be so proud of her! :)

    For lunch?
    I usually prep meals on Sunday for the coming week for my boyfriend and I. I bake a veggie frittata that can be sliced, heated and laid on a bed of arugula. I also am a big fan of overnight oats, homemade burritos or “bowls” – sweet potato, wilted greens, veggies & a protein with sliced avocado on top. And all the garlic :) thanks for the chance to enter the giveaway!

  • I love quinoa or pasta salads with tomato and avocado, chicken/cheese/sardines/tuna, olives/pickles and some nuts, and virgine olive oil and good vinagre just before eating it

  • Wow, all looks damn fine and very much doable for all. I was always told, “if I can read, than I can cook” and now I have a small collection of cook books that I read and sometimes cook from!

  • The flavors you have used in the meatballs sound delicious, I love cold meatballs for lunch….that whole lunch would be perfect for me. I love cold (ie from the refrigerator) lunches because it’s so hot where I live. Cut up crudites and a light dip or rissoles which are essentially squashed meatballs.

    I just saw some Harissa paste at Freshmarket so I’m going to make those turkey meatballs pronto. Thanks for the great recipe.

  • I usually make a big lot of food over the weekend to have leftovers for lunches throughout the week. One of my recent favorites an Indian dish called shwarna, which my husband and I have developed ~slightly~ it’s great with pita, crackers, or rice . Super easy & full of flavor!

  • Julia’s lunches are so beautiful! My packed lunches are salads that can fit in a single tupperware, since I like to take up as little space as possible. It’s usually baby spinach, some quinoa, chicken or fish, and whatever roasted veggies I can find are usually what goes into it, along with some tahini dressing.

  • I also work form home and enjoy taking a break and making myself a nourishing lunch. Lately I’ve been taking advantage of fresh tomatoes and basil and making panzanella, often with fried okra along side since no-one else in my house enjoys it!

  • So beautiful! my lunches usually consist of some sort of leftover/peanut butter and jelly/ quick-grabbed trader joe’s pre made thing (and repeat). I think getting home from work at 10 pm also really hinders my desire to cook anything for myself, but in my down time I’ll definitely try these meatballs!

  • Love The Julia (BL)T and can’t wait to check out her lovely book. I love to pack basil leaves, a hunk of bread, cheese, and cherry tomatoes. Oh, and sopressata salami with a wee jar of olive oil and basalmic.

    And beer.

  • I usually prep food for the week on Sunday and try to make extra at dinner to take for lunch the next day. These meatballs look great, can’t wait to try them!

  • Loving the lunch boxes! I’m always trying to think of simple but tasty (no sad desk lunches, please) lunches during the work week. I often am scrambling to throw lunch together and end up with a random plate of leftovers. Excited to try these recipes and get my hand on the book!

  • The books sounds lovely–congrats! For lunch at work I like to bring a vegetable and bean stew of some sort, usually (something hearty and healthy).

  • I’ve been packing one of those delicious-to-me creations that we all have – Grape jelly and hard-boiled egg slices in between an english muffin. Addicted, lately. P.S. this giveaway is gold.

  • The new cookbook looks like it will be such a great addition to my kitchen! My favorite lunch right now is a roasted sweet potato, topped with chickpeas and feta and then broiled until the feta is just a bit melty and the chickpeas are a wee bit roasted. I could eat that every day (but should probably try some new things :)

  • As a student, it’s hard to consistently make good and filling lunches but I’m lucky enough to have a really great farmers’ market near my school. Having fresh food really brightens my day, especially when I’m running in and out of class. My usual lunch is a veggie rice bowl with whatever fruit I bought that week.

  • I have 3 types of lunches on a regular basis:

    Out of House:
    1. Old-school brown bag with a PB+J, baby carrots, and a paper towel as napkin. Sometimes, there’s a home-made granola bar. I love the crinkle of the brown bag, it makes me happy.

    2. Splurge lunch one day a week: Acai bowl OR tuna melt from Zak the Baker in Wynwood. Always a tuna melt. I actually had one today! So good.

    Working at home:
    LEFTOVERS! It’s taken me a long time, but now I actually put lunch on a plate and eat at the table — for years I ate bites from the container in the fridge. Big Victory!

  • My husband just started a new job, and we’re about to have our second baby, so I am looking for healthy, simple recipes to fuel us through all the change ahead. I love the idea of making enough of these turkey meatballs for a few lunches for each of us during the week (I think/hope even our toddler would love this kind of lunch). Even if I don’t actually get around to packing his lunch (life with a newborn!), I know my husband would so love and appreciate having it all in the fridge ready for him to pack it himself. Better than his standard PB&J lunches of late! Looking forward to more recipes.

  • I’m so excited for this book! I’m definitely in a bit of a lunch rut so these ideas are greatly appreciated. One of my favorite standbys is chickpea and cucumber salad.

  • The meatball recipe looks good. We are trying to do more maker at home and take lunches. I have always struggled with making my own lunch.

  • Leftovers for lunch as much as possible, or lentil and rice salads that whip up quick. Definitely intrigued by this book!

  • Thank you, Julia! All of these recipes look rustic, flavorful, and practical. I cannot wait to make the turkey merguez-ish meatballs with a big batch of that yogurt + herb dip to snack on with a pita and serve with my sriracha baked chicken.

  • Julia, these look fantastic! I’ve just recently discovered ground bison as a meal protein. Wondering is bison would work instead of turkey for this recipe. Can’t wait to see the book — would love to add to my cookbook collection — (now TOO cumbersome!) All the best with your new book!

  • I’m very excited for the book. And always feel so much better (mentally AND physically) during the weeks that I allow myself the small victory of packing healthy and delicious lunches. Lately I’ve been packing some combo of cooked and fresh veg, and add in grains, egg, beans, and fresh lemon and tahini, whatever works with the produce of the week. Usually a one-Weck jar meal that is good at room-temp! xxkr

  • I made lunches for my children for 16 years! One ate the same thing every day and the other ate different. Neither are adventurous. Now that my nest is empty, I enjoy using leftovers to make interesting and fun lunches!!!

  • This is my favorite article DS has ever posted, and I am loving all the ‘lunchboxes’ this week! Congratulations, Julia, and thank you both for sharing a sweet glimpse into your lives together.

  • I used to skip lunch most days because I couldn’t be bothered to take a break but now I’m lucky to have a partner who packs my lunch every day (I like to think he enjoys it as much as Julia does :)). Lately it has been a run of delicious kale salads made with his take on the amazing cashew tamari dressing from Mother’s Cafe in Austin. My fav lunches, though, are the Middle Eastern spreads like what is pictured above — hummus, some veg, maybe some falafel, and an herb dip like the one here, but made with labneh. Easy to eat while working (still can’t take that break) and super tasty. Sending him that meatball recipe in the hope that they appear in the lunchbox next week!

  • Since I missed lunch today just about anything would be wonderful – I do like little tastes of everything so leftovers always work a treat. Big salads with protein added are also yummy. What you’ve shown for today has me wishing I’d had lunch…

  • I would love to eat this for lunch. I’m typically grabbing something from the store on my lunch break…hangs head in shame.

  • Thanks so much for this series, Grace and Julia! I’ve packed a (healthy, I hope) lunch five days a week for what feels like forever. Usually I bring things like bean and whole grain salads, chicken or fish with vegetables, hummus, yogurt with chia seeds and fruit. But figuring this stuff out is hard — I am in dire need of more Julia-inspiration.

  • I am embarrassed to admit I often skip both breakfast and lunch because I never know what to fix. It seems that when i go to the internet to look at recipes, it’s so overwhelming, I default to nothing or takeout. If love the chance to learn how to eat healthily with simple recipes and plan to start by fixing the yoghurt-herb dip tonight and the pita tomorrow. Note, I’m if to the store! Say a little prayer for me :-)

  • This lunch looks amazing! Love that idea. My lunch must usually consists of salad from the garden, and some homemade yogurt. I love it when I have leftovers to spice things up though!

  • My children are gown, but when I had to pack their lunches they were easy. As a child, I was difficult. My favorite lunches were soup (and still is!) and spaghetti/ravioli.

    Now when I have to pack a lunch I like to make a chicken salad and put the leftovers in my lunchbox.

  • This series is awesome! Thank you so much for sharing. I will definitely use some of these ideas for my son’s lunches, as well as my own workday lunches. And, this whole post is really too sweet for words. Makes me smile!

  • Looks totally delicious. My favorite thing to pack for lunch is a bed of arugula with odds, ends and leftovers to jazz it up: a spoonful of cooked lentils, another of quinoa, a knob of goat cheese, handful of tomatoes and a small side of last night’s pasta :)

  • My husband got a meat grinder to make raw food for our cats (!) My plan is to use it to make sausage, or as Julia calls it, “highly spiced meat.” It would be great to add leftover sausage to our usual lunchbox salads.

  • All the lunchboxes look wonderful!! My mom always used to pack me these great lunches for school everyday and she would leave my brother and I notes and little surprises so opening my lunch was always something I looked forward to. Needless to say I am a big believer in a tasty, nutritious packed lunch! Now that I am in charge of packing my own lunch my husband and I have gotten in the habit of making double the dinner so we can take our leftovers for lunch. On the days that doesn’t work out my go to is a healthy tuna melt with veggies on the side. Long live the packed lunch!

  • Everything looks so good and non-fussy (which I love), but I can’t get those chicken and zucchini kebabs with tomato salad out of my head! I can’t wait to try it. Also, when you say “does well at room temperature” I can’t help but think about how this must make everything here great picnic food! I’m looking forward to checking out the book. Congrats!

  • I hope this giveaway isn’t over! I like to pack sliced celery filled with peanut butter, cucumber slices, granola bars, and sometimes a cashew butter nut sandwich!

  • I pack lunch for my two children almost every day, and I (and they) love left-overs. One of our favorites is chicken kabobs and veggies with hummus and yogurt sauce. They also love soup (white bean and kale with sausage is a favorite).

  • My kids can’t take meat to school, so I am on the hunt for easy dairy lunches. Easy usually means a bagel and cream cheese and fruit and yogurt. (The cook book looks great, and I’m looking forward to using it, but I’d really love the tote and would buy it if I could).

  • Cooking has always been my therapy. Feeding my family is one of my most satisfying activities – and joys. Veggies, nuts, dried fruits, these are all great choices for my own packed lunch.

  • I’ve been really lazy lately, and have just stuck a frozen meal in my lunchbox. But with inspiration like this, I’m inspired to make some changes!

  • For me a small victory is… Packing my lunch! I always feel so proud and know that my lunch is going to be that much healthier. I’m really looking forward to read Julia’s book and continue to have small (big!) victories in the kitchen.

  • So excited to sit down and peruse your book, Julia. LOVE your lunch box ideas. They’re so sophisticated (and different), which makes them tantalizing and I-so-want-to-eat-lunch-now! This morning, I just made up a huge Southwestern Chicken Salad and split it up into containers for 4 days–black beans, corn, red onion, cucumbers, tomatoes, cheddar cheese, bacon, lettuce, chicken, corn tortilla strips, and an avocado-garlic-yogurt-lime dressing…congrats on your book…so happy for you!

  • thank you for sharing these lovely lunch boxes. now that the school year has started in earnest, there is a lot of lunch packing happening in my house, for the kids and for the adults. i sometimes get in a rut of running out of interesting ideas, so we all end up with yogurt and some fruit or veggies.

  • Reporting back after making these meatballs & dip last night for a quick dinner- they were delicious!

    I doubled the recipe and did it with 1/2 ground turkey and 1/2 ground pork, which made them a little more fatty and moist. I used whole coriander, which I toasted and ground, and used fresh cilantro as the herb. Paired them with the yogurt dip and a quick tomato/cucumber salad/zaatar salad, and the results were fantastic. Fast, easy, healthy, minimal clean up, and left overs to eat for lunch today. We’ll be making this again!

  • I really struggle with making a delicious lunch to take to work. It is usually an after though. However, I have noticed that when I have an extra good lunch packed I wake up extra excited!
    Thank you so much for the lunch ideas. anything to make life easier and more excited is a win.

  • The roasted blueberry yogurt pot sounds wonderful, assuming the roasted blueberries actually make it to the yogurt … I work 12 hour shifts, so I’m packing for more than one meal and yogurt is one of my go to snacks, so this will definitely perk things up. The cookbook looks beautiful, too. Thanks for sharing some of the recipes!

  • Yum! I love simple lunch ideas as I’ve always brought my own lunches to work. Checking this book out from the library, but one of my all-time favorite sandwiches is one I learned years ago from a long-gone local joint, Wholly Earth — peanut butter, cream cheese, a swipe of fruit jam, thinly sliced apple, and alfalfa sprouts on whole grain bread — so delish, looking forward to it when empires hit the market.

  • I wish I had something inspiring to say about my lunchbox but really it’s just sad. It’s not a box, it’s a sack full of lettuce and fruit I never eat. Instead I head down to my hospitals cafeteria and eat their lettuce and fruit(I’m a nurse). So, I’m loving these lunchbox ideas and hope to fill the lunch sack with something actually worth eating soon!

  • I just started graduate school and am living alone for the first time so this book could not have more perfect timing. Although I eat by myself most nights, I’m trying my hardest to still fix myself a proper meal and sit down far far away from my schoolwork to enjoy it. I usually take leftovers and try to repurpose them in a new way for lunch. Shredded roasted chicken with pesto, a little mayo, and peas makes a perfect chicken salad sandwich and leftover risotto breaded and fried in patties (I have been known to hide a piece of cheese in the middle on occasion) makes use of something that is never as good on day two. Julia’s recipes are perfect inspiration to not have eggs for dinner every night and I am perhaps even more excited to see where her recipes will take my lunch next.

  • My husband and I have always had leftovers for lunch, which makes things relatively easy. We now have a one year old and packing lunch is more challenging as we’re still figuring out what he’ll eat. I love reading all of these fun lunch ideas!

  • This is so exciting!

    Leftover for lunch are a must! It usually tastes even better the next day so it’s a win-win situation :)

    I must definitely try these meatballs!

  • I am lucky in that my husband packs me lunch: usually a salad topped with all sorts of tasty things! This cookbook looks awesome!

  • This cookbook looks amazing! Recently I’ve been using shredded chicken from a rotisserie from the grocery store with spinach and Chobani’s new meze dips. But, it looks like your yogurt dip would be the perfect substitution for the store bought! I’m excited, too, to read through all the ideas in the comments!

  • Amazing! I have really let cooking at home go by the wayside since diving full time into work at my yoga studio. This might be just the thing to inspire me back into the kitchen and take my creations to work with me! Thank you!

  • When it comes to lunch, my husband and I ALSO work from home, and we wholeheartedly agree about the ‘living on your own terms’ part :) However, unlike you guys, we are terrible at making meals together! So I feel ashamed to admit that lunch usually consists of a fried egg or two, some locally-made kimchi, and a handful of whatever else we can find in the fridge. Having your book would sure help us up our lunch game!

  • Very interested in this book!
    My usual lunches are some kind of sandwich with a soup: tomato, chicken, lentil, pea, meatball, etc. only because it seems like it’s the only thing my kids will eat. These lunches look delicious and something my kids would be willing to try. Always a plus!

  • For lunch, we love to bring salads in mason jars, goat Gouda and salami, and, our favorite stinky probiotic snack – a boiled egg with sauerkraut! (We have to eat at our desks when there’s no one around.)

    We can’t wait to try some of these yummy recipes to add to our repertoire!

  • Such great ideas to get us out of our lunch box rut! We’ve been defaulting to leftovers, or “Grown-up Lunchables” of crackers, meats, cheeses, and fruit. Time to mix it up, and these meatballs seem like a great place to start, especially with the Greek-ish spin of the tzatziki-like sauce.

  • Great post! I pack my lunch just about every day to take to work. I like using the little Bento boxes– perfect size for salads, leftovers, and sandwiches. The smaller compartments are great for fruits and veggies.

    I made a really good kale salad last week with artichokes, quinoa, walnuts, cherries, red onion, and chickpeas tossed in an EVOO and lemon vinaigrette. So filling and SO good. Got the recipe on pinterest.

    Recipes above look so yummy. I’d totally use this cookbook!

  • Most of my colleagues buy lunch, so I have to make sure my lunch is something I *really* want to eat, so I don’t get food envy. :) I like making a raw kale and sauteed tofu salad that only gets better as the week goes on, because both the kale and tofu absorb the dressing and develop deeper flavors. I also take slices of leftover homemade pizza in, and perk them up with some harissa or tomato jam. I love your idea of lunch boxes, and look forward to seeing more!

  • Lately, i’ve been doing salad for lunch and i love it. A hearty quinoa and lentil mix, throw in some roast beetroot, some feta, some arugula from the garden? I’m set! My shortcut for lunches: on sunday, i pack 5 snack bags with my apples and my nuts and then i just have to get my main together to take away. it’s a win!

  • Love these lunch ideas! This week, I made chicken salad for most of my lunches. I buy a rotisserie chicken, pull it apart, put it in a bowl and mix in celery, spring onion, pecans, parsley, cranberries, mayo and dijon mustard. I usually eat it with pita bread. For snacks, I like sliced apple or carrots. I also really enjoy greek yogurt with honey.

  • These recipes are awesome! My wife and I are addicted to making any meal that fits in a bowl for lunch (breakfast and dinner too). A Sweet potato bowl with herbs, onions, kale and egg is a favorite right now!

  • Lunch was always an afterthought for me but now I am getting better at making extra chicken, prepping veggies extra. I look forward to your lunch boxes to help add variety to my repertoire!

  • I am all about homemade lunch & I can’t decide which of these to try first! The roasted blueberries?! The zucchini kebabs! So many tasty options!

  • That exact Staub pot has been on my wish list for years! ? I love these lunchbox ideas. My best idea when packing lunches for my littlest is making healthyish muffins in mini-muffin pans and freezing them. Easier than sandwiches in the morning!

  • I make my husband’s lunches 5-6 days a week. Usually I make some sort of poultry salad. Today it was smoked turkey with minced celery, carrots and scallions. I had a few marinated mushrooms, so I threw those in, too. I bind it with a little mustard and mayo and about a 1/4 of an avocado. And usually an apple on the side. I’m eager to try this recipe–it will be something different. (And I wouldn’t have thought of doing something like this on my own!)

  • I have the same thing everyday for lunch, butternut squash with shredded chicken I made in the crockpot with a few black eyed peas or northern beans on top with pepper. I’d love to win a copy of this cookbook to shake things up a bit!

  • Love this! I tend fall into my grandmother’s Swedish meatball mode all the time – so this is such an easy way to twist it up. Thanks.

  • I’m an elementary school teacher, so my lunches need to refuel me from a morning of wrangling 8 year olds, and charge me up for an afternoon of the same! I tend to try to cover a number of different bases–rice and beans, some fruit, a cup of skyr. Today was zucchini fritters with roasted sweet potato, chopped honeydew melon, and a whole wheat banana muffin!

  • Yum! So many good ideas are stemming from this. I don’t like to have the same thing every day but I do like to have a protein base. And these meatballs sound delicious!

  • Love these lunch ideas! I like to put together a stash of easy grab and go containers at the beginning of the week, for both snacks and lunch. Big salads, cut up veggies and hummus, fruit bowls, meat and cheese and crackers, things like that.

  • Oooh, how I love these ideas! Packing lunch for my son with food allergies is challenging, so this year we made a list together of things he likes or would like to try; and a week in we are both liking it a lot better than boring sandwiches day after day! Favorite things to pack are dumplings, crudités with homemade honey-mustard sauce, seaweed, edamame…

    • That meatball lunch looks so yummy! The soba noodle salad, with cabbage (cabbage my favorite) sound great too! This lunchbox option definitely inspires me to step up my lunches. I could spend more time with the little one and not get bored with the same old boring meals week after week.

  • The lunch box ideas give me hope for better lunches for me and my son; it’s easy to forget that making beautiful, nourishing food doesn’t always have to mean a super time and/or labor intensive endeavor! Our typical packed lunches include 5-minute eggs, some variety of leftover vegetables or just some straight up sandwiches. What a great looking book!

  • I’m learning to love packing a lunch again, and while I love a good sandwich, I must admit that I need some inspiration. Looking forward to the blog series and the cookbook!

  • Your book looks gorgeous, Julia!

    I make a lot of grain-based dishes for lunch – farro salad with herbs and grilled veggies, veg fried rice, amaranth with balsamic and basil, etc.

    In the winter, I switch over to stews and bean-based soups.

  • I usually take leftovers for lunch. My favorite leftover lunch is a stew-like Ukrainian borscht that I make a giant pot of once or twice a year and eat for a week. It always ends up being a conversation starter with co-workers and gets more delicious and more beet-red throughout the week.

  • Being a busy Kindergarten Teacher, my lunches need to be easy to eat! My favorite lunch to take is risotto. I am a vegestarian so I take some onions, carrots, celery, garlic and seitan meat and sautee it in a sauce pan. I add some whole peeled tomatoes. Let it all cook. Add it to the risotto and add parmesan. YUMMMMMMM!!!!!

  • I’m putting tofu and green beans on my grocery list so I can have that as the center of my lunchbox planning next week!

  • Loving these recipes! I too mainly do leftovers or easy heat TJ’s frozen meals….these look easy enough to prep & eat all week :)

  • Lunch has always been a challenge for me, especially now that I have to take my lunch to work every day. I treat it almost like an oversight :( This lunchbox looks fantastic and I am really looking forward to your series. Thanks so much!!

  • There’s something so satisfying about a well-packed lunch! Kudos on the new book, it’s just right got back to school season.

    I love taking Sunday evening to prep a couple of packable meals or soup and get everything put up in little containers so we can “shop the fridge” and head out during the week!

  • The Tuesday Lunchbox is pretty much my ideal lunch. I love anything with pita & that I can snack on throughout the day.

  • I definitely could use some spicing up (pun intended!) of my lunch boxes. I bring a salad with grilled chicken every day to work and it is getting old!! Thanks for the opportunity- would love to win a copy!

  • Perfect timing! School has started and with it the daily grind of making something delicious for dinner that can be turned into yummy leftover lunches for my kids and husband (grad student) to take to school. I’m going to make every one of these recipes (and not a wrap to be found! Yay!).

    Congratulations on the new book and thanks for posting these lunch boxes!

  • My sons are both in their thirties now, but one of my great joys in life is to pack them a “lunch” for their bus, train, or plane ride home after a visit with me. Contents are usually sandwiches made with my homemade sourdough bread, homemade mayo, and leftover meat from one of our meals, lettuce, tomato, a piece of fruit and any other goodies I can fit in.

  • After 10 years out of school, I am headed back. My food tastes have changed since my undergrad days. I’m looking forward to fresh, packable, lunches.

  • I (thankfully) have two girls (ages 4 and 1.5) that are happy adventurous eaters. However, I usually pack the same (drab) turkey sandwich for their preschool lunch 3x a week. I LOVE that these ideas are delicious AND they can sit in a lunch bag for a few hours and still bbe tasty Thank you for sharing, and thank you for the inspiration and motivation to step it up for those little taste buds! Congrats on the gorgeous book!

  • In a part of my life when I’m usually packing a gross Tupperware of whatever’s leftover and zipping off to the office, I’m so grateful for these fresh & healthy ideas. Lunch boxes truly are an art!

  • Packing a lunch is very important to me, my Mom used to pack me leftover meatloaf sandwiches. I’m a nurse, but cooking is my true passion. I pack nutrient dense, light lunches that will keep me going without weighing me down. I love these recipes and look forward to trying them. Congrats on the new cookbook!

  • I took an indian cooking class a few years ago and since then I often make daal or chana masala to take to work with me! Sometimes I just go with a salad or some roasted vegetables. I could use Julia’s cookbook for new ideas! Pick me!

  • My class schedule has a lot of awkward breaks, so somedays I just pack lots of hummus and whatever vegetables I have. But when I will have the time to sit and eat, I’ll have some form of soup with greens; most recently I made a big batch of harira, and have been defrosting it and adding some CSA kale or collards as well as rice noodles. I’m thinking about making something like veggie burgers with a small salad for next week… but now I have a wealth of new recipes!

  • The Turkey meatballs look delicious! My go to lunch tends to be a salad loaded with either cut veggies or fruit, with toasted almond slices or sunflower seeds!
    My kids are all super into salads for school lunches, too. Would definitely consider sending them in with hot lunch if this was an option! Good luck with the book, sad you aren’t heading up to Boston for a book signing!

  • I’m super excited about this book. I love the Zucchini-Tahini Dip with Vegetables and the grilled zucchini kebabs give me great ideas for a vegetarian version to make for lunch!

  • I just graduated from college and my life is in transition. I haven’t been paying much attention to lunch recently, and my pitiful meals have been quite depressing. I would love some tricks to ease my burgeoning adult lunches!

  • I’ve packed my husband’s lunch for years but the task took on added importance when he was diagnosed with congestive heart failure. I want to nourish him as well as I can, and I think it’s working – his most recent doctor’s visit revealed that his condition has been virtually reversed. We didn’t know the power of food, or how much salt lurks pretty much everywhere. Right now one of our favorite lunchboxes is dill salmon cakes alongside Bon Appetit’s farro/tomato/cucumber salad – bright, crunchy, better with time. Thank you and congratulations on your new book!

  • Love that these lunch box recipes are substantial, purposeful meals with multiple components. Alas, my lunches tend to be whatever’s leftover in the fridge.

  • I am proud of both of you girls!

    Lunch has always been a second thought for me in the past, but slowly I have been prepping lunches on Sunday and eating like a normal human. It has to be easy since I would rather be in the garden, so I make carnitas or chicken tacos so I can crockpot it and garden it up.

  • I love these ideas. I spend a good deal of my life searching for healthy lunch recipes, so this is a godsend.

  • i am more thoughtful with dinner because it is the one time of day where i don’t feel guilty from taking a pause from my all-consuming dissertation and connecting with my boo. but as i am in the messy middle of writing, i am looking for ways to be kind, generous, and indulgent with myself. i think cooking something healthy and delicious from small victories during the day, ***just for me***, would help me keep rowing until i get to the next shore.

  • I eat soba noodles up the wazoo! My favorite combo is cucumber, sugar snaps, and asparagus during springtime. Top it off with some crispy tofu, drizzly it with sesame oil and seeds and boom!

  • Those merguez-ish meatballs look so good. I’m sold on anything with yogurt sauce. I manage a 4 acre vegetable farm, so lunches look a lot like the garden. Right now: tomato sandwiches, fermented cukes and everything apple desserts. Looking forward to pulling inspiration from Julia’s book. Been waiting for this one!

  • I love cooking on Sunday’s to get leftovers for the whole week. Soups and twice baked potatoes are favorites. If I’m not at home during the weekend to prepare ahead, anything can happen!

  • I Love your lunch box ideas & I really like all the different ways one can mix it up! I have very recently become a care giver for my mom
    who had a stroke. Like Julia, I feel that making food is a simple act of caring and love. I like making her small healthy meals to keep her energy up while she is working so hard on her recovery. and my mom is so grateful to have me make her a simple bowl of soup or a snack of hummus & veggies. Not to mention that I need simple healthy food to be able to care for her. so thank you for the new ideas and congratulations on your book!

  • I usually have left overs or a salad for lunch so I’d love the chance to have the Small Victories cookbook to shake things up and make lunch more enjoyable and delicious everyday!
    Congrats to both of you on your books!

  • So excited to try some new lunches. As a teacher I only get a half hour to heat up my food and eat, so anything quick and delicious is perfect. The yogurt and herb dip with some veggies and pita – yum!

  • I love making a quinoa bowl with whatever legumes and veggies I feel like. I make a big batch on Sundays to get me through the week’s lunches!

  • Would love this cookbook to spice up lunch a bit! I usually take a salad with some grilled chicken, avocado and grapes.

  • Love lunch boxes! Bringing lunch with me is far more enjoyable than take out. It’s my ‘take a break’ time and the payoff is huge! Thanks!

  • lately I’ve been packing fresh seasonal fruit (hello fresh peaches dripping down by arm), sardines, or smoked oysters and homemade rolls. throw in some sunlight and a couple of chapters of a good book and you got yourself a great lunch.

  • Congrats on your book’s debut! I love the name and the premise — I feel empowered already. :) Your thoughts about homemade lunches, and the details that go into making someone feel cared for with a meal resonate with me. I like to think of food as a way of making a tangible connection, to meet a need for nourishment for the body and soul at the same time. Can’t wait to read your work!

    -Dalaiah Kusner

  • I’m an elementary school teacher, so effective lunch-packing is a must!
    The lunch I pack is really an assortment of mini-meals to be consumed every few hours. There’s my 10 am green smoothie (frozen the night before so its perfectly cold and defrosted by 10), my noon meal, something like a buddha bowl of quinoa, roasted root veggies, and spicy chickpeas with a cucumber yogurt sauce, and my 2 pm sliced apples or handful of almonds. :)
    I’ll be trying the sesame soba noodles recipe but substituting gluten free rice noodles!

  • Some of my fav work lunches involve me bring a few slice of good bread (my office has a toaster oven, it’s amazing), some delicious tomato or avocado, and a tin of sardines in olive oil. Sardines on hot toast at the conference table is a delight, and luckily my place is work is totally smelly fish-friendly. Also work keeping good salt and pepper in my desk for exactly these instances. On another note, as a kid, when I would pack an orange to eat at school, I’d also pack a pair of disposable latex gloves to wear while I peeled and ate it. No idea why I couldn’t just go and wash my hands like a normal person. Good luck with the book! Can’t wait to see more!

  • As a teacher, I still relish choosing what to pack for lunch! I am a huge fan of leftovers and love taking a salad with roasted veggies from the night before. I also love making a grain and a legume at the beginning of the week and making simple salads!

  • I love these lunch ideas! I am a student in New York City and frequently in class from early morning to late at night, so I usually pack lunch and dinner to avoid spending money I don’t have. I am always looking for new ideas for healthy and creative packable meals so thank you for the inspiration!

  • The garlic green beans and soba noodles sound delicious and simple to make for lunch. One of my favorite homemade lunches typically entails sautéed kale in olive oil with lean protein and a side of quinoa or brown rice. Super simple but satisfying and delicious.

  • I pack lunches, everyday. While tedious it is the only way I get the nutrition I need. I too have an autoimmune disease that I have had to change my diet completely for. From a vegetarian of 19 years to a meat eater now abstaining from gluten, dairy and refined sugar. It’s worth the change in how I feel now. Lately I have been working on perfecting my Indian dal’s, they travel easy in ball jars and pack a mean nitrous punch! Excited to read more about your cookbook, congrats!

  • I’ve been very uninspired this year with my lunches taking a baked potato and some sort of vegetable more times than I’d like to admit. I do love having soup or a veggie burger for lunch. I’d love to have some new ideas!

  • I love to make a big bean salad or veggie stew at the beginning of every week along with a batch of hummus. For lunch I pack these two dishes, a Tupperware of raw veggies, an apple, a banana and a handful of cashews.

  • I too, take great pride in making my wife lunches. It’s one of those simple pleasures…
    Here are some favourites:
    -a charceuterie box for one with some cheese, some cured meat, some bread, fresh fruit, berries, olives and a few nuts. The bite combinations are endless…
    -a chopped salad with some cheese or hard boiled egg or some chick peas with a herby dressing, packed separately, of course!
    -crackers, peanut butter or ricotta, fruit (nectarine/apples/berries) and a few seeds (pumpkin or sunflower with chia) for some open faced crispy bites. Last week I packed some garden tomatoes, salt and some feta as toppings.

  • These recipes look delicious and I can’t wait to try them! I grew up looking forward to the notes my mother added to my packed lunches, and now it’s my turn to pass on the love :) I enjoy creating packed lunches that are well balanced and healthy – usually hummus, fresh veggies, and a simple sandwich or pasta. Excited to break free of my comfort zone now and try these new recipes!

  • I love these ideas! I always feel the need to get greens into my lunch–I can commit to the big healthy veggie servings in the morning, and by the time lunch rolls around, I just eat what was in my lunchbag.

  • My boyfriend and I work together and I try to pack our lunches every day. I love these new recipes as sometimes our lunches can fall into a routine.

  • I’m always out of bed earlier in the morning so I get put on lunch making duty but I truly love it! You’re right, packing up a delicious lunch/meal/treat for the person you love is one of the best feelings. We are currently in a PB&J (her) and plain quinoa (me) rut so I am very excited to do a grocery run and try these out this week :)

  • Let me start off by saying wow, I continually grow to admire the both of you more and more. The passion you both have for what you are doing in life balanced by the passion you have for eachother is truly inspiring and such a please to see and hear about. Pushing eachother forward is the most important thing you can do for eachother! Now, as for this recipe; how simple but creative! My significant other and I bring lunch from Brooklyn to Manhattan everyday if we can. It usually consists of fresh fruits and veggies or left overs from dinner the night before. One of our favorites to make are quick cheese platters with a couple different cheeses, olives, dijon and crackers and some fruits or veggies. Another go to is chili made well in advance. Quick and simple are our favorite words when it comes to making lunches. I’m so happy for the both of you with your book publications and wish you the best of luck with all future endeavors!

  • I’ve been on a hummus and pita kick these days, but your Tuesday lunchbox really takes it up a notch! I love your ideas and want them!

  • Ooohh! I usually bring a salad with roasted veggies, some nuts, and a pita…. But I’m never full !!! Can’t wait to check out the book for better ideas!

  • I’m inspired by the posted ideas and can’t wait to see what else “small victories” has to offer. Currently I’m in a salad rut and can’t wait for cooler weather when I can have soups and other warm lunch boxes. Yum!

  • My favorite thing to pack for lunch is leftover chickpea & kale curry with some brown rice, a lemon slice and Queen Majesty Ginger & Scotch Bonnet hot sauce. Can’t wait to try these recipes!

  • Lunch is our favorite part of the day and now that we have a kindergartner in the house we get to pack something fun together every morning. His favorite is what he calls “farmers lunch” a little bit of this and that like a hunk of cheese some slices of chicken, hummus and fresh veggies and always a little treat like a piece of dark chocolate. Oh and of course it must be packed in a Star Wars lunch box with a “real napkin” by request of the 6 year old.

  • My favorite thing in the whole world is to read cookbooks and try recipes. I can’t wait to get lost in this cookbook, and I love the idea of lunch box ideas. I like to pack leftovers in lunches – or leftovers prepared in a new way for the lunch box.

  • I work 12 hour nights on a children’s floor and my daughter commutes to college and is vegetarian, so meals have to be reheated and flexible to adapt to suit us both. We like pasta dishes or things we can put over rice. Quinoa or coucous. Quiona salad with chickpeas, cherry tomato and cucumber with an oil/oregano dressing is a fav or a cricknpot sweet potato, peanut And kale stew are favs.

  • I learned to plan ahead for weekday lunches and feel so much better for it. But they can get repetitive and boring, so am glad to get some new ideas. Congratulations on the new book!

  • anything with a bit of bread and cheese, not of the processed nature, is always a delight! add an apple and it’s a little piece of sweet and savory heaven! it’s the simple things in life =) digging the soba recipe!

  • These lunchboxes are pretty much perfect. They are especially helpful for meal planning and budgeting for groceries – thank you for the recipes and happy vibes. I love packing a special lunch for myself and my partner, the kind of lunch I’m excited to eat and look forward to all morning. Last week it was a big pot of homemade chicken noodle soup (noodles subbed with couscous) to cure a late summer cold. My grandmother called it “Jewish penicillin” and I couldn’t agree more. Feeding those you love is truly one of the greatest joys.

  • I’m a salad luncher. I found bread and pasta made me too sleepy in the afternoon and that greens gave me energy so I’ve slowly moved greens and protein for lunch. Would love some new ideas! xo

  • I tend to bring leftovers for myself – pasta and soup dishes typically, or taco fillings turned into salad. But there are some great ideas here for what I can pack for my kid so I’m excited to try some of these out.

  • Looking forward for this book sure to inspire my lunch box rut. Usually pack wraps or pasta salad which the kids (and parents) can enjoy.

  • Excited to check out your cookbook in person after seeing so much about it through this blog and other food blogs that I follow! I, for one, love to pack savory lunches so I have something to look forward to in the middle of a long work day. When stressed, many times these lunches consist of leftovers from meals the evening before. Though when I have more time, I usually pack a salad with veggies from the garden, baguette slices, a hearty cheese, and vinegar and oil in a jar for dipping. This can be jazzed up with pickled beets or okra, hummus, a simple soup, or a light pasta dish. Again, I’m looking forward to trying everything!

  • I love to cook, but since I’m only cooking for one I’m often left with an abundance of leftovers. I like to freeze about half of whatever I make and then a few weeks or months down the line, I thaw out whatever I’ve made and “reinvent” it, if you will; e.g. adding meat or seasonal vegetables to a soup, or creating a different sauce for my homemade meatballs. I work long days and have a short thirty minute break for lunch, so eating my homemade creations helps the stress melt away (if only for a few minutes) and brings me a sense of warmth and comfort. A “sweet finish” is a must too, in my opinion. :)

    I’m a huge fan of both yours and Grace’s and admire all of your work, and all that you stand for. I am thrilled to be off on the day that you’ll be doing your demo in Los Angeles; I just signed myself up. Looking forward to it!

  • I’m a big fan of bringing my lunch to work; it saves money, and gives me the say in how I care for my body. I do admit it’s challenging to be creative and time conscious, so I end up eating a lot of salads.

    These recipes are refreshing, approachable, and different from the salad-or-sandwich rut I’ve been in. I’m excited to try them out!

  • As a child, home lunches were a bond between my sisters and I and our mother. While the other kids would line up in the cafeteria to eat whatever generic slop was doled out, we would open up our carefully folded paper sacks, and sometimes enjoy (or sometimes frown upon) our mostly-vegan-dye-free-healthy-brown-rice-centric lunches that our mother had lovingly prepared. She’d often include a note, a card, a sticker or something fun along with the lunch. Since we knew we weren’t going to be able to trade those carob chews for something more glistening with gelatin, we accepted our lot, and were nourished in both healthy choices and handcrafted love. I saved all those little notes my mother put in our lunches. Somehow I knew, even as a child, the importance of preparing meals as a way of showing people you love them. The cards would read things like, “I like your new haircut. It’s fresh and spiky, just like you.” (after I gave myself a botched mullet). Or when we were about to lose a tooth, our paper sack lunches might have a note from our individual tooth fairies. Mine’s name was Emerald Sky. Those lunches reminded me the importance of making your own meals and of reminding yourself that you didn’t have to be like everyone else. Now at lunchtime, I look out my window and I can see people in the city streets fetching their pre-packaged lunches, which they’ll shovel down at their desk. It makes me sad to see them so rushed. While they open their plastic boxes, I get up from my desk and sit in my big cushy chair, and eat the lunch I lovingly prepared for myself. Lately I’ve had a crush on a lentil, chickpea feta tahini cilantro salad. Or an overnight vegetarian muffuletta that I parse out all week like a giant sandwich cake that I keep taking slices of. So far I haven’t written any little cards to myself; somehow the meal itself is the love letter. Every time I sit down to lunch, I think of all those hours that my mother, a working ER nurse, took each morning to make lunch for us, even though it would have been much easier to have us stand in line with the other kids. But she didn’t want that. She wanted something better for us. She wanted us to be nourished with good food. She wanted us to know how much we were loved.

  • Oh my goodness…I need to up my game with packing lunches…it truly is a sign of love. There’s nothing like a beautifully homemade healthy lunch to send with someone you love or share together at home. Can’t wait to receive my copy and start cooking!

  • Packing lunch always seems so daunting so I always hope for leftovers. Lately I’ve been in a soup mood so am hoping fall temperatures will be here soon!

  • Wonderful giveaway. I am usually too lazy to pack and lunch and could really use some inspiration but when I do, it usually consists of either leftovers or a sandwich of some kind. Recently bought myself a lovely bento box so hoping to make packing a lunch more of a routine.

  • Ah lunches, so difficult to know what to eat at lunch time! I really enjoy lamb koftas, Greek salad, mint yogurt dip and pita bread. Just enough to keep you fueled for the afternoon but not so much that it spoils your dinner.

  • My desk lunches change with the season, so for end of the summer into early autumn I’m eating a lot of toast with hummus, tomatoes, avocado, and togarashi.

  • Julia, I would love a copy of the new cookbook. I loved your recipes when you helped with Gwyneth’s cook book. I love stuffed peppers as an easy take along weekday lunch!

  • I spent the last 13 years homeschooling my kids, making lunches and thinking about fun snacks, but I really feel that the last few years could’ve used some inspiration. Now my youngest two are in high school, I’m trying to write a book, and I’ve promised to make them lunch every day, so I NEED some further inspiration from someone who has it all thought out. You have SUCH great ideas. Thanks for making it available for us to peruse and use in our own family lunches. You guys are awesome.

  • Looks delicious, will start making lunches for me and my boyfriend. I can’t wait of having an easy and delicious lunch.

  • My favorite lunch is cold sesame soba noodles with pickled carrots/daikon and bahn mi inspired meatballs (pork, fish sauce, sriracha, garlic and cilantro). The best part is you can make enough for several days when you’re not feeling up to meal prep every evening. Getting hungry thinking about it now!

  • I always wished I was Claire who brought sushi to lunch for her Saturday detention session in The Breakfast Club. I was more like Allison with the processed meat sandwich and captain crunch. Maybe with this book I can finally step up my lunch box game.

  • That Tuesday lunchbox looks amazing. I could eat that every day. In reality, I eat leftovers as my husband won’t and they aren’t always conducive to kids’ school lunches.

  • I usually grab whatever random leftovers are in the fridge but am psyching myself up to make some creative meatballs and love the different dip ideas going on. Lunch does feel more victorious when it works together.

  • I work from home and often skip lunch or eat some sort of bar, a bowl of cereal, or another piece of toast. :(
    But I am trying to eat healthier and take better care of myself and the lunch boxes look so easy and delicious I am excited to make them!

  • I love doing grain salads, mainly quinoa, with feta, dried fruit and a nut. Throw a scoop over greens each morning and I’m out the door.

  • I love lunch boxes…but I haven’t found the very perfect one for me yet. Since I live alone I make a double dinner often and pack the leftovers for lunch. It’s very quick and easy. I love a good curry though.

  • I have no idea what I want to see in the lunchbox. Inspire me! Funny how I go widely creative in the kitchen for other peopl but for myself I’m so darn lame. PS- stop showing pictures of your furry girls… I can’t take the cuteness!!!!

  • These colorful lunch box photos and styling make each entree quite special, I feel tempted to try each one and share with my family. My family enjoys eating and likes to sample new recipes, especially if I’m the one doing the cooking. The yogurt herb dip would be a favorite in my home with family and guests. The autumn season’s back to school routine lunchbox offerings are certainly upgraded nicely with Small Victories suggestions!

  • Just got this a few days ago! So much prep work to do for school as a teacher but I forfeited it today to sit reading the book and cooking. Made turkey/ricotta meatballs for family tonight. Massive excitement – no one was called to dinner table. Thank you!

  • This comment is awfully late, but would you recommend against subbing chicken in for the turkey? I prefer to eat organic and I know my grocery will be more likely to have organic ground chicken. Thanks in advance!

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