Lunch This Week

Not only am I tasked with making a lunch for my two children every morning, I also have to pack my own lunch. If you read about the Teacher Emergency Kit, you know teachers are trapped in the school building all day until after the students are gone. It is a rare day that we can step out and pick up a sandwich at lunchtime, and I want more than the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches my kids are getting in their lunch bags. If I am on my game, I make something for dinner Sunday night that can be re-heated over the next few days for lunch. This week, I was on my game.

I made a double batch of Orzo with Roasted Vegetables, which is delicious at room temperature or slightly heated. I do think it only has a leftover shelf life of 2 to 3 days, so I would not plan to eat it all week. Anybody have any other suggestions for adult school lunches?


  • 1 red bell pepper, 1-inch diced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, 1-inch diced
  • 1/2 red onion, peeled and 1-inch diced
  • 1 medium yellow squash, 1-inch diced
  • 1 medium zucchini, 1-inch diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/3 c. good olive oil (or a little less)
  • 1 1/2 t. kosher salt
  • 1/2 t. freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 lb. orzo


  • 1/3 c. freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)
  • 1/3 c. good olive oil
  • 1 t. kosher salt
  • 1/2 t. freshly ground pepper

To Assemble

  • 4 scallions minced, white and green parts
  • 1/4 c. pine nuts, toasted
  • 15 fresh basil leaves, cut into chiffonade


  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees
  • Toss the bell peppers, onion, zucchini, squash, and garlic with the olive oil, salt, and pepper on a large baking sheet. Roast for 40 minutes, until browned turning once with a spatula.
  • Meanwhile, cook the orzo in boiling salted water for 7 to 9 minutes, until tender. Drain and transfer to a large serving bowl.
  • Add the roasted vegetables to the pasta, scraping all the liquid and seasonings from the roasting pan into the pasta bowl.
  • For the dressing combine the lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper and pour on the pasta and the vegetables. Let cool to room temperature, then add the scallions, pine nuts, and basil. Check the seasonings, add another splash of fresh lemon juice (if desired), and serve at room temperature.

4 thoughts on “Lunch This Week

  1. Used to make wraps a lot….of course I taught Life Skills and had an entire kitchen in my classroom. Wraps are easy.. can be eaten cold or heated…. spinach, turkey, other veggies, cheese, dressing of your choice. I know you need something to eat FAST because I barely got 30 minutes for lunch and also had to use the bathroom! LOL

  2. The orzo looks fabulous. My go-to lunch item is leftover meats can be repurposed as a salad of some sort. For example, left over chicken on top of a salad. Left over taco meat made into a taco salad with plain tortilla chips added at the last minute for crunch. I’ll thinly slice left over beef steaks and put that on top of salads as well.
    It makes the salad more filling and changes the salad enough each time to keep it from becoming the boring lunch.

  3. That looks yummy! I love that it’s vegetarian.

    I make a really quick and dirty noodles with spicy peanut sauce. While the noodles and any vegetables that you want to add are cooking, melt 3 tablespoons of peanut butter. Add 1 teaspoon of milk or soy milk and soy sauce and sriracha to taste. Drain the noodles and vegetables well and toss with the sauce (add sesame oil if you have it during this step). Great hot or cold.

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