If you're trying to cut back on the amount of bread in your family's diet, think beyond the basic sandwich for lunch. Try out some creative lunch ideas that don't involve bread, and introduce your family to unfamiliar ingredients. You may find a new favorite lunch staples for your family to enjoy.
A lunchtime salad is a healthy alternative to the standard sandwich. Start with lettuce, cooked pasta or rice to create a filling salad base, then add in any variety of chopped veggies, such as cucumbers, tomatoes and steamed broccoli. Mix in canned, flaked chicken or fish for protein. Meatless protein options include drained canned beans. Entice your kids to clean their plates by adding in some tasty crumbled cheese or sliced olives, along with creamy ranch or bacon ranch dressings. Busy moms can even make a salad at night, after the kids have gone to bed, to serve the next day at lunch.
Replace the sandwich bread in your pantry with a package of tortillas. Wrapped around canned beans or leftover chicken or steak from last night's dinner, tortillas make a tasty alternative to bread. Make tacos or burritos by stuffing tortillas with rice, vegetables and cheese. Try a simple quesadilla in place of a grilled cheese sandwich. Serve a little salsa, creamy ranch dip or sour cream on the side so your family can dip their tortilla wraps.
A hot cup of soup makes a satisfying lunch that doesn't require any bread. Start with a prepared chicken or beef broth to make things simple. Add in shredded cooked chicken or a can of beans for protein. Make your soup more filling by adding cooked rice or pasta to the mix. Stir in some diced veggies, such as zucchini, carrots and corn to add flavor and give the soup a healthy boost.
Instead of stuffing sandwich fillings between two pieces of bread, prepare bowl-shaped veggies to hold a tasty lunch meal. Cut an avocado in half and stuff each with a creamy tuna or chicken salad. Let your family eat the avocado and the salad all at once with a fork. Cut open a tomato and scoop the insides out, then fill the cavity with a vegetable-filled rice salad. Stuff peppers make a good warm lunch without bread. Just stuff halved bell peppers with cooked sausage or ground meat, top with cheese and bake the peppers until they are hot.
Leigh Good has been writing for magazines and newspapers for more than 10 years. Her work has been published in numerous print and online publications. Good has a bachelor's degree in print journalism from Georgia State University.