Are you looking for some lunchtime inspiration? Look no further – healthy lunch ideas right here!

Healthy Lunch Cookbook Roundup

Posted: December 25th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Books | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

When I’m building my lunches, often I’ll turn to a few lunch cookbooks on my shelf to help me think up new ideas other than the usual leftovers. Here are some of my favorite family friendly lunch cookbooks:

The Best Homemade Kids’ Lunches on the Planet: Make Lunches Your Kids Will Love with More Than 200 Deliciously Nutritious Meal Ideas – by Laura Fuentes

Laura Fuentes is the founder of, a lunch meal planning website that helps parents make fresh school lunches their kids will love. Her meal plans do the brainstorming and strategy for you, so that you can focus on all the other details that matter in the morning! After starting her successful business, she wrote this cookbook, building on all the ideas that she had gleaned from putting out a healthy weekly meal plan to her subscribers, and being a mom of 3 kids herself!

The Best Homemade Kids Lunches on the Planet

Weelicious Lunches: Think Outside the Lunch Box with More Than 160 Happier Meals – by Catherine McCord

We love Catherine McCord’s bright and happy recipe website Weelicious – featuring healthy recipes for the family. She covers food for babies, toddlers, school lunches, and family meals, and her colorful and flavorful style is front and center in her Weelicious Lunches cookbook!

Weelicious Lunches Cookbook

The Just Bento Cookbook: Everyday Lunches To Go – by Maki Itoh was one of the original food bloggers, focusing on Japanese cooking and bentos – the fun, well designed Japanese lunch box. Her cookbook is a great extension of the breadth of bento ideas on her blog, and is useful for building a great lunch for both kids and adults.

Just Bento Cookbook

Vegan Lunch Box Around the World: 125 Easy, International Lunches Kids and Grown-Ups Will Love! – by Jennifer McCann

We’re not vegan in this house, but I’m always looking for healthy vegetable forward meals, and this book is a great option if you’d like to add a few more vegetables to your lunches.

Vegan Lunchbox Around the World

Do you have any favorite cookbooks for healthy lunch ideas?

Delivering Happiness

Posted: April 8th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Books, Exercise, Lunch | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Brunch: Fresh Farm Egg (from Tomales) omelet with oregano and feta cheese, and a whole wheat pita. I attempted a Jacques Pepin style omelet as witnessed two nights ago on Anthony Bourdain, but this ended up a little bit more like scrambled eggs after I lost patience with his method.

Today I had a day off – a little odd for a Wednesday, and truly made the most of it. I cleaned, I ate two point five home cooked meals, I *finally* went on a longish walk and enjoyed the sunshine, I sat in a cafe and drank iced masala chai, I got done more errands, and I made a tasty dinner. Oh, and I read an entire book.

This book:  Tony Hsieh’s ‘Delivering Happiness’ (pre-order it here on Amazon). I got an advanced copy after hearing Tim Ferriss and Kevin Rose discuss it on their random show. I’ve written more about how much I like it over on

Rather than sitting in my house all afternoon reading, I walked over to the Castro, and I sat down at Samovar tea lounge to get my read on. I ordered my favorite, their iced masala chai, which comes in this beauteous metal glass. And after a few minutes of reading, I glanced over to my left…. and there was Tim Ferriss (original recommend-er of book I was reading). I opted not to be crazy fan girl, and let him get his work done, but it was a pretty neat coincidence.

I briefly took a break in reading this afternoon to go on an errand to Target, where we saw this exercise in… art/patience/obsession – perhaps a college art project? Or just a lot of afternoons of boredom put to better use….

When we got home I was itching to finish my book, so I put together an easy dinner that I just made up on the fly – a sweet potato, caramelized onion with bacon, rosemary, and goat cheese bake. It was loosely inspired by my favorite pizza at Veggie Planet in Harvard Square – the ‘Lunch for Henry’ which along side their ‘Mexican bean’, I have dreams of on a regular basis.

I preheated the oven to 400 F, then sauteed half an onion in a little bit of olive oil and a slice of chopped bacon for about 10 minutes. I then layered some thinly sliced sweet potato in this foil lined pie plate. I layered in the onion mixture after it had started to brown, and then I crumbled on a few ounces of fresh goat cheese, topped with another layer of sweet potato, and then shaved on some parmigiano reggiano. I covered it with foil, baked it for 30 minutes, took off the foil, and baked it for another 15. It could have used another 10 minutes to get more crispy, but I was hungry, and it tasted sufficiently delicious.

Finally, if anyone is looking to buy real estate in my neighborhood (Noe Valley), I noticed this beauty up for grabs:

I’m sure it’s going for around 1.5 million.

Mark Bittman’s ‘Food Matters: A Guide to Conscious Eating’ [book review]

Posted: January 1st, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Books | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments »

If there is anyone I trust will give me simple healthy living advice and proffer easy recipes that turn out successfully every time, it’s Mark Bittman, the author of the New York Times food column ‘The Minimalist.  He has also penned two of my favorite cookbooks, ‘How to Cook Everything’ and ‘How to Cook Everything Vegetarian’, and most recently has written an informative book called “Food Matters” a look at “eating, personal and planetary health”.

‘Food Matters: A Guide to Conscious Eating (With more than 75 recipes)’
, (buy on Amazon) is one of my go to books for leading a healthier lifestyle, and discusses with clarity the impact our diets have on the environment, the economy, and our own health.

Best of all, ‘Food Matters’ is written from a distinctly personal point of view: as a food writer for the New York Times, Mark Bittman loves to eat. Unfortunately, doing so without setting any boundaries for himself caused an imbalance in health and weight. In response, he decided to shift to a new approach to food, and after shedding thirty five pounds has done the inevitable: written an eco-conscious book about it. His own personal strategies included adopting a diet that is almost “vegan until dinner”, and advocates a shift to a much higher consumption rate of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains, and a reduction of meat and dairy products. Fortunately there is no sacrifice involved – Bittman’s recipes are flavorful, easy, and a positive addition to anyone’s diet, and best of all are as good for your wallet as your waistline.

In Food Matters, Bittman argues strongly for a general shift in diet to “Less-Meat-arianism”, and simply and clearly explains the science, policy, and economic influences on our diets.

He outlines the current flaws of meat production in this country, which along with large scale agriculture and absurd farm subsidies, are harmful to the environment, wildly inefficient, and contribute directly to global climate change. While many environmentalists advocate a switch to vegetarianism, Bittman understands that this isn’t a solution for everyone (himself included). He does advocate however to make conscious choices to both reduce the meat that we are eating and ensure that it (and most everything else we eat) comes from mostly local and sustainable sources, and from animals that are allowed to pasture, eat grass rather than corn (which they can not digest), and live a good life.

If as a society we make changes in the way we eat, even the smallest changes advocated in this book, we will make a significant impact in reducing our environmental impact, improving public health, and adopting new healthy cultural habits that will ensure the future of our society.

Unlike many of the so-called diet books out there, Bittman’s advice for a healthy every day diet is balanced, creative, and encourages positive shifts in lifestyle without any radical proclamations.

Food Matters: A Guide to Concsious Eating (With more than 75 recipes)
336 pages, published by Simon & Schuster
(buy on Amazon)

Some Other Great Books by Mark Bittman:

How to Cook Everything (buy on Amazon)
How to Cook Everything Vegetarian (buy on Amazon)

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