The back-to-school season can be a blur of chaotic schedule changes and to-do lists a mile long. Getting dinner on the table each night is exhausting all in itself, but then add making the next day's lunch to your after-dinner to-do list and it can be downright stressful. Instead of worrying about what you and your family are going to eat tonight and tomorrow, plan ahead with meals that can serve a dual purpose. Here are several ways you can easily convert your dinner into a "new" next-day lunch.
Change Up The Way It's Served
You don't have to reinvent the wheel when you want to make the same meal feel different. Just changing one ingredient or how the dish is served can make a meal feel fresh when it's served for the second time. Try this Sausage Chili Pie for a great weeknight meal that brings a little fun from the concession stand to the dinner table. Serve the chili over chips the first night you make it, and then pack up the leftovers and serve the next day at lunch over a baked potato. Chili is also a great dish to make in a large batch because you can freeze and eat it several days later instead of the next day.
Make It Self-Contained
The key to any bagged lunch for you or your kids is quick and easy. You don't want to be dividing all the components of last night's dinner into separate storage containers as well as creating little plates for everyone to take the next day, or even worse, do the dividing in the morning. Making a personal-sized dish like these Taco Cups means that lunch the next day is grab-and-go. Change up the dish by topping mini taco salads with something different than the night before; for example, if you had it with sour cream and avocado slices for dinner, pack some diced tomatoes or salsa for lunch.
Add A Fully Cooked Ingredient
One way to make leftovers not feel left over is to only use part of the original dish. So if you're making dinner with a selection from Johnsonville's line of Fully Cooked Sausages, you can toss any leftover sausages in a bun, heat up, and enjoy for your mid-day meal. Made of premium cuts of pork with Johnsonville's blend of garlic and black pepper and many other great flavors, you and your family will enjoy the sausage on its own as much as you did within the dish!
For more weeknight meal inspiration that only require 5 ingredients, check out Womensforum's 5-5-5 Meal Planner!