Working Mom Lunches, Part II: Pita Melts

PitaMeltIn response to my post on salad in a jar I wanted to share another lunch that I frequently use. As a working mom who needs quick and easy lunches, I find that this is a nice hot alternative to salad in a jar and I can keep the ingredients at work. Unfortunately, if you only have access to a microwave and not a toaster oven, this lunch isn’t as good. At my work, we have a pretty nice toaster oven in the community kitchen, so I try to use it whenever possible. I often get comments from co-workers such as: “that looks really good, where is it from?” or “You made that here? Yourself?” or “That is such a good idea!” This lunch option is so much healthier than a frozen microwave meal and only takes a little extra effort. Serve alongside some fruit or veggie chips and you have a nice lunch.

For these pita melts, I keep dry ingredients in my desk, and the chopped veggies, protein, cheese and sauce (a few days’ worth) in the community fridge so it’s already there waiting on me. I chop and portion everything on Sunday night so I can take it in to work on Monday and use it for a few days without having to worry about lunch. I try to pair ingredients into sectioned containers when possible to take up less space in the fridge. I’ll share my favorite way to prepare this meal, but keep in mind that like the salads in jars, this is incredible versatile! You can customize this however you want and change up how much of each ingredient you use, this just happens to be my favorite way to eat it.

Pita Melt
yields 1 lunch

  • 1 piece pita bread (I like whole wheat with flax)
  • 2 – 3 tbsp roasted red pepper hummus
  • 1/8 – 1/4 c. black beans, rinsed
  • 1/8 – 1/4 c. grilled, roasted, canned or boiled chicken breast, finely chopped/shredded and seasoned
  • 6-8 baby spinach leaves, rolled and sliced
  • 1/4 – 1/2 roma tomato, finely diced (I use roma because they aren’t too watery)
  • 1/4 c. shredded 2% monterrey jack or mexican blend cheese

Directions:

  1. Preheat toaster oven to 400 degrees. While it’s preheating, assemble your meal.
  2. Spread hummus onto the pita
  3. Start layering ingredients, placing heavier items on the bottom (proteins) and veggies on top
  4. Spread cheese on last
  5. Bake for 8-10 minutes until the cheese is melted and the pita starts getting crispy around the edges. I’m constantly checking mine during this process so it doesn’t get too crispy.

This Mexican inspired pita melt is my all-time favorite, but I’ve also done this Italian-style with marinara, meats and veggies, or sometimes I just mix it up with whatever is on sale at the grocery store.

What are some other pita melt ideas you have? I’d love to hear them!

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