14 favorite fall lunches

What's your favorite fall lunch dish? We asked our Twitter and Facebook friends and got some tasty responses. Get their tips and our recipe suggestions

Open-face caprese sandwiches with tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil.

Annabelle Breakey

Open-face caprese sandwiches

Facebook tip via Carolyn Dippel: Caprese salad

We chose to stack this light summer salad on bread and grill them for a heartier meal. Definitely make a couple extra sandwiches because you will be craving more with this combination of melted cheese, basil, and juicy tomatoes.

Recipe:  Open-face Caprese Sandwiches

Garden tuna salad garnished with cherry tomatoes and romaine leaves.

James Carrier

Garden tuna salad

Facebook tip via Debra Campbell: I make a very healthy tuna salad sandwich. Ingredients: Albacore tuna, organic celery (for crunch), organic red onion (for kick), mayo made from olive oil (for heart), Mt. Olive relish (sugar and calorie-free for glucose), pinch of salt (for taste.) Serve on organice whole-grain bread, with sliced organic tomatoes. Heaven...

Tuna salad is possibly one of the greatest staples of lunch, and why not? Eat it plain or spread it on bread, tuna salad is easy to make and fills you up!

Recipe:  Garden Tuna Salad

Bowl of black bean, rice and veggie salad.

Lara Hata

Black bean, rice and veggie salad

Facebook tip via Leya Barr: black bean & corn salad w/ a salad of baby greens...yum.

Nutrition-packed and delicious, here is our version of Leya’s black bean salad. You might even consider doubling the recipe of this vegetable-loaded rice-and-bean salad to share with your colleagues.

Recipe:  Black Bean, Rice, and Veggie Salad

A bowl of vegetable minestrone soup

Annabelle Breakey

Vegetable minestrone soup

Facebook tip via Mari Okamura: My homemade minestrone soup. And my poppy seed cake! 

Our version has a variety of vegetables, parmesan, and legumes for creamy, palate-pleasing minestrone. Add your own favorite vegetables and dress up the Italian bean-and-pasta soup.

Recipe:  Vegetable Minestrone

Lemon cashew salad on lettuce.

Leo Gong, Randy Mon

Lemon Cashew Chicken Salad

An unusual twist on the classic curried chicken salad, our version is a healthier option with a mix of thick, creamy yogurt replacing half of the mayo.

Recipe:  Lemon Cashew Chicken Salad

hazelnut hummus

Karen Steffens

Hazelnut Hummus

Twitter tip via PilarMarrero: Mmm, I bring carrot sticks to dip into hummus, dressed in olive oil and sprinkled with spanish paprika.

Hummus is the ultimate easy-to-pack, savory dip that goes great with bread, pita chips, and raw vegetables. Try our nutty version of hummus to make a quick, light lunch. Just throw the ingredients in a food processor or blender and give it a whirl.

Recipe:  Hazelnut Hummus

Fresh mozzarella on crostini with herbs.

James Carrier

Fresh mozzarella and herb crostini

Facebook tip via Tabitha Raquel Stroup: A big hunk of Central Ca’s THREE SISTERS La Serana washed rind farmstead cow's milk cheese with some of my strawberry balsamic white pepper jam and ACME Baguette. Voila!  

If you don’t have jam, add some olive oil and fresh herbs to make our version – another simple twist on cheese and crackers.

Recipe:  Fresh Mozzarella and Herb Crostini Recipe

A platter of marinated heirloom tomato salad.

Andrea Gomez

Marinated heirloom tomato salad

Facebook tip via Jennifer Goebel: My husband brings a tomato salad -- fresh tomatoes from our garden with basil and mozzarella cheese, drizzled with olive oil and balsamic vinegar -- in a Tupperware. Pair with some fresh bread or fruit and you've got lunch.

Ferrara Sweet and tangy balsamic vinegar adds the perfect touch to these juicy tomato slices. Throw them on a plate or in a bowl and spend more time relaxing than preparing your food.

Recipe:  Marinated Heirloom Tomato Salad

A plate of tomato salad with chile and lime.

Annabelle Breakey

Tomato salad with chile and lime

Facebook tip via Natalie Alvanez: This fab summer salad is sort of a twist on pico de gallo: Chopped tomato, cucumber, red onion, cilantro and a squeeze of lemon. Spoon into a pita and top with grilled chicken and feta cheese. YUM! :)

Simple and fresh, this salad is our twist on pico de gallo. Simply slice up the tomatoes and add a flavorful kick with some chile and lime to enjoy your own Mexican-style meal.

Recipe:  Tomato Salad with Chile and Lime Recipe

A bowl of granola and yogurt topped with nuts and fruit.

James Carrier

Clementine's fruit and nut granola

Facebook tip via Penny Bratko: Plain or vanilla non-fat yogurt (soy if you can't have dairy), over Naked Granola (any flavor but I like banana-nut), plus what ever fruit is in season like berries and peaches. Take the items in separate containers and dump together just before eating. Mmmmmm...

Yogurt with granola is a classic breakfast favorite, but why does it have to stop there? If you can’t get away from your desk, this dish will tide you over. If you ever have time, try making your granola from scratch.

Recipe:  Clementine’s Fruit and Nut Granola

Herbed romaine salad with strawberries and feta.

Photo: Annabelle Breakey; Styling: Karen Shinto

Herbed romaine salad with strawberries

Facebook tip via Liz Bowermaster: Baby spinach, feta cheese, pecans and sliced strawberries with orange vinaigrette dressing.  

Toss romaine lettuce with some strawberries with toasted pistachios, creamy feta, and light lemon dressing to add a bright note and create a refreshing salad.

Recipe:  Herbed Romaine Salad with Strawberries

Recipe for spinach and leek frittata.

Photo: Lisa Romerein; Styling: William Smith

Spinach and leek frittata

Twitter tip via MettD: @SunsetMag Garden-Fresh Frittatas. Grab the eggs from your chickens, scour the garden for fresh veggies snag local cheese, bake and take!

MettD has a good case – we have wonderful chickens, some delicious greens in our garden, and a market right across the street. For this recipe, we added spinach and leek to add some “green” flavor. Light and fluffy from the ricotta, these savory frittatas are healthy and a perfect lunch to pack.

Recipe:  Spinach and Leek Frittata

Platter of asparagus, potato, and papaya salad.

James Carrier

Asparagus, potato, and papaya salad with green onion dressing

Twitter tip via Toni_Clement: A potato to pop in the microwave. And toppings of course.

This colorful salad turns the humble potato into a delectable main dish.

Recipe:  Asparagus, Potato, and Papaya Salad with Green Onion Dressing

A salad of sliced cucumbers and lemon vinaigrette.

Thomas J. Story

Cucumber salad

Facebook tip via Dana Casale: Every time I pull out my ziplock bag of plain old sliced cucumbers everyone says 'oh those look good, can I have one'.  

These crunchy greens are no hassle, making the possibilities endless. You can slice them, sauté them, eat them with a cracker, or try and make this cucumber salad for a light lunch.

Recipes:

Cucumber salad

Great ideas for cucumber season

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