Hummus with bread (pita is traditional, but any bread will do...I like naan) & veggies for dipping. Hummus is made from garbanzo beans: with grain (preferably whole grain) it makes a complete protein. Add some veggie dippers & it's a complete meal! Hummus can be made from scratch & is very economical, but I've found some tasty prepackaged versions. Wal-mart has the tastiest one that I've found -- funny, huh? Pita & naan are easy pleasy to make at home. I like making a big batch of naan (Indian flatbread) to go with my hummus, then freezing some.
Easy thin crust pizza--Naan can also be used for pizzas & can be made/reheated in a toaster oven by a child. Just top w/ whatever you like on your pizza & toast until cheese is bubbly & starting to brown. It makes a thin crust pizza. It's a slight change up from the french bread pizza you're already doing.
Pita calzones. Take a pita pocket, stuff with cheese, pepperoni, & a bit of sauce, bake in a toaster oven until cheese is melted. Yum! Extra sauce for dipping makes this a winner.
Gyros (also uses pita). Lunch meat can be expensive! Make your own gyros! It's as economical as making meatloaf. All you do is shave the meat for the right consistency. Add red onions, green lettuce (no iceberg allowed), and tomatoes...(and tzatziki sauce if you're ambitious) for a healthy low cost sammich! Alton Brown has a recipe that's so tasty! It calls for lamb, but you won't be breaking any rules by using beef or turkey. Gyro meat freezes well.
Fried rice is something that can be made ahead & reheats well. You can easily incorporate a protein (like left over ground meat, steak, chicken, or pork....or (my fave) bacon), and many veggies (carrots, celery, onion, etc). Fried rice is my favorite way to eat brown rice, which is a whole grain & good for you. I'm not the biggest fan of all things healthy...I have to work hard to find a way to fix most 'healthy' food so it is exceptable to my palette.
Another thing that's easy is a homemade hot pocket. Again, it reheats in a toaster oven easily.
For a snack, whole baby radishes sprinkled with sea salt + buttered (traditionally herbed butter) toast is a classic after school fave from the French. I picked up on it a few years back. It's cheap! Especially with Summer produce so abundant. This is a fave of mine for brunches & potlucks, but it's still great for its original purpose.There's very little prep--no need to slice & dice. Just wash the radish bunch & let the kids eat them right off the stem. Adding the sea salt does not make it salty. It cuts the "onion" bite just enough & enhances the flavor beautifully.The salts are necessary to help our bodies break down the veggie nutrients into useful stuff.
Also, at Sam's the other day, we got Fresh Fruit Freezer Pops! They are 99% real fruit & do not have HFC in them! Yeah! The girls love them. You can always make your own popcicles with fruit that's gotten a little too mushy & simple syrup or ice cream.
The homemade frosty recipe from hungry girl is great for a summer afternoon. Mix 1 pkg of pudding (she suggests low fat, no sugar) with the amt of milk required on the pkg (usually 1 cup?)--HG says use skim. Let it set for 2 min in fridge, then mix with 1/2 of a pkg of whipped cream (HG says use no fat version). Divide into cups & freeze for 1 hr. It makes a good imitation of a frosty!! Also a very economical snack as pudding & whipped cream can be found on sale. It counts as a portion of dairy for a pyramid balanced day :-) And fat free or full fat...I guess it depends on your dietary needs.
Plain yogurt with a Tbls of maple syrup (organic) is so yummy!
I'm sure I'll think of more!
A friend may well be reckoned the masterpiece of nature. -Ralph Waldo Emerson