Whether or not you have kids headed back to school, it's easy to succumb to the quickening pace of fall. The days grow shorter, the hours seem to shrink, and suddenly it's all you can do to mind your own busy-ness.

But don't let that become an excuse to short your kids -- or yourself -- on a good lunch. Resist the call of the drive-thru, the tempting ease of the pre-packed, highly processed lunch-foods.

It takes just a few minutes to pack a tasty lunch that's not just good for your kids (and YOU), but provides an excellent reason to slow down and savor your lunch break.

"Bringing a lunch to work is a great idea for lots of reasons," writes Val, of More Than Burnt Toast. "Itsaves calories, it saves money, and it even saves time, allowing you torelax at lunch instead of fighting the crowds at your local fast-foodrestaurants."

Amen, sister! Life's too short for a lousy lunch. It's in that spirit that our Virtual Supper Club members chose this month's theme.

We love their choices. The Mozzarella Chicken Sandwich shown here (great photo, Helene!) could steal the show in any lunchroom. The soup, hummus, and orzo salad could all be made ahead and serve as sides or the basis of a meal in themselves. The chocolate cake would be a welcome addition to any lunch box. Make sure to visit their blogs and leave a comment to let them know what you think.

Join us! Post a link in the comments or send me an email with a link to your blog post. And share your best tips for packing healthful, delicious lunches.

Cooking Light Virtual Supper Club Menu -- September: Light Lunches


Photo: Courtesy Hélène of La Cuisine de Hélène