Healthy Habits, My Blog, Productivity

Lunch Salads Made in Advance

Making Salads to Go

What should I eat for . . .lunch?

I will be honest: I am not the best at bringing my lunch to work. I should be. It would save me a lot of money, calories, and angst in deciding what to eat each day.

Some weeks I am diligent and bring lunch to work; other weeks not so much.

And this does cause concern because lunch is important to me. By 11 a.m. (actually 10 a.m.), I am already thinking about lunch, trying to ignore the rumbles of my stomach.

What to eat, what to eat, what to eat?

I am trying to eat healthier, which — at lunchtime — is not as easy as it sounds. Salads, for example, are not always easy to come by at work.

There have been a few times when I did prepare a fresh salad the night before. Granted, it was for dinner and the leftovers then became my lunch.

I am realist. I will NOT cut, dice, and prep a salad for myself every morning. I am not that motivated. Produce also goes bad, which poses another challenge.  I need something that will work for me–a lunch that is healthy, economical, won’t go bad, and EASY to prepare. The following is my attempt at doing just that.

Trade Secret #1:  LET-US (ha, ha get it?) talk LETTUCE.

Purchasing bagged lettuce allows me to grab and go with the comfort of knowing the lettuce is most likely fresh.  When I have prepared a salad, the lettuce was often brown and wilted by the next day.

Trade Secret #2:  Prepare “the toppings” for your week’s worth of salads in advance.

In a separate container, you can prepare all the salad toppings in advance.  Be sure to check below for some salads to try out.

Trade Secret #3:  Bring tupperware or plastic container.

Tupperware containers or plastic, reusable containers are multi-purposed. You can eat out of them–you need a bowl after all–AND you can store the remaining lettuce (from the bag of lettuce) in it. I do, however, recommend rinsing out your container before storing the remaining lettuce.

Trade Secret #4: Lemon juice will help keep produce fresh a bit longer.

As I mentioned, produce goes bad quickly making it difficult to prepare a week’s worth of salads in advance.  I lightly pour lemon juice on my salads (especially the ones with fruit) and toss.

So let’s get EATING . . .

Using the above secrets, I was able to prepare salads for the week in advance.

Salad #1: Fruit with Protein

Ingredients:

  • Strawberries, cut
  • Blueberries
  • Mandarin oranges, cut
  • Almond Slivers
  • Sliced chicken or turkey (I am lazy so just went with the processed deli meat — shame, shame I know)
  • Raspberry vinaigrette (stored in small container)

Fruit and Almond Slivers

Deviating from Salad #1:

Another option to give you some additional variety is to substitute the chicken or turkey for YOGURT. Instead of a salad, you can make a yummy parfait. Add granola for added goodness and protein.

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Salad #2: It’s all about the Feta

Ingredients:

  • Feta (no more than 1/4 cup)
  • Onion
  • Tomatoes
  • Cucumbers
  • Sliced chicken or turkey
  • Recommended dressing: EVOO Garlic Basil Italian Dressing

Feta Salad

Salad #3: Mexican Fiesta

Ingredients:

  • Black Beans
  • Tomatoes
  • Onion
  • Corn
  • Black Olives
  • Avocado (I WAIT to add this until that morning; I pick this salad depending on the ripeness of my avocado.)
  • Cilantro (topped)
    Mexican Salad

You can MIX and MATCH your Salads with any of the following toppings (sample listing only) :

  • Almond Slivers
  • Apples
  • Bacon
  • Bean Sprouts
  • Beets
  • Bell Peppers
  • Black Beans
  • Blueberries
  • Celery
  • Cheese (Gorgonzola, Feta, Blue, Mozzarella, Cheddar)
  • Chick Peas
  • Corn
  • Cucumbers
  • Cranberries (dried)
  • Egg (Hard Boiled)
  • Grapes
  • Onion
  • Raisins
  • Sesame Seeds
  • Shrimp
  • Snow Peas
  • Steak
  • Strawberries
  • Tomatoes
  • Tuna

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HAPPY EATING! 

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