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
- Strawberries, cut
- 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)
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.
Salad #2: It’s all about the Feta
- Feta (no more than 1/4 cup)
- Sliced chicken or turkey
- Recommended dressing: EVOO Garlic Basil Italian Dressing
Salad #3: Mexican Fiesta
- Black Beans
- Black Olives
- Avocado (I WAIT to add this until that morning; I pick this salad depending on the ripeness of my avocado.)
- Cilantro (topped)
You can MIX and MATCH your Salads with any of the following toppings (sample listing only) :
- Almond Slivers
- Bean Sprouts
- Bell Peppers
- Black Beans
- Cheese (Gorgonzola, Feta, Blue, Mozzarella, Cheddar)
- Chick Peas
- Cranberries (dried)
- Egg (Hard Boiled)
- Sesame Seeds
- Snow Peas