Working Woman: Lunch Solutions

Anyone who’s working full-time knows the grueling task of making a lunch to bring. Trying to come up with easy, satisfying, and somewhat enjoyable lunches is a struggle when you have to do it 5 times a week. There’s been more than one day this summer where I brought peanut butter and crackers (aka random snacks/worst lunch ever).

One of my best lunches, and easiest, has been salads. I know, sounds nasty, but I’m serious. Easily customizable, you can prep the base ingredients that will last for the whole week and mix up the different toppings each day so you don’t get bored.

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Basics:

–          Quinoa or Couscous (“the food so nice they named it twice”)

–          Lettuce

–          Cucumber (mild flavour, goes with everything, good filler)

–          Cherry Tomatoes (a bit biased here, love them!)

–          Black Beans (surprisingly good with anything you throw with them because of their mild flavour, and a good source of protein)

–          Chickpeas (again, mild flavour, good protein)

Dressing:

–          Olive Oil & Balsamic Vinegar (literally tastes good with everything, and you know what you’re eating)

Mix Ups:

–          Avocado (so satisfying when you get a bite)

–          Strawberries, raspberries (a bit tart sometimes for my taste), blueberries

–          Pecans (pralines too, give a nice little sweet treat)

–          Almonds

–          Green, Red, Orange, Yellow Bell Peppers (sweet, good with everything, yum)

–          Bread (yep, I’ve even tossed a little crunchy French bread in place of croutons, so good with the dressing)

–          Flax and Chia Seeds (sprinkle on top for extra health, texture, energy)

–          Pear (like sweet little candies when you get one)

–          Apple

–          Sunflower Seeds

–          Spinach (super healthy and pretty neutral)

–          Goat Cheese (gets a bit mushed with dressing, but so creamy and good when you get a bite)

–          Feta (more salty and thus salad-topping specific, but damn good)

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Not rocket science, but this routine has really helped me consistently stay on track with bringing my lunch and saving money. As long as you make your basics Sunday night, you’ll be able to mix and match all week in 20 minutes tops. I always keep in mind balancing sweet and savory, and have had some really enjoyable and filling salads as a result.

Just chop up whatever you’re in the mood for, experiment with your favourites, and enjoy feeling great about your healthy lunch!

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