We all know the benefits of packing a workday lunch. Bringing a lunch from home saves time during the day (no need to escape the office to go grab a midday meal), saves money ($4.99 for a tiny side salad at the cafe in my building? Um, yeah, I can get enough spinach at the grocery store for about 5 salads for the same price!) and allows you to control the nutritional value of your meal. Although we know all of this, it can be difficult to accomplish the task of lunch preparation and packing. I don’t know about you, but my husband and I find that weeknights and weekday mornings can be a little hectic for packing lunches. By the time we get home from work, have some dinner and clean up, we’re ready to collapse on the couch and relax! Time can easily get away from us. So, we’ve worked out a system for making sure that we have our lunches ready.
Mark likes sandwiches for his lunch — chicken breast and provolone.
I start with 10 slices of whole grain bread, spread with mayonnaise and sprinkled with some seasoning (it was garlic+parsley this week, sometimes it’s oregano, sometimes it’s an italian herb blend).
Stick some provolone to the mayo glue.
Then the chicken breast fillets…
We’ve been loving the convenience of these frozen pre-cooked chicken breast fillets from Tyson!
Flip ’em over…..
Stuff in zip-top bags and freeze 4 of them! (One gets immediately tossed into the Monday lunch bag)
Of course, my husband and I have different taste buds. I prefer salads for my weekday lunches.
I start with a mix of spinach and romaine (or whatever I’m feeling/whatever greens were on sale that week!)
I dollop two tablespoons of hummus on top of the greens and chop up 4 ounces deli-style all-natural turkey breast to add in as well. I find that hummus serves as an awesome portable salad dressing…no soggy greens, no spilling or leaking as I tote my lunch into work each day! And the roasted red pepper flavor from Tribe? Addicting.
I box up three over the weekend, and then Wednesday evening I box up the remaining two. I find that doing this prep twice during the week results in fresher salads for Thursday and Friday!
Now that the “main courses” are done, weeknight lunch-packing simply becomes a matter of tossing some fresh fruit or yogurt into the lunch bags alongside the mains, and I always keep some rice cakes or corn tortillas, 100-calorie almond packs and protein bars in my desk drawer!
Give it a try this weekend — you’ll be grateful next week when you can quickly pack up your lunches even in the midst of the usual weekday morning hurrying-out-the-door. ——————————
What is your favorite weekday lunch?