Bored with the same old salad you bring every day for lunch, but don’t want to spend the extra money on take-out? To stave off boredom, look for ways to make lunch more interesting. Here are some fun, healthy lunches for work.
1. Mason Jar Salads
It’s time to remake your salad. Mason jar salads give you your leafy greens and protein all in one container. Prepare these salads in advance so you can grab one from the fridge in the morning as you’re headed out the door.
The key to a successful Mason jar salad is the order in which the ingredients are layered. Make sure the dressing goes in first so your salad doesn’t get soggy. Then, add your protein with chunks of chicken or a grain like quinoa. Next come toppings such as dried cranberries, sunflower seeds and nuts. Leafy greens top off the jar. When you’re ready to eat, pour your salad into a bowl and enjoy.
2. Muffin Tin Meals
Cooking smaller versions of your favorite recipes in a muffin tin gives you an easy-to-transport meal and helps you control your portions. Spend some time on the weekend making things like mini lasagna, chicken pot pies or a similar recipe suggested by The Huffington Post. Throughout the week, pack these handy meals for your lunch. They heat up quickly and don’t always require a knife and fork to eat. You can even freeze many of these recipes for future meals.
3. Copycat Recipes
You can make some of your favorite restaurant meals right at home. This lets you control the portion size and the ingredients so you know exactly what you’re eating. For example, Gimme Delicious suggests a recipe that is similar to Chipotle’s burrito bowl and is extremely easy to make on a bed of brown rice. Another great set of healthy lunches for work are Panera Bread‘s broth bowls, which are filled with healthy ingredients, very simple to recreate and all under 400 calories.
4. Lose the Bread
When it comes to lunch, many people resort to a sandwich. But instead of bread, put slices of lunch meat and cheese between two hollowed-out pieces of cucumber. You might even spread peanut butter on various pairs of apple slices and squeeze raisins or nuts in between. Or, use lettuce as a wrapper for a tasty filling in your own turkey tacos.
Don’t let lunch be the same every day. Have fun with these healthy lunches for work and you’ll be more productive, in better health and have more money in your pocket.
A former newspaper journalist, Chelsea Adams is a freelance writer specializing in health, wellness and lifestyles topics. A native Tennessean, she makes her home in Kansas with her husband and two daughters. Learn more about her transition from the mountains to the prairie at http://wichitawesome.blogspot.com.