3 Quick and Healthy Lunches That You Can Bring to Work

Do you ever wish you could eat healthy lunches that are delicious, but don’t take forever to prepare? Well, with a little bit of effort, you can. Here are three lunches you can eat at home or even take to the office that won’t dip into your productivity time. But don’t blame us if your co-workers start stealing your lunch!

The Choose Your Own Adventure Salad

Kale and edamame salad

Source: iStock

Every time I serve this salad (any version of it), I hear from someone, “This is the best salad I’ve ever had in my life.” The Choose Your Own Adventure Salad is easy to make and really easy to customize to your own personal tastes.

Step One: Choose a lettuce

First of all, for the rest of your life, only buy pre-washed organic lettuce in a bag or tub. Cleaning your own lettuce is annoying, messy, and takes time. While this salad works with any kind of lettuce whether it be kale, mixed greens, or romaine, I choose arugula 99% of the time because it has a strong, powerful flavor.

Step Two: Pick a fruit

No, we’re not making a fruit salad here, but fruit in salad is delicious and not something most people think to do on their own. I really like green apples because they’re flavorful, have fiber, and are very inexpensive. Other great options, depending on the season are nectarines, strawberries, watermelon (the pre-cut kind because cutting up a watermelon yourself can take hours), and grapefruit.

Step Three: Add chicken

If you find yourself eating this salad often, prepare several servings of grilled chicken at one time. How do you make grilled chicken? Take chicken cutlets, sprinkle salt and pepper on each side, and grill in a pan flipping every few minutes depending on the thickness of the cutlet.

Alternatively, any leftover meat or poultry you have from dinner the night before can be substituted to save time here.

Step Four: Add cheese

A little cheese will help fill you up and tastes delicious, just don’t go overboard. Greek feta and goat cheese are great options for salad because you can crumble them quickly and easily with your fingers.

Step Five: Salad dressing

Making salad dressing takes about a minute and is healthier than bottled. I like half lemon juice or lime juice (yes, you can use the kind that’s bottled) and half extra-virgin olive oil. Alternatively, extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar is especially tasty with fruit.

If you are making this salad to bring to your office, invest in a salad container with a separate dressing cup like this one. Don’t dress your salad until the last minute or it will end up a soggy mess.

Quinoa Bowl

Quinoa Tabbouleh

Source: iStock

Quinoa has become quite a trendy grain, and that’s for a good reason. It is packed with protein, fiber, and minerals, but doesn’t contain gluten. Filling and delicious, this super food is here to stay.

Step One: Make the quinoa

Buy a pre-cooked package of quinoa and heat it up in the microwave. Add a spoonful of extra-virgin olive oil to the warm grains. Add salt and pepper.

Step Two: Add veggies

For fall, pick autumnal vegetables like butternut squash and Brussels sprouts, which you can buy in the prepared food section of many grocery stores. It’s also very easy to buy frozen veggies such as broccoli and heat it up in the microwave.

Step Three: Add protein

Grilled chicken or tofu is delicious with quinoa.

Step Four: Mix it all together

Time to bring those tasty ingredients together.

Step Five: Add a splash of apple cider vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is very healthy and compliments the nutty taste of quinoa.

The Italian Sandwich

Source: iStock

This is a healthier take on a traditional Italian sandwich or panini. Use only one slice of multi-grain bread like Dave’s Killer Bread (my new favorite) or sprouted-grain bread like Ezekiel Bread for an open-faced sandwich. Alternatively, it that sounds too messy, cut one piece of bread into two for a large half sandwich.

Step One: Toast the bread

Because toasted is better.

Step Two: Add pesto

Spread a thin layer of pesto sauce on the bread. Stonewall Kitchen makes a delicious one.

Step Three: Sprinkle arugula over the bread

Feel free to add as much as you want. It’s a vegetable.

Step Four: Add tomatoes

Add slices of tomato, any kind that you like (plum, etc). For less effort, buy grape tomatoes, wash them off and add a few whole ones.

Step Five: Add potein

Add grilled chicken (or prosciutto if you want it a little less healthy).

Step Six: Add fresh part-skim mozzarella cheese

Part skim makes this a healthier option than traditional whole-milk cheese.

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