A Few of My Favorite Things with Katina Holland

Simple Lunches for Work

 

I bring my lunch to work most every day.  Sometimes, I am able to bring leftovers from the night before, but there is not always enough left for that or it’s something that doesn’t work well for bringing for lunch.  While a Hot Pocket or a cup of noodles or a sandwich is OK once in a while, I get tired of those real quick.  Eating out adds up quickly even if you only do so once or twice a week.  So this week I want to share some lunches that are quick to put together and easy to eat even if your lunch is usually on the go.

A well balanced lunch is essential to keep the last half of your day from dragging on due to your lack of energy.  First, think light.  If you eat too much or too heavily for lunch, you will be so full you will want a nap instead of working.  Also think healthy.  While one cookie or a small candy bar is ok, half of a family size pack is not.  The sugar rush will wear off around 2 or 3 p.m. and leave you crashing and ready for a nap again.  Pack a bottle of water or juice to complete your lunch.  

Coming up with a good lunch does require planning in advance at least some.  Try not to plan for fried foods, most of those do not taste the same reheated.  You want grilled like chicken or fish or crockpot meats like roast.  You can make a meal out of it one night and turn it into a wrap or salad for a quick light lunch.  So consider lunches when you are planning dinner as well.  Although, you don’t have to eat it for lunch.  Pick up some deli meat for an easy wrap!  When making that trip to the store, you also want to pick up some healthy sides to take for your lunches.  Fruits and vegetables or baked chips, crackers or cheese are all options you can easily pick up on the weekend and prepare in advance to help your lunches come together in a snap.

While you are at the store, pick up some containers to keep your lunch in.  While you can use sandwich baggies, if you take your lunch daily, it contributes to a lot of waste.  You can pick up containers of all sizes at Walmart or even online.  Some have compartments for keeping food apart and some have small containers for things like salad dressing or condiments.  Go look around and see if you can’t find something that suits you.  

Plan your lunches for next week and do some prep in advance and see if you don’t feel a little better in the afternoons.  You can easily change these recipes up a little for your tastes and use blueberries instead of raspberries or melon instead of strawberries, substitute the meats or swap out the spinach. Have fun with it and you can easily make it through the week.  Make your grocery list and meet me in the kitchen for some grown up lunchables!

 

Avocado Chicken Salad

2 cups shredded chicken

1 avocado

½ tsp garlic powder

½ tsp pepper

2 tsp lime juice

1 tsp fresh cilantro

¼ cup Miracle Whip

¼ cup plain Greek Yogurt

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to let all the flavors blend together.  Pack in pita bread, with crackers or inside a leaf of lettuce for a healthy entree!  Add grape tomatoes, raspberries or grapes and few chips and lunch is complete.  Make the chicken salad the night before then prepare your pita before you leave for work or even pack it separately and put it together at lunch.  Easy!

Recipe from familyfreshmeals.com.

 

Shrimp Bowls

1 ½ cup cooked short grain rice

1 Tbsp rice wine vinegar

4 oz. cooked shrimp

1 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil

kosher salt, to taste

1 avocado, thinly sliced

1/3 c. diced cucumber

1 medium carrot, peeled and sliced into matchsticks

2 tbsp. mayonnaise

1 tbsp. sriracha

1 tbsp. lemon juice, divided

Soy sauce, for serving

Toasted sesame seeds, for garnish if desired

In a bowl, toss rice with rice wine vinegar. Season with salt to taste. Toss shrimp with 1 tsp olive oil. Season with salt to taste and place on top of rice. Arrange avocado, cucumber and carrots on top of rice next to shrimp.  Whisk together mayonnaise, sriracha and lemon juice and drizzle over the sushi bowl. Drizzle with soy sauce and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds. Drizzle with soy sauce if desired.

Recipe from delish.com.

 

Avocado Shrimp Salad

½ Tbsp olive oil 

2 limes (juice from limes)

¼ cup chopped red onion

½ tsp pepper

tsp celery salt

½ cup cucumbers, diced

1 lb cooked shrimp, peeled, deveined and chopped

¼ cup fresh tomato, diced

1 avocado, diced

1 Tbsp chopped cilantro

In a small bowl combine red onion, lime juice, olive oil, celery salt, salt and pepper. Let onions marinate for 5-10 minutes.  Next combine chopped shrimp, avocado, tomato, cucumbers, cilantro and gently mix until well combined. Drizzle dressing over mixture and gently toss once more to evenly coat. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to let the flavors meld well.  Pair with olives, crackers and a little bit of Romaine for a delicious lunch!

Recipe from familyfreshmeals.com.

 

Picnic Lunch

3 peach slices, halved

6 pearl-size mozzarella balls

2 thin slices prosciutto, cut into 6 pieces (This is an Italian ham that is sliced thinly.  You can use any meat you might like)

½ cup cooked cheese tortellini 

2 Tbsps diced carrot

2 Tbsps corn

1 Tbsp chopped fresh basil

1 Tbsp white balsamic vinegar

1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil

1 tsp grated Parmesan cheese

1 cup cherries

3-5 mini bell peppers

1-2 Tbsp sunflower seeds

On each of three 4-inch skewers, alternate a peach slice, mozzarella ball and prosciutto slice, then repeat. Pack the skewers in a medium container. Toss tortellini, carrot, corn, basil, vinegar, oil and Parmesan together in a medium bowl. Pack in your lunch container. Add cherries, bell peppers and sunflower seeds to your container for a well-rounded lunch.

Recipe adapted from eatingwell.com.

 

Stuffed Bagels

1 large bagel, or 2 small bagels

¼ cup whipped cream cheese

Pinch of pepper and garlic powder, to taste

Chicken or turkey diced

¼ cup onion, diced

1 Tbsp dill relish

Start by cutting your bagel down the middle and remove most of the extra breading inside to form a ring.  Next, mix together the remaining ingredients in a bowl, until well combined. Fill the empty ring of one of the bagel halves with cream cheese mixture.  Place other half on top, and cut in half.  Pair with carrots sticks and strawberries!

Recipe from familyfreshmeals.com.

 

Bistro Box

¼ cup almonds

  cup carrots

1 cup Grapes

¼ cup pickle chips

1 Tbsp mustard

1 whole wheat tortilla

1 slice ham

1 slice cheddar

½ cup spinach 

Place almonds, carrots, grapes and pickle chips in your container.  Spread mustard onto your tortilla. Top with ham, cheese, and spinach. Roll into a pinwheel and slice into rounds. Place in container.

Recipe from delish.com.

 

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