Bringing a lunch to work from home makes economical and nutritional sense. When you prepare your own lunch, you know what you're getting and can use ingredients lower in fat and cholesterol than what you'd get with takeout. Plan dinners with the next day's lunch in mind: a roasted chicken meal, for example, offers many possible lunch uses with the leftovers. If you plan to pack a lunch regularly, it's worth it to purchase an insulated lunch bag. Nutrition expert Elaine Magee of Web MD recommends using an ice pack to keep the food cool.
Buffalo Chicken Wrap
Buffalo chicken sounds like an unhealthy meal you could order in, but this homemade wrap made with leftover cooked chicken is much lighter, without the grease. In a small bowl, combine about 3/4 cup of diced chicken and 1 tablespoon of hot sauce. Spread a large tortilla wrap with 1 tablespoon of light blue cheese dressing and top with coarsely shredded lettuce, chopped tomato and the coated diced chicken. Fold the bottom of the tortilla over the filling and roll. Wrap in foil. Pack with celery sticks and fruit.
Hors D'oeuvres Lunch
This box lunch is inspired by the prepackaged children's meals sold in supermarkets, without the overdose of sodium and additives. Pack a serving of peppered water crackers, two or three ounces of your favourite cheese cut into chunks and slices of cold roasted chicken or turkey. Add grapes or berries and a handful of nuts or trail mix.
Antipasto Pasta Salad
This cold pasta salad travels well, even improving in flavour as it sits. Combine 1 cup of cooked rotini pasta with halved grape tomatoes, halved fresh mozzarella balls, two slices of diced Genoa salami, strips of jarred roasted peppers and olives. Dress with olive oil vinaigrette and fresh basil. Variation: Combine pasta with feta cheese, olives and halved grape tomatoes dressed in olive oil and lemon juice, for a Greek-style salad.
Zap a Pizza
If you have access to a microwave for lunch, the options expand, but instead of a prepacked frozen meal, try a tasty quick-assemble pizza. In the morning, toast English muffin halves to crisp them. Pack a small container of pizza sauce made with 1 tablespoon of salt-free tomato paste, 1/4 cup water, 1 teaspoon of grated Parmesan cheese and a sprinkle of oregano. Chop 56.7gr of fresh mozzarella cheese and, if desired, chopped vegetables for topping; pack in small containers or plastic baggies. Assemble at lunch and microwave in 30-second intervals until cheese is melted.
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