Happy Friday, everyone! I’m especially excited about the day ahead, because as of five p.m. not only will it be the weekend, but I will also have completed my first week of work this summer. Some of you might remember that I worked two very different jobs last summer, and I’m back at to my retail position for this season. Thus far I’m working four days a week, which already feels like a much better pace than the 6-to-7-day workweeks I pulled last year! I’m lucky either way, however: even though the days are long, I genuinely enjoy my job and the people I work with!
With that little life update out of the way, it might not be so surprising that today’s post combine one of my favorite subjects (food) with my new life circumstance (work!). In the rush to get out the door to one’s day job, it’s easy to forget to figure out your lunch. And while it’s easy to plead being short on time and settle for a quick take-out meal, who wants to spend the money they’re earning on food day after day?! All that said, over the last week I’ve settled into a quick, #winning formula for making my own to-go lunches that are as delicious as they are nutritious. If you’re hunting for a lunch routine of your own, or are simple looking to mix up your meals, keep scrolling to get the deets!
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1 // BASE – aka time to get your greens on! I like to create a nutritious, colorful base for my meal with a handful of leaves. Lately I’ve been using raw spinach because it’s so easy, but other favorites include kale, romaine, and even bok choy.
2 // PROTEIN – When it comes to beefing up my lunch, I always grab whatever leftovers are stocked up in my fridge. My normal go-to is chicken, but feel free to customize with whatever you prefer and/or have on hand! Some alternatives to meat include grains (think quinoa, brown rice, etc.), beans, even roasted sweet potatoes!
3 // TOPPINGS – Now it’s time to get creative, and stock up your to-go meal with even more color and flavor. I typically either dice up raw veggies like cucumbers, tomatoes, and carrots, or else heat up the green leftover from dinner the night before. Other fun toppings ideas: grains, starchy veggies like sweet potatoes and summer squash, kimchi, and mashed avocado!
4 // DRESSING – Contrary to popular belief, it’s possible (read: easy!) to maintain the nutritional integrity of your meal while still adding dressing. For a little extra zing to my bowl, I like to add a squeeze of lemon or a drizzle of rice vinegar. If I have more ingredients and time on my hands, Balance with B’s take on “Caesar” dressing is also delicious, as if a drizzle of tahini or balsamic vinegar! Of course, be sure to top it off with a sprinkle of cracked pepper.
5 // SHAKE, SHAKE – Shake, shake, a-shake it! Once your meal is complete, be sure to get the flavors together by either tossing or, if you’re using a top with a container, shaking it all up. You might feel a little sad about ruining the beauty of your new creation, but trust me- it’ll be worth it when you take your first bite!
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Reading back over this post, I realize I left something out: Step 6, aka the crucial dig in! Whether you’ve just clocked in or have been working for hours, we all deserve a break to fuel our brains and bodies with a delicious meal. So bon appetit. mes amis!
Now tell me: what’s your formula for a nutritious lunch on-the-go? Do you prefer to make yours at home, or do you have a go-to takeaway plan? Let me know your regulars below!