Somewhere between cereal for breakfast and pizza for dinner, lunch got complicated. If there isn’t a neat container of last night’s stir fry or a sandwich constructed with 12-grain bread, honey ham, provolone cheese, creamy horseradish and mixed greens – fast food it and forget it.
The truth is, a satisfying lunch is easy to throw together at the last minute – no pre-planning or pre-constructing required.
So put down that $10 dollar bill for Chinese takeout. Speed away from fast food. Here’s what to do:
Munch-a-lunch. My kids’ school invented this for their hot lunch program – It’s basically a bunch of snackie foods called “lunch.” Grab whatever you can find: crackers, deli meat, cheese (even shredded), a dollop of hummus – dump in a container for lunch.
Simple salad. Grab a handful of spinach and drizzle with your favorite dressing. Toss on a topping – cheese, almonds, craisens. Extra credit: Add a scoop of cottage cheese.
Crackers and dip. Smother Saltines with peanut butter. Grab the whole jar if needed. Dip Graham crackers in yogurt (vanilla or Boston Cream Pie).
Double-up on breakfast. Instant oatmeal, fruit, yogurt, dry cereal, granola bars – if you’ll eat it for breakfast, you’ll enjoy it at lunch, too.
Leftovers that don’t match. Pizza and baked beans. Carrots and lasagna. Eat separately. Don’t get picky – get going.
Grab two. Two bananas are more filling than one. Two pieces of buttered bread. Two cupcakes (well, maybe not).
Take the whole box or bag. Forget about individual servings today. Just fill a bag with edible nosh on your way out the door.
Grab veggies whole. Wash and go – no need to shave carrots or chop into bite-sized pieces. Eat tomatoes like apples, bite by bite. Snip the ends of green beans as you eat.
Go nuts. They’re an incredibly satisfying filler food with any lunch – plain almonds are a favorite of mine.
What do you grab for lunch in a hurry?
Photo by Sakurako Kitsa