Here are some tips on how to prepare ingredients for lunch at work. Most of your tasks will be completed during the weekend, with little left to do during the rest of the week.
By the way, much of this information was provided by a good friend of mine who runs a wellness program for her agency. She’s a very busy lady, especially during the weekends. If she can find time to prep lunch, so can you!
During the weekend:
- Buy your bread and put in the freezer. (My friend’s favorite is Dave’s Killer Bread, and this writer agrees. Meaty, satisfying, with lots of protein and fiber. It’s sold in mainstream supermarkets.)
- Use separate zip lock bags for storage of sandwich fillings: One for meat, one for cheese, and so on. Make sure that you remove all air from the zip lock. This ensures the foods stay fresh longer.
- For salads, use the same idea: Separate bags for favorite greens, sliced veggies to add to the salad, halved cherry tomatoes, etc. (Note: for vegetables, this writer likes Debbie Meyer’s Green Bags, which can be purchased online. These bags truly do what the ads promise–they extend the freshness of vege’s and fruits.)
- Soup: Many supermarkets offer freshly made soup of the day. You can usually find this item in the deli section. My friend strongly recommends Sprouts homemade chicken noodle soup. 8 oz. is 100 calories.
Packing sandwiches the day before:
- Pull out frozen bread and fill with dressing, meat, and/or cheese.
- If you wish to use lettuce in your sandwich, pack it separately in a plastic bag or container. That way you get crunchy vege’s in your sandwich.
- If you like tomato and/or avocado in your sandwich, carry them whole in your lunch bag, and slice them up just before eating. Don’t forget to pack a paring knife.
- If you have a preference for tuna, egg, or chicken salad sandwiches, I strongly recommend that you pack your salad separately from your bread. Otherwise, you will likely end up with a soggy mess, especially if you use pita or flatbread. If you don’t like making your own protein salads, the deli section of your local supermarket usually carries these items.
Packing salads the day before:
- Place your salad in a sealable plastic container. The Walmart block containers discussed in a previous post are great for this.
- Pack your salad dressing in a separate container, and add to the salad at lunch.
Packing soup the day before:
- If you have time in the morning and don’t want to use the company microwave, fill a metal Thermos with hot water and let sit for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, nuke the soup. Pour out water, fill Thermos with soup, seal, and pack away.
- An alternative is the Crock Pot Lunch Warmer, which will allow you to heat your soup while you work.
- For recommendations regarding hot meal containers, please review previous post from October 18, 2018, titled “Starting Right: Brown Bag Equipment.”
NEXT WEEK: Brown Bag Side Dishes