Bring it: Veggie packed salad with pumped up balsamic vinaigrette

My first thought this morning was man, I’m providing another boring lunch for the blog.

But you know what?

It’s tasty. Filling. Healthy. Super simple and takes minutes to put together.

Maybe you want all of those things in a lunch.

Because when you’ve had a week like I’ve had, with many assignments and rapidly approaching deadlines, it’s a relief to take the few groceries left in your fridge and on your shelves and pronounce, “Lunch!”

Bring it: Veggie-packed salad with pumped up balsamic vinaigrette

Salad:

1/2 bag Fresh Express Sweet Butter lettuce (I’m currently obsessed with butter lettuce, but any kind will work)

1/2 cup chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1 tomato chopped

1 serving (85 g) chopped baby carrots

Dressing

2 tbsp Trader Joe’s Fat Free Balsamic Vinaigrette

1/2 tbsp Whole Foods Unfiltered Flax Oil

salt + pepper to taste

Whisk the dressing ingredients together just before pouring on the salad. Give the whole container a good shake to make sure everything is coated before digging in!

Sweet ending:

1 Chobani Nonfat Lemon Greek yogurt

1 Apple

All together the meal comes to about 500 calories.


Bring it: Salad with grilled chicken, veggie dippers and hummus

One of the most effective healthy habits I’ve stuck with has been to bring lunch to work every day. Here’s why:

1. It saves money.

2. I can eat whenever I’m hungry.

3. Knowing I need to have a lunch for 5 days forces me to meal plan on the weekend and have a stocked fridge of healthy foods.

4. Packing my own lunch keeps me engaged with my food and gets my creative juices flowing.

These are just some of the benefits and the reason I plan to post my lunches weekly on the blog. I hear a lot of people say they don’t have time to pack lunch, but with a little effort put it on the weekend, most of my lunches come together in about 10 minutes. If I know I have a crazy week, I can even make containers for all the meals on Sunday, so all I have to do in the morning is grab and go.

This week my lunch, I’m sad to admit, is terribly boring. Even though I made it a priority to go food shopping the night I got back from India, I was beyond tired and only managed to grab things that looked easy to assemble and required no effort at Trader Joe’s. I promise, future weeks will feature more creative, bolder lunches.

Bring it: Salad with grilled chicken, veggie dippers and hummus

Salad:

1/2 bag (3-4 cups) of Trader Joe’s Butter Lettuce & Raddicho

4 oz Trader Joe’s Grilled Chicken Strips

1 tomato, chopped

Dressing: lemon juice, salt & pepper

Veggie dippers & hummus:

1 serving (85 g) of sugar snap peas

1 serving (85 g) of baby carrots

4 tablespoons of Trader Joe’s Mediterranean Hummus

Sweet ending:

1 giant, juicy orange

All together the meal comes to about 465 calories.