Happy New Year everyone!! One of the most common New Year’s Resolutions is to eat healthier and/or to lose weight. And of course, cooking your healthy meals at home can also save you a lot of money. So, three New Year Resolutions checked off just by bringing your lunch to work! And not every home-brought lunch has to be boring. I’m here to tell you about the magic of cold lunches!
Of course, there’s meal prepping and spending your whole Sunday cooking healthy meals and putting them in the fridge/freezer. But by the second day of chicken, rice, and broccoli, I always get SO bored and just end up going to Taco Bell… Plus I also hate leftovers. So heating up food from 3 days ago really just grosses me out and it never tastes the same after it’s been in the fridge. At least that’s how I feel, someone please help me like leftovers! So then I end up wasting time and food, and I have to spend my money on lunches.
So instead, I like to bring “cold” lunches to eat at work. Ones that I don’t have to microwave and I can just take right out of the fridge and enjoy. You can either prepare them the night before or you can throw everything together in the morning. No cooking = less prep time #Hallelujah
Here are some examples of the “cold” lunches I bring to work during the week:
#1 Turkey Wraps
Ingredients: large “wrap” tortillas (preferably wheat), turkey slices, cheese slices, lettuce, and packets of mayo or mustard to use while you eat.
Directions: Lay the wrap on a flat surface, place lettuce vertically down the center of wrap, layer 4-5 slices of turkey on top of lettuce, then layer 2-3 slices of cheese on top of turkey. Begin rolling one side of the wrap, once you get to the center, fold the ends towards the middle and then finish rolling. When you’re ready to eat, take out of the fridge and enjoy with the mayo or mustard packets!
#2 Tuna Sandwich
Ingredients: one can of tuna (drained), 1 tbsp mayo, 1 tbsp dill or sweet relish, salt & pepper, you can also add the egg whites of a hard boiled egg for more protein, and wheat bread!
Directions: combine tuna, mayo, relish, salt & pepper, and hard boiled egg whites in a bowl until well combined. Place tuna mixture between two slices of bread and enjoy cold.
#3 Garden Salad
Ingredients: lettuce or spinach, cherry tomatoes, cucumber slices, strawberries (halved), croutons, feta cheese or blue cheese, 1-2 hard boiled eggs, Brianna’s Real French Vinaigrette salad dressing (or other healthy vinaigrette of choice), can also add blueberries, nuts, carrots, cabbage, etc. if you have it.
Directions: pack “dry” ingredients in a plastic baggy together (lettuce, tomatoes, eggs, cheese), place the “wet” ingredients together in a separate plastic baggy to avoid salad getting soggy (strawberries and cucumbers), place salad dressing in separate little to-go cups, and keep croutons in their own bag and not in the fridge with the rest. Once you’re ready to eat, add all of the ingredients to a medium-large bowl or tupperware, mix around, and enjoy cold! The trick is to separate all of the ingredients so the salad doesn’t get soggy while it waits in the fridge.
#4 Kale and Fruit Salad
Ingredients: kale, strawberries (halved), apples (cut into bite-sized pieces), walnuts or pecans (chopped), dried cranberries, feta cheese, Brianna’s Poppyseed salad dressing (omg so good).
Directions: place the kale, nuts, cheese, and dried cranberries into a plastic baggy or tupperware container, place the fruit in a separate plastic baggy, and place the salad dressing in little to-go cups. When you’re ready to eat, combine all ingredients together and enjoy cold.
#5 Pasta Salad
I just get the boxed “Suddenly Pasta Salad” from HEB and make that according to the directions on the box. Sometimes I’ll add in cold salami, cubed cheese, and other vegetables as well!
#6 Mini Charcuterie
Ingredients: summer sausage, salami, cheese cubes, pickles, hard boiled egg(s), carrots, celery, cucumber slices, ranch dip, fruit.
Directions: just section off everything in tupperware and enjoy cold! No cooking required 🙂
#7 Cold Sandwich
Ingredients: wheat bread, turkey/ham/salami, avocado, provolone/colby jack, lettuce/spinach, cucumber slices, mayo/mustard, bacon (optional).
Directions: make a sandwich! You can also toast the bread beforehand or just bring the ingredients to work and make it at work so it doesn’t get soggy!
These are my go-to healthy, cold lunches that I rotate between during the work week! It has saved me so much money and has kept me on track with my fitness goals. I hope this post inspires you to bring more healthy, cold lunches to work and keep on track with your budgeting and fitness goals as well!
You can also check this post about how to make perfect breakfast smoothies that are also super healthy and will keep you full and satisfied all morning!
Comment your go-to healthy cold lunches to bring to work below, I love hearing from you all! P.S. These are my favorite tupperware sets! Something about the glass makes them so much more durable and they don’t turn red/orange from tomato-based foods like my plastic ones do. Tisk, tisk.