Brilliant Brown Bag Lunches You Can Look Forward To
We know packing a lunch is the responsible thing to do. When it comes to brown bagging it or picking something up, the former choice is usually better for your health, and your wallet. The trouble is, there’s something far less appealing about a boring sandwich and an apple, especially if it means extra work in the morning. These brown bag lunch ideas are simple to prepare – and will give you a reason to look forward to lunch.
(1) Pasta Salad
Endlessly versatile, seductively simple, pasta salad is the perfect packed lunch. Spend thirty minutes on a Sunday afternoon mixing a big pot of pasta with whatever ingredients suit your fancy, and you’ve got delicious lunches for a week. Make it Mediterranean with artichokes, olives, sundried tomatoes and feta, or give it an Asian flair with stirfry vegetables, a handful of peanuts, and a dash of soy sauce. Pack a protein punch with a handful of beans or chickpeas, let all your favorite vegetables take center stage, and experiment with every kind of noodle your noodle can dream up. Basically, pasta salad is a lunch canvas you can paint on to your heart’s delight – and when it comes time to pack your midday meal, it takes thirty seconds to scoop some in a Tupperware and go.
Invest in a good thermos and suddenly a whole new world of possibilities opens up. The bonus is that soup naturally lends itself to large batches, so it’s easy to make a few lunches worth in one go. Heat some up in the morning, pop it in your thermos, throw a spoon in your bag, and you’re good to go. A hearty lentil soup or beany chili will keep you full all afternoon, and on a winter day there’s something lovely about a classic like chicken noodle in the middle of your day.
(3) Sandwich fillings
Egg salad, tuna salad, chicken salad, chickpea salad … mix it up, put it in the fridge, and scoop it on some whole wheat in the morning. And don’t think that just because these are classics you can’t get creative. Toss in some celery and dried cherries, spice it up with a spoonful of chili powder, or freshen things up with your favorite fresh herbs for sandwiches you’ll look forward to all morning long.
(4) Beans and Rice
A complete protein to keep you full all day long. Choose your beans, choose your spices, throw in any add-ins that suit your fancy (make sure you get your veggies in!) and you’re good to go. It’s great cold, hot, wrapped into a burrito, thrown on top of greens… basically you could make a different lunch every day for a week from the same batch. Brown bagging will never be boring again.