By Janice Byth
I love to prepare food. To me, there is nothing more empowering than creating my own meals. It’s something I can make and then devour, satisfying my need to be creative—and fill my stomach. The best way to start a culinary journey is to pack your own lunch. Here’s some inspiration to get you packing this week….
There’s nothing better than a sandwich for brown-bagging it. Of course, there are the classic PB&J or ham-n-cheese. However, some of my favorite things to stick between two slices of bread are less conventional.
- Banana • Peanut butter • Honey • Granola
- A thick slice of cheese • Jam or chutney
- Apple • Cheese • Mayo
- Ham • Cheese Mayo • Cheetos
- Avocado • Lettuce • Cheese • Lime or lemon juice
- Turkey • Cheese • Mustard • Ketchup • Pickles
Mason Jar Salad
I have an unusual obsession with salads, craving them more than any other type of meal. So I like making salads for lunch. One easy way to have salad is to put it in a Mason jar—just shake it up, and it’s ready to eat. There are only three things to remember.
- Put the dressing in first so it’s at the bottom of the jar, but don’t carry this upside down or sideways—your lettuce will get soggy.
- Make it colorful. I try to pick at least one veggie, one fruit, one grain, and one protein for my salad. This usually provides the most fulfilling lunch.
- To keep the dressing and salad separate until ready to eat, use a cleaned pill bottle for the dressing. And don’t forget to pack a fork!
Here is a video with some great combinations for salads in jars:
This is probably the most convenient and easiest of brown-bag lunch styles. I call this “snack sack” because it’s basically all my favorite snacks in my lunch. The key is to toss in a variety of food types, such as fruits, veggies and meat. I tend to do this if it’s going to be a long day and I need multiple snacks throughout the day. These are some things I pack in a snack lunch.
- Apples and peanut butter
- Baby carrots and ranch dressing
- Cheese stick
- Cookies or chocolate
- Fresh strawberries
- Ham or turkey slices
- Hummus and pita chips
- Low-fat yogurt
- Orange wedges
- Popped popcorn
- Power bar
- Seedless grapes
- Tortilla chips
- Trail mix or smoked almonds
- Watermelon chunks
- Whole banana
- Whole-grain muffin
All photos by Victor Hancek/picjumbo.com.
What is your favorite brown bag lunch? Leave a comment and let us know!