When working from home, it can be difficult to set aside time to have a healthy, well-balanced lunch. Let's be honest, it's easy to choose a quick delivery option using UberEats or DoorDash to get your meal...but it's not always the healthiest option.
If you're like me, you wait until your stomach is yelling at you to eat lunch, which can also lead to poor decisions. What's the solution? I've learned to plan meals and choose ingredients I can use to make multiple meals.
Leftover Chicken Wrap
This one is so versatile! Did you make too much chicken and aren't sure what to do with all those leftovers? Fear not; chicken is a perfect protein source to pack your tortilla with! Some of my favorites are:
Asian Chicken Wrap with Thai Peanut Sauce - Filled with cabbage and carrot slaw and drizzled with a tasty peanut sauce. Top with extra Sriracha for a spicy kick!
Chicken Caesar Wrap - Filled with romaine lettuce, parmesan cheese, and Caesar dressing. Simple but oh so delicious!
Chicken Burrito Wrap - Filled with rice, sauteed onions and peppers, and a tasty lime crema. To make the crema, add lime zest, lime juice, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Top with cheese if desired and a dash of hot sauce before sealing.
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Pro-Tip: Stay away from the larger tortillas; they add unnecessary calories and prep you to fill even more than you need into your tortilla. For an even lower carb option, swap the tortilla for a lettuce wrap. Yum!
Not So Average Salads
Most people stay away from salads for lunch because they get bored. I’m telling you…if you’re getting bored with a salad, you’re doing it wrong! Salads are one of my go-to healthy options for lunch at home. Most people have ingredients on hand in the fridge and pantry to mix things up.
The key to a good salad is to layer textures – yes, you read that right, textures! There’s nothing more boring than a one type of lettuce, two ingredient salad with plain dressing. Adding textures with different types of lettuce and cabbage, toasted nuts, along with fruits and vegetables can elevate your salad to another level. Some of my favorites are:
Spring Mix Salad with Berries and Goat Cheese: To elevate a spring mix salad, I enjoy adding red cabbage for extra crunch. Add in some extras like toasted pine nuts, strawberries, roasted beets, your choice of protein, and a small serving of quinoa and you have a “not so average” delicious salad! Ditch the store bought dressing and make a simple vinaigrette with (1 tbsp. of each) olive oil, white wine vinegar, dijon mustard, maple syrup, and salt and pepper to taste; try this and you won’t miss the convenience of a store bought dressing!
Buffalo Chicken Cobb Salad – While you can absolutely add any protein to this salad, I love the spice provided by buffalo chicken! Starting with a romaine lettuce base, top this salad with tomatoes, cucumber, sliced hard boiled eggs, red onion, crispy turkey bacon, and a drizzle of Greek yogurt ranch dressing. The switch to turkey bacon and Greek yogurt ranch cuts down on the calories and fat without cutting down on the flavor – win, win! Opting out of adding avocado and cheese also saves on the calories but…everything in moderation, right? Just do what makes your taste buds happy!
Photo courtesy of Sheri Silver via Unsplash.com
Pro-Tip: These pretty plated salads against our gorgeous updated countertops make for an Insta-worthy lunch moment. Share your creations by @ tagging your Camden apartment community on social sites!
Rice and Grain Power Bowls – The great thing about making a power bowl is that it’s often what you’d expect to put into a wrap or a salad but served in a bowl instead. A great grain bowl starts with a base such as rice, quinoa, or salad. Depending on your health goals, you can add more carbs/less lettuce, or vice versa. Try any of the recipes above as a bowl and enjoy another fulfilling, healthy option of some of my favorite healthy lunchtime staples.
Photo courtesy of Ella Olsson via Pexels.com
Working from your apartment home does not mean you have to have boring, not-so-healthy lunch options. A little planning and creativity can go a long way when cooking at home. For more healthy lunch options, try some of our Crock-Pot recipes or some of our favorites from our Cooking with Camden series like these cheesy zucchini noodles or delicious turkey stuffed peppers.