Since I’m at home most days of the week, I try to keep staples on hand to keep my lunches simple and nutritious. It’s key to helping me make smart choices, especially when some days are busy with errands, playdates, or just plain pregnancy exhaustion :-)
I do a weekly shopping trip after planning our menu for the week ahead (which mainly centers around our dinners, and then stock up on breakfast, lunch & snack staples). While I like to switch up our dinner recipes and try out new ones to have some variety, my lunches typically remain the same, and that’s totally ok by me and makes things fairly easy.
Lately, my go to lunches have been salads. It’s a great way to me to get in veggies and protein, and fairly easy to assemble if I do a little prep. My salads aren’t over the top at all- just salad greens, protein (usually chicken and hard boiled eggs, sometimes nuts), cheese (I can’t get enough dairy lately!) and sliced fruit with a homemade batch of dressing in a mason jar.
I grab a fresh supply of salad each week and any toppings I need and do a little prep work for the week, including hard boiling a batch of eggs and cooking my chicken. I use this recipe for bake my chicken breast, and it is by far the BEST and only way I will ever prepare chicken! So moist and flavorful…
I have a couple salad recipes that I’ve really been loving lately, and the one thing that ties them together is European Extra Virgin Olive Oil. I’ve specifically used the Zucchi brand, a sustainable Italian Olive Oil Company, but there are many kinds, from Spanish to Greek to French. In fact, the Flavor Your Life campaign, supported by the European Union and others aims to educate US consumers so they can make informed decisions when purchasing Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
For example, did you know that Extra Virgin Olive Oil is made by pressing without heat or chemicals? It represents the freshest and purest olive oil available. Each oil is judged by expert tasters, who must agree that it meets the high flavor standards of an Extra Virgin rating. While it can handle anything from a sauté to frying or baking, I love using it as a dressing.
Here’s my current favorite go to salad choices for lunch:
Grilled Chicken Strawberry Spinach Salad
For the salad:
Chicken breast, baked using this method
Toasted chopped walnuts
1 apple, sliced
Cheese of your choice
For the vinaigrette:
2 cups Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 lemon, juiced
1 tbsp honey or agave
Fresh parsley to taste
Salt and pepper to taste
Add vinaigrette ingredients to a mason jar, put on the lid and shake it up to mix. Then prepare salad ingredients on a plate and drizzle on the dressing. Easy and delicious!
Avocado Chicken Salad – something beyond leafy greens with TONS of flavor and makes a great side dish for a party too!
This recipe serves 6.
For the salad:
2 large cooked chicken breasts, shredded or chopped
1 cup corn (fresh from a cob or a can works)
6 slices bacon or turkey bacon cooked and chopped
2 tbsp dill
2-3 hard boiled eggs
For the lemon dressing:
3 tbsp lemon juice
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Dice or shred the cooked chicken breasts and place into a large mixing bowl. Peel and pit the avocados, slice into bite-sized pieces and in, along with 1 cup of corn, chopped bacon, egg, and dill.
Add dressing ingredients to a small mason jar and shake to combine. Drizzle over your salad and toss to combine.
What are your favorites for weekday lunches? Tell me in the comments!
Disclosure: I received this product for free from Moms Meet to use and post my honest opinions. Compensation for this post was provided and this page may contain affiliate links.
Really like the grilled chicken strawberry spinach salad. I’ve never thought to use strawberries in a salad before (other than fruit salad of course). I’ll have to give this a try, it’s such an easy and quick recipe- I’m a work from home mom and often “forget” to make lunch, or it seems too hard :)