Thursday, September 1, 2016

Back to Work 'Grab and Go' Lunch Ideas

Pretty soon it's going to be 'back to school', which for me translates to 'back to work'.  I've always found that in the summer, when I have time to prepare all my meals, I really put in all my effort to carefully select what I want to eat and then make everything fresh.  It seems reasonable to want to do this when I go back to work and I always start with the best intentions.  In fact, the first two weeks I'm waking up early, making a fresh salad etc etc.  Then something usually happens.  The carefully created beautiful lunch turns into a 'grab and go'.  You all know exactly what I mean by a 'grab and go' - it's the grab a piece of bread and ketchup packet you have in your fridge because you're either 1) tired or 2) figured it's the end of the week, so why go food shopping?  What happened to the beautiful fresh mozzarella and brushetta salad, the gorgeous grilled calamari or mediterranean tuna salad from the summer?  Every year I tell myself that I'm going to make this for lunch:

This year, I want to hold myself to my word.  If I've learned anything from this summer, it's that there is just no comparison to wholesome, clean, homemade food.  During those stressful 'grab and go' days (which you sometimes can't avoid) - why not have some better choices on hand?  Imagine grabbing some olives, a can of tuna, some cherry tomatoes and some sliced cheese?  It takes just as much time to grab those things as it does the bag of chips or the bread and ketchup :)  In fact, you can get really creative with changing up your 'grab and go' days.  Next time you're at the grocery store, check out all the amazing canned fish, smoked fish, European vegetable spreads (the Balkan Avjar is amazing and packed with veggies), antipastos, portioned sized cheese cubes, olives etc etc.  You'll have people thinking that you just got off the plane from the Mediterranean.  Now, don't get me wrong, every time you have the opportunity to make something fresh and use organic fruits and vegetables or make a meal from scratch, that's always the best.  The fall and winter months are perfect for soups, stews, baked pasta dishes.  However, it's always wise to stock up on something that you can take with you in a pinch and this is still fairly healthy.  A can of tuna with a side of Ajvar will be much healthier than a chemical laden 'hot pocket'.  Convenience doesn't have to be unhealthy - it just has to be well thought out!