Sunday, March 14, 2010

Sack Lunch

I applaud slash envy the people who claim to bring their lunch from home every day to work. Are you making sandwiches as part of your regular morning routine? Always making sure to have leftovers on hand in single serving containers? Living on a diet of frozen meals? Try as I might, I still find myself buying lunch at the downstairs cafeteria or taking a walk to Potbellys or Jimmy Johns (usually first visiting the Benneton store right on the way) at least twice a week. With the average cost of these trips hitting the $7 mark it is taking a chunk of change out of my pocket each week.

My morning ritual involves sleeping until the last possible second and then racing around the house like a madwoman to get out of the house by 8:20 on the dot, getting me to work by 9 - and that is on a perfect day when the train isn't running late. Now, while the first step should really be just waking up earlier to start the day off right, I never think I have enough time to make lunch in the morning. Therefore, I'm all about the leftovers and the pre-made dishes in the fridge ready to be thrown into my workbag.

This week, I made one of my two chicken salad recipes to split up for lunches.  This recipe was from my sister's baby shower and can be found here (that was already almost a year ago - wow!)

My other go-to? Here's a twist on a chicken salad recipe from Rather than using cheese and bacon slices for a sandwich, they are crumbled up with the rest of the salad and it is eaten straight out of the bowl.

Cashew Avocado Chicken Salad
4 servings

2-3 cooked, boneless chicken breast halves, shredded OR 1 package of pre-cooked chicken, already diced
1/3 cup Ranch dressing
1 1/2 Tbs dill
1 cup cashews
1 avocado, diced
4-5 slices of bacon, drained and chopped
1/2 cup swiss cheese, shredded
salt and pepper to taste

Mix all, cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes

I also have to give a shout out to the BEST frozen meal I've purchased and lately has been the only one I'll pick up - when they are on sale for $2 or less of course.  The Lean Cuisine Four Cheese Cannelloni is pure goodness. Try it out!

I have also been trying to bring more snacky snacks from home for the afternoon. Like buying a bag of apples and bringing one in each day, I keep my apple slicer at my desk rather than at home for this reason.  Making up baggies of almonds, pretzels or chips keeps me from spending $1+ on a tiny bag of the same in the shops.

So what else will work for this girl who seems to think making a simple sandwich would take up all of her "getting ready" in the morning? I'm open to suggestions! 

*The post name comes from The English Patient episode of Seinfeld - "It's a family in a brown paper bag." "Don't you want to know how they got in there?" Hint, hint, guess who is planning a Seinfeld Trivia Night party??

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