If there’s one thing that I get tired of, it’s the same salad or the same lunch every day for a week. I can only eat one dish so many times.
Your lunch salads can be easy, pre-packed, and they don’t have to be boring! My number one rule with crafting salads is; you must make it colorful. Who doesn’t love a dish that is packed with color? Not only is it delicious, but it brings a little brightness to the middle of my work day.
When you’re making a salad, you want a lot of protein – this will keep you full. I try not to have any sorts of grains such as croutons – they are delicious but don’t pack a lot of nutrients and these are often the ingredients that cause those 3:00pm nap wishes. When you’re looking for proteins, pack your salads with meats, hard boiled eggs, nuts, some cheese (not for Whole30).
For the chicken – I spend Sundays making multiple kinds in my slow cooker. Pound out some boneless skinless chicken breasts. I take a piece of foil, add one piece of chicken, and add a little olive oil and spices then wrap the chicken in the foil. I do this with three pieces of chicken, each with oil and a different spice blend. Stack in your slow-cooker and cook on high for 3 hours or low for 6-7. Check on the chicken – you do not want it to overcook, you will not be pleased with the smell or taste of overcooked chicken in the slow-cooker. You can also just cook the chicken in the oven (350 for about 15-20 minutes). Once done, unwrap and let cool. Cut into slices and store in the fridge to grab easily for salads when you’re ready to pre-pack.
For dry ingredients – I had mentioned in one of my posts, how important it is to have everything you want easily accessible. We are all busy – the last thing i want to be doing when I am packing lunch is rummaging through an unorganized cabinet looking for my walnuts or sunflower seeds.
Vegetables – pre-slice your veggies and keep them handy in the fridge. Cherry tomatoes are great to just add – they don’t need to be prepared, and other vegetables will last the week in your fridge, pre-cut. Use those pickled beets or peppers!
Pre-Packing – I would pre-pack a day or two ahead and not much more than that, you don’t want your walnuts or nuts to become soft sitting in the fridge with some of the wetter ingredients. Do not add dressing until you are ready to eat the salad.
Dressing – I like to make my own. I mix a flavored vinegar with a little olive oil, salt and pepper. This is Whole30 compliant and you can get some really great flavors at your local oil/vinegar store or even T.J.Maxx or Marshalls. Dressings are a complete personal preference, something I found was easy was to just keep a bottle of my favorite dressing in the fridge at work – if that is something you can do, it’s one less item you need to remember when packing your lunch in the morning.