Just Enough

Often times, you look in the fridge and think, “Nothing looks appetizing for lunch, I’ll just grab something at work.”  So, you grab a few extra dollars and head to work.  This can wreak havoc on your diet and chip away at your bank account.  By the time lunch comes, you are hungry for anything and are less likely to make healthy choices.  Often other coworkers will join you on your quest for a convenient meal and pitch in for pizza, fast food take out, vending machine foods, etc. Before you know it, you’ve shared in eating enough calories for the entire day in one meal and feel like taking a nap, versus being refreshed and productive in the afternoon.     


Part of the reason for not taking healthy lunches to work is that the food may look dull and boring.  Just like decorating a water bottle to encourage drinking, try decorating your food to look more appetizing?  By creating healthy meals with a contrast in color such as bright reds, greens, purples, and yellows, you will be more apt to eating it.  One way to visually stimulate your appetite and showcase your colorful meals is to store in transparent containers, such as food-safe glass mason jars. These glass jars can store hot or cold food and can come directly out of the refrigerator right into the microwave.  Of course, remove any metal lids prior to reheating.  


To help you, and your coworkers, stay on track with healthy meals and lower calories, have the entire team participate.  Try bringing in 5 lunch jars each and before you know it, healthy lunch is covered for the entire team for the entire week.  I brought these healthy lunch jars to work (pictured) and everyone stated they looked “delicious”.  In fact, they were.  


I found the recipe from https://foxeslovelemons.com/chopped-salad-jars/ and tweaked it a little.  You can also change it up and add any variety of vegetables and protein that fits your palate: 


Ingredients


-1/3 cup red organic bulgur wheat
-1 tablespoon Dijon mustard 
-1 tablespoon red balsamic vinegar 
-1/4 teaspoon sea salt 
-1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper 
-3 tablespoons olive oil 
-1 can (15 ounces) chickpeas, rinsed and drained 
-4 ounces grilled chicken breast, cubed (you can use any leftover cooked lean meat) 
-3 mozzarella cheese sticks, cubed
-1/2 cup grape tomatoes, halved 
-1/2 cup chopped cucumber, deseeded  
-1/4 cup chopped red onion 
-6 tablespoons chopped mixed nuts (I used Woodstock “Cheeky Cranberry Mix”).

 

Instructions
 

1.“In medium saucepan, bring 1 cup water to boil over medium-high heat. Stir in bulgur wheat. Reduce heat to medium; cook until bulgur is tender, or about 10 to 12 minutes. Drain off any remaining liquid. Spread bulgur in a single layer on a rimmed baking pan; transfer to freezer to chill for 10 minutes or until cool.
2. Meanwhile, make the vinaigrette: In a small bowl, whisk together mustard, vinegar, salt and pepper. While whisking, slowly drizzle in oil until all oil is incorporated.”
3. Divide all ingredients between 4 pint-sized mason jars. Layer in this order:               
               -Vinegar mixture
               -Cooled bulgur wheat
               -Chickpeas
               -Cucumber, tomatoes, red onion, cheese.
               -Chopped chicken or protein of choice
               -Mixed cranberry and nuts

4. Top with lids and refrigerate up to 5 days. When you’re ready to eat, turn the jar over on a plate and mix together. 


Bon Appetit!   

 

Also, check this out


You can find many other delicious and healthy recipes for jar lunches online: 

https://foodiefitness.org/mason-jar-salad-recipes-portable-work-lunches/

https://greatist.com/eat/mason-jar-recipes#Salads

https://www.livestrong.com/slideshow/1011311-13-healthy-mason-jar-meals-dont-leave-home-them/?slide=2