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Easy at-work lunches stored in your desk

Freeze dried veggies are a great snack at home or work.

You’re running to work and you don’t have a lunch packed, again.  You’re probably annoyed, frustrated, and feeling like your goal to eat healthy has been foiled, again.  Lunch at work can be difficult, particularly if you’re not a home cook.  If you want something fast, easy, and that can be stored in your desk, it’s almost always going to be unhealthy.  Almost.   Of course, fresh is best but having emergency items on hand, in your desk is good fallback plan.  Here are some suggestions to keep it healthy:

  1. Dried fruit or fresh fruit.  Bring in fruit every Monday.  Just 2-3 pieces that don’t need to be refrigerated, like bananas, apples, or peaches.   If they’re right there, you’re more likely to eat ‘em.  Or, just keep some individual boxes of raisins lying around for easy eats.
  2. Nuts or nut butters.  Nuts are high in energy, good fats, and protein – they have a long shelf life so they’re a good snack or side dish in a lunch.   If you keep peanut butter in the fridge, have crackers, and throw some banana slices in too, you’ve got a 500 calorie meal waiting for you!
  3. Dried or freeze dried fruits and vegetables.  Choose the non-sugared varieties of dried fruits from Trader Joe’s or non-oil freeze dried varieties of vegetables.  A great company is Just Tomatoes, though they’re a bit expensive; but they have a variety of freeze dried fruits, vegetables, and mixes.
  4. Granola Bars or oatmeal and honey.  Both don’t need refrigeration.  ‘Nuff said.
  5. Ready-to-Eat Tuna Salad packs.  Ok, while I’m not (in general) a fan of prepackaged lunches, these really are a great source of protein and low fat carbs (in the crackers).  They have plain or flavored (like sun dried tomato) varieties and are only about 300 calories.
  6. Sweet Potatoes.   Potatoes can last for weeks if you get ‘em at a farmers market and are easily microwavable, to make a quick (and filling) baked potato.  Add cheese, herbs and oil or maple syrup for extra flavor.  For other microwave ideas check back next week!

These may seem like simple items, but they’re satisfying when you’re starving but only have a little time.  I also like to keep oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, and cinnamon in my desk for times in need.  If you can, leave a few items in the fridge or freezer too, like yogurts, homemade soups, or hummus.  These quick items are versatile for meals (i.e. hummus can be used as a dip or spread).  What other suggestions do you have for easy-at work meals?!

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