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LOTUS737 Posts: 6,310
1/11/18 10:50 A

Chili is a good option, so are lentils or beans cooked in big batches and portioned out (you can serve with rice/brown rice/quinoa/cauli rice/etc or just eat plain).

I like to poach large batches of chicken at one time- then I season it and use it throughout the week. Sometimes I'll add spices for a Mexican flair and make a burrito bowl with brown rice, avocado, onion, tomato, cilantro, and salsa. Sometimes I'll make an easy curried chicken salad with greek yogurt + curry powder + jicama + currants or grapes +/- apple. Sometimes I'll sautee with spices for shawarma and eat it with hummus and salad or make a wrap with veggies and tahini yogurt sauce.

Pasta with a ton of veggies is another one I do from time to time.

Think about the flavors you enjoy and use them to guide you.

JALLENKV Posts: 15
1/7/18 4:37 P

I cook lunches on the weekend, then pack in the fridge. Lentil soup is my favorite. Piccadillo is another. I like a cup of something hot from the microwave, but also like either a salad or a portion of chocolate chia pudding so I can start nibbling while I wait on the microwave.

1/6/18 9:22 P

I love the soup ideas and the salads in a jar! Sounds like when I work in the office what I might start eating. It's a little harder when I'm driving all day!

COLLEEN553 Posts: 1,163
8/15/17 8:04 P

hi all, been reading the great ideas in here. I had forgotten that I have frozen tortellini, so will def make a soup to take for lunch, add canned or fresh tomatoes, and I have spinach and kale that needs to be eaten. I don't have time tonight,but will put that together tomorrow night for thursday lunch.

I think I am actually taking a PBJ sandwich tomorrow, it has been awhile, and sounds really good to me right now.I have carrots, and just washed and bagged a head of cauliflower.

But thanks again, for the great ideas, esp the ones about the lettuce wraps or regular wraps too. We usually have a meat as a leftover. We grilled chicken tonight, and I am going to use those leftovers for dinner Thursday night, cook some ww pasta, and add both to my caprese salad, with home grown tomatoes and fresh mozarella.


JENNSVSGJOURNEY SparkPoints: (542)
Fitness Minutes: (25)
Posts: 3
8/11/17 10:21 P

I like getting creative with pinwheels...like pickles, turkey slices and ranch, or pimento wrapped in roast beef and then sliced up

Also lettuce wraps are fun just if you have leftover chicken or taco meat or whatever from the night before throw it in a bowl with some other fixings like cheese or Greek yogurt (used like sour cream) and throw together a couple wraps at work. Add buffalo sauce to leftover chicken for buffalo lettuce wraps.

Hummus and pita chips or veggies

Salads are always very versatile and easy to throw together. Leafy greens or a light pasta salad. Just mix it up...try it with fruits and nuts or sweet corn etc...the possibilities are endless with salads

HAWKTHREE SparkPoints: (67,698)
Fitness Minutes: (24,124)
Posts: 4,676
8/11/17 7:51 A

This is quick to make and it makes enough for 6 portions that freeze well and microwave easily.

1 cup lentils (rinse if necessary; some brands like Goya are more likely to need this)
1 cup uncooked rice.
1 chopped onion
6 cups of water

Other stuff that you like: chopped celery, a cut up tomato, carrots etc

Put in a pot large enough to have some space to avoid boil overs.

Bring to a boil
Cover with a tight lid
reduce heat to simmer
cook about 40 minutes (look at rice package to see -- that's how long)

7/27/17 5:03 P

hello everyone. im getting into the habit of making a menu for the weeks and i meal prep it for the week

JASMINERAPER SparkPoints: (18)
Fitness Minutes: (0)
Posts: 6
5/24/17 3:44 A

Seems well organizes I have all in one as I am to lazy to pack them separately. But now on I will try to be organized.

FITWITITALREADY SparkPoints: (2,163)
Fitness Minutes: (480)
Posts: 61
5/12/17 7:05 P

I take a salad in a jar (I keep my dressing in a separate container) & yogurt or a piece of fruit to snack on before lunch. Some days I prefer to snack thru the day. On those days I pack a boiled egg, a stick of cheese, a yogurt, & a piece of fruit. I swap it out with nuts, dried fruit or dry cereal in my lunch bag. The key for me is to change it up. I've also brought bean pasta with alfredo sauce.

KINJAY00 SparkPoints: (77,113)
Fitness Minutes: (14,756)
Posts: 513
4/13/17 7:07 A

I cook double batches then use leftovers for work. Or I freeze the extra in small containers to use later.

JMELBERG SparkPoints: (38,785)
Fitness Minutes: (18,761)
Posts: 102
4/12/17 7:58 P

Leftovers! I just call it "cooking once - eating twice" meals. Make double of what you are cooking and then one portion for dinner and one portion for lunch.

RUNANDRUN SparkPoints: (53)
Fitness Minutes: (27,091)
Posts: 3,340
4/12/17 12:01 P

Sometime I'll cook a bunch of ground turkey then build a weeks worth of lunches around that. Rice, beans and peppers, over a baked potato, added to vegetable soup, on a premade salad

LULUBELLE65 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (28,225)
Posts: 1,177
3/19/17 2:37 A

Once you get into the habit of cooking extra portions of things that freeze well, you can always have a supply of lunches ready to go. I usually have 4-5 containers of various soups and other casserole-type dishes in the freezer to take to work.

Otherwise I take salads a lot. If you vary the toppings it doesn't seem like you're eating the same thing every day. mixed green salad, grilled chicken and pico di gallo is a favorite. the same salad with feta, chickpeas and tahini dressing tastes entirely different.

ZELDA13 SparkPoints: (95,661)
Fitness Minutes: (28,033)
Posts: 4,600
2/5/17 2:59 A

Those prepared meals can be pricey, and not always have the best nutritional values. But, sometimes, they are priceless. One of my favorite things for lunches has always been leftovers. Cook an extra chicken breast one night to add to a salad, sandwich, rice or even pasta, along with some veggies for a quick lunch. I have to plan in advance, but better than my last minute choices. It takes time. It will all come together. You seem to be doing well and I'm sure you will continue on that path.

ZELDA13 SparkPoints: (95,661)
Fitness Minutes: (28,033)
Posts: 4,600
2/5/17 2:26 A

Well, now I know why I've been craving tuna melts. YUM!!! And absolutely chili on a baked potato! Good stuff. When I do my tuna I'm going to add some chickpeas. I'll smoosh them up and add some more protein and fiber there.

I also like to try my version of bento boxes. A small spinach salad, some hummus with veggies to dip them in, grapes or some fruit and how great would some of that tuna be with a few crackers on the side? Maybe peanut butter crackers or celery and some edamame. I love it whole and cold because it takes time to get through it. Leftover chicken, plain greek yogurt, roasted red peppers and pita triangles. So many choices that don't have to be sandwiches and are still giving the protein, fiber, carbs, and more importantly, taste, to get you through the afternoon. This can be prepped in advance to make your mornings easier.

I also love soups. Leftover or fresh anything? Make some soup. It can be as easy as a vegetable, chicken, beef or tomato broth as a base. I like mine low sodium. If I have leftover veggies, I'll freeze them and add them to the soup. Otherwise, it's what do I need now? I always have a green. Spinach, beet or carrot greens if I bought them. Whatever your choice is. Leftover beef or poultry? Beans or lentils? Drop them in. Maybe pasta or rice. Add some seasonings you like or small amounts of what you want to try after a sample to see how it works together. Soups can be the most diet friendly or most indulgent dish you want it to be. I love a browned ground turkey, sodium free crushed tomatoes and frozen mixed veggies for a quick veggie soup, as well as a beef broth, tortellini, black beans, fresh or frozen spinach, and chopped tomatoes for a more indulgent one that I'll top with cheese. And again, your favorite seasonings.

I try to add things to my nutrition tracker in advance because I don't use a set menu. That way I can decide if the veggie soup, for example, will fit into my menu for the day better than my more indulgent soup. A few days heads up makes it easier for me to plan my menu and know I am eating the way I should.

TRISH261 Posts: 197
2/4/17 8:06 P

Glad I decided to come in this topic. I feel the same way...I am in the sandwich rut myself, and had bought some Atkins frozen meals, but those are expensive to buy all the time. There's some interesting ideas here, and I never would have thought to stuff a cucumber with tuna. I had a tuna sandwich today, and it made my bread soggy, so I wasn't thrilled, so it's an even bigger plus that the tuna would never make a cucumber soggy. Thanks for the ideas!

COLLEEN553 Posts: 1,163
1/15/17 12:14 P

Or chili on a baked potato is good too....Just made a meatloaf, for lunches this week. I am thawing some shrimp too. We are going to have tuna melts for dinner, so I will make extra to add pasta too. I think I am set for this week for lunch ideas. Thanks, everyone...but keep posting, I like seeing the suggestions!


ZELDA13 SparkPoints: (95,661)
Fitness Minutes: (28,033)
Posts: 4,600
1/13/17 1:30 A

Tacos are a good choice. Your choice of chicken, beans, fish or even chili for protein and pack up some tomato, lettuce, onion, beans and cheese. Add avocado if you like it and some quinoa or brown rice. A piece of fruit to round it out.
Some breakfast items can work for lunch or dinner. French toast made with eggs, egg whites or a combination. This can be made in advance and frozen in single servings of 2 slices with a piece of wax paper between them. Pop them in the microwave for a quick meal. Add cinnamon when cooking and you won't need syrup.
My all time favorite, a bowl of chili. I brown 1 lb. ground beef or turkey. I add a large can of crushed tomatoes, and a diced onion. I usually add a box of frozen spinach or kale. 3 cans of beans - kidney, black, pinto, or cannellini. Mix and match. I season with a lot of chili powder, some black pepper, paprika, a few red pepper flakes, cumin and cinnamon. Simmer for 30 minutes and done. Serve topped with shredded cheddar and diced tomato. We like diced onion and avocado too. You can also serve over a salad - just like a taco salad, serve over tortilla chips (think nachos) or with chips on the side of a bowl to scoop it up. This will make a lot, but it freezes well.

COLLEEN553 Posts: 1,163
1/12/17 7:40 P

Thanks for the great suggestions.. I do the egg idea in the mornings,if I have enough time.

Good idea on the cucumber " sandwich"... And I forgot about making pasta salad for lunch. Sometimes I make tuna salad and add cooked pasta to it, and put it on top of salad greens. See, everyone is reminding that i do have a few ideas, that I have forgotten about.

I am set for tomorrow, because we grilled chicken for dinner tonight, and I will put leftover on spinach leaves for tomorrow's lunch. Add more veggies, and dressing, it will be perfect.

I bought a big bag of cooked shrimp at Sam's over the weekend, so can make a few lunches of shrimp, brown rice and pea pods.

I will keep checking in here for more ideas.


ZELDA13 SparkPoints: (95,661)
Fitness Minutes: (28,033)
Posts: 4,600
1/11/17 12:59 A

I like OVERCOMER11's suggestion. I make a similar dish using lentils, diced tomatoes and beans.
Slice a cucumber lengthwise and remove the seeds. Fill with tuna or chicken salad for a different take on a sandwich. Round it out with a salad, a piece of fruit and a handful of nuts.
A container of hummus and maybe some guacamole too. Sliced veggies or tortilla chips for dipping, or both.
You can make microwave eggs in a mug. Add some cheese, a side of veggies and a piece of toast. There are recipes for the eggs here on Spark.
A nice pasta salad. As easy as tortellini or your choice of pasta, lots of chopped veggies, some cheese and a simple dressing of olive oil. lemon juice and oregano.
Hope this helps.

CD17488794 Posts: 12
1/8/17 3:06 P

I take 1 cup grilled peppesr and onions, 3 ounces ground turkey with hot sauce and 1/4 of either black beans or brown rice. I cook up about four servings at a time and place in the frig, so I can just grab it in the morning.

COLLEEN553 Posts: 1,163
1/8/17 12:09 P

I am stuck in the sandwich/soup rut....and I don't want to rely on frozen "diet" lunches...so I am curious of what everyone else is taking to work for lunch, I have access to a toaster and microwave.

Thanks in advance,

Colleen in Pittsburgh

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