I’m not one of those people that are organized by default. I’m famous for misplacing keys, wallets, dropping phones in toilets and, most recently, the snow. But this is one life hack that makes my Monday-Friday, 9-5 job, as unusual as it is, so much better. Packed salad lunches = happy week. Every week I vary the salad depending on my mood. This week I’m going with a sweeter salad filled with chicken breast, brie, cranberries, blueberries, and walnuts topped with a homemade balsamic vinaigrette.
Here’s why packed lunches rock:
- Save money. Buying all the ingredients for one salad is a pain and usually a waste of money. Buying the stuff for 5 salads uses ingredients.
- Waste less. Instead of throwing away the leftover bits of fruit and veggies in the fridge, toss them into salad.
- Eat healthy. It’s easy to eat healthy when you have a perfectly delicious salad waiting for you.
- Save time. A little bit of prep on Sunday means less time waiting in busy lunch rush lines or if you do make your own lunch during the week, less time making it. It’s ready to go whenever you are.
I had some spare mushrooms I didn’t get to eating so I’m tossing those in since they’re a mute taste that won’t distract from the other fillings. You can use any tupperware you want. I use some 16 oz. Kerr mason jars I found at Michael’s for only about $2.50.
With a little bit of planning, it’s easy. I decide at the grocery store what salad I want so that I have enough ingredients for the week. A tip is to pack your meat/protein, whatever is heaviest, on the bottom and build from there. Make sure to leave enough room for your lettuce. I usually overpack the fillings but that’s how I prefer it- more toppings than lettuce. With these easily transportable, safely sealed jars, I get a big delicious and filling salad.
It’s super easy to switch up your salad, too, just by changing salad dressings, cheese, or mixing up toppings. Whether you’re a working mom or just a busy girl, these salads are an awesome cheat. Lay down the littles for nap, movie, or after bedtime. Whip these up and your week will be healthier, thriftier, and tastier.
For this salad I whisked together a quick balsamic vinaigrette. I made a big batch so I can take it to work on Monday, and just use it throughout the week. This Friday I’m going to Phoenix to celebrate my cousin’s wedding to an amazing girl, so I only have a few lunches to pack but usually I make 5.
The balsamic vinaigrette is simple as pie. You’ll want a bigger batch to have enough for the week. Here’s what I mix:
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 clove of garlic minced
Mix all the ingredients together in a small bowl and whisk it up.
Store it up in a SAFE container to throw in your bag with the jar and you’re all set!