So, it is so hot that I want to go running naked in my sprinklers. Or makes friends with someone who has A/C, a pool, or both. Anything to alleviate the icky swoob! Even in the warmer months, I spend several days per month on the go in the community, meeting clients at their homes. This inspires some hydration, lunch, and bathroom use creativity. I don’t like buying food for lunch, and need to have a lunch that can sit in the car for several hours until I eat it.
Recently, I had a reader and friend tell me that they experience a similar environment on a regular basis, and would love some creative lunch ideas. So I decided that it was time for my first link roundup. You’ll see a lot of recipes from bloggers and caterers I follow and love, such as Bev, Jessica, Maria and Josh, Noble Pig, Des, Not Without Salt, Ali, and more! Feel free to add your own or your favorites!!
Whether you are more of a person to throw a sandwich or a buncha snacks together, or the type who loves to have leftovers or make their lunches for the week all day on Sunday, these ideas should hold up to sitting in your car or on a desk for at least a little while, not need microwaving, and would taste just fine cold. I tried for many of the recipes I researched to come up with at least somewhat macro-balanced options (protein vs fat vs carbs), but there were some ideas that just seemed too delicious to ignore for the sake of having a balanced diet. I hope the ideas last you all year! Don’t forget a napkin and plastic fork!
Simple Snack Lunch
- 1 C Cottage Cheese, 3 ants on a log, grapes, 6 wheat thins
- Ambitious? Make Fruit leather!
- Roast some chickpeas. Or try them this way. Or this way. I tell ya, it’s a pretty dang popular thing to do nowadays.
- Make some hummus, or just buy it. Bring Veggies. Ta Dah!
- Quinoa Bars – never tried them! Tell me how they turn out, I’m interested.
- Oat Peanut butter Bites. Okay, basically dessert. But will give you energy and keep you going for a quick snack!
- Slice some fresh veggies and add some salt and pepper. Or some feta crumbles or some watermelon pieces (seriously, i love it).
- Have you ever tried putting balsamic vinegar on strawberries? It really does make them taste sweeter- but don’t go overboard. A teaspoon per cup of strawberries is enough.
- When I roast all the pumpkin seeds each November from pumpkin carving, it lasts me nearly all year.
Sandwiches, Simple to Complex
No Grilled Cheeses or burgers here, just good old sandwiches and wraps!
- Twists on Egg Salad: Avocado or Sriracha? Yum!
- I love curries. Make this turkey leftovers curry salad that was to die for, and nearly went out and bought a cheap leftover turkey to roast all over again to make more of the salad filling. Also, check out these curried shrimp salad pita pockets. Dang.
- Pecan Crusted Chicken Wraps with Strawberry. Fantastic combo.
- Don’t know about you, but red pepper, hummus, avocado, and feta sounds like the perfect combo to me.
- A Chicken Lettuce Wrap – or change the lettuce to tortilla if you are afraid of wiltage.
- Put a lid on this Thai Open-faced Sandwich and you’ll be set to go!
- Just like the ants on a log, this sandwich adds bread to minimize the sticky mess.
- Easy to prep in the morning if you have all the ingredients made: Hearty easy Chicken Italian Sub.
- A Cobb Salad Sandwich that looks killer.
- Plus, it couldn’t get much easier than hummus and veggies in a sandwich.
- No recipe, but easy to assemble from the picture if you have the ingredients: Avocado, tuna, red onion, and roasted red bell pepper.
Hearty Grain, Meaty, or Light Salads
No secrets here, I love quinoa, and even have a board just for this grain. Plus, it makes a fantastic easy lunch. Here are some of my favorite salads that last.
- Chickpea, cucumber, and tomato salad.
- Quinoa, bacon and snap peas? Yes, please.
- Purple quinoa salad.
- Corn and quinoa salad.
- Like fruit in your salads? This peachy-tomato salad and Strawberry Blueberry Honey Quinoa salad are interesting fresh twists.
- Everyone who tastes this Sonoma Chicken Salad asks me for the recipe. (Okay, only nearly everyone). Add bread for a sandwich if you like.
- If you don’t want fruit in your chicken salad, this one is for you.
- Chicken Bacon Avocado Salad– leave out the lettuce. Dense and yummy.
- Pesto Chicken Salad sounds delish.
- Tarragon amps up this Coleslaw.
- Lately I have been kinda in love with all things Bahn Mi. A bready salad with all those flavors sounds heavenly.
- Fresh and healthy Mediterranean Couscous Salad.
- I’ve wanted to eat this Asian Quinoa Salad for ages, it’s just so pretty.
- Barley is a filler grain in this beautiful asparagus tossed salad.
- Do you like tabbouleh? It is easy to make and even better once it has sat together for a few days.
- If you are a seafood buff, ceviche is always so refreshing. (okay, this one probably needs a fridge and shouldn’t get warm…ew.)
- Potato salads are your thing, you say? I love this one, if you add sliced hard boiled eggs. Also, the Lemon Dill potato salad sounds tasty.
- Prefer cauliflower: I know, me too, and Old Bay is such a reminiscent flavor.
- I really love this Roast Cauliflower and Mushroom Quinoa Salad.
- Okay, one last quinoa salad, because it really is THE BEST EVER. Literally, I could quadruple this recipe’s volume and D and I would. not. get. tired. of. eating. it. for at least a whole week, lunch AND dinner. I give you: Asparagus, Goat Cheese, and Olive Quinoa Salad. P.S. Use soft Chevre Goat Cheese instead. Super super good, all blended together.
Because so many appetizers, in bite size form (as long as they aren’t a dip!) are perfect to stick in a baggie and take with you on the go.
- Caponata is delicious, and would make for a good cold sandwich filler. or just have with a fork, whichever.
- Sriracha Turkey meatballs – so easy to pop into your mouth!
- Samosas are super yummy and not healthy at all. Go ahead, indulge.
- Stuff some tomatoes and put them in a Tupperware.
- I actually want to eat these RIGHT NOW. Prosciutto is bomb- put it with artichoke hearts…I just lost it.
Miscelaneous / Leftovers
- are you a vegan? This Mac n Cheese will make a good lunch for sure.
- These butternut squash rice bowls appear like they would be easy to pack into Tupperware!
- Red Wine and Goat Cheese Risotto FTW.
- Mole Rice Sounds like an awesome side and even better blended flavors as leftovers.
- Sweet Potato Risotto is too good to not add to this list.
- Super easy and mushroomy- who doesn’t love mushrooms? Portobello Fried Rice.
Phew! My research gave me quite a few new pins! ;) Thank you, Ria!