Tuesday, 25 March 2014

2014 Blogger Challenge: 10 Packed Lunch Ideas

My mega birthday packed lunch from last year.
This blogger challenge post is a little late (5 days... oops!) but I figured better late than never! It was supposed to be all about food and therefore an unusual post for beauty bloggers, but as I do write about food a lot this isn't a difficult post for me at all!

I was writing my shopping list on Friday night - rock and roll - and as I was trying to think of something different to take to work for lunches this week I thought I could write some of my ideas up on here, as it might give some of you a few different ideas. It is really easy to get stuck in a packed lunch rut, and I like to be excited about my lunch as it makes the day go quicker (just me?) so I hope these ideas come in useful!

1. Hummus and Veg Sticks
This is my current favourite lunch of the moment, some low fat hummus with sticks of celery, cucumber and carrot for dipping. It's filling and really healthy, so especially good for when I know I'm having a naughtier tea.

2. Greek Salad
Another of my frequently made lunches, spinach, cherry tomatoes, celery, cucumber, feta cheese, olives, sun-dried tomatoes and jalapenos dressed with balsamic vinegar and onion crispies. Seriously yummy, and only the feta is particularly bad for you!

3. Spaghetti Hoops
Before you all pull your faces at the childish lunch, it is cheap, fun, and not as bad for you as you'd think. I like to stir in some grated low fat cheese, and add cracked pepper and chilli flakes to give it a grown up edge. 

4. Melba Toast
Melba toasts with cheese triangles and wafer thin ham. It has to be assembled as you eat it, so it's one for eating at a table rather than on your lap, but it's decadent without being naughty. Laughing Cow blue cheese triangles are amazing as well, I recommend them!

5. Last night's leftovers
Not really an idea, but if you have leftovers which aren't a full portion, but you don't want to throw it away or eat more than you should, putting it into tuppaware means you can take it to work the next day, and usually give everyone in the room lunch-envy (it's a thing!) when you heat it up.

6. Roasted Vegetable Wrap
You can either use leftover roast vegetables for this, or roast some and keep them in the fridge for use in the week. I like roasting courgette, sweet potato, cherry tomatoes, red onion and peppers, then pile them into a large wrap with hummus for a filling and tasty lunch.

7. Hummus and Pesto Sandwiches
The combination of hummus and pesto is amazing. I like it on Warburtons Thins, pesto on one half, hummus on the other, with wafer thin ham and spinach in between. If you wrap them tightly in clingfilm it helps to sandwich them together and tastes amazing... this may have to be had next week I think!

8. Pasta Salad
This one always reminds me of my Mum as she makes the best pasta salad ever. It's cold pasta (rinse freshly cooked pasta in cold water for a minute or so to cool it enough to make a salad with), Mattessons sausage, then whatever salad veggies you have knocking around. Drench in salad cream and freshly cracked black pepper and give it a shake in your lunchbox. Beautiful.

9. Homemade Vegetable Soup
This is a bit of a standby lunch for me. Every now and again, I'll buy a ton of veggies, sling them in my slow cooker with whatever odds and sods are in my fridge, vegetable stock and chilli powder and leave it to cook whilst I'm out. I then use my stick blender to blend it all up and just like that you have yummy vegetable soup which is crazy filling and a load healthier than tinned soups. I portion it out into lunch boxes and freeze it for future use. Yummy.

10. Leftover Pizza
If I have Dominos for tea, I am always sure to buy a large size pizza, just so as I can save 3 slices or so for lunch at work the next day. It tastes amazing, and is yet another lunch which always induces lunch envy in your colleagues. That is definitely one to make you look forward to lunch time!

I hope you found this post useful, and if you try any of them do let me know, and if there are some obvious favourites of your own that you think I've missed, do tell me! After 20-odd years of packed lunches, some things do begin to get a little boring.

Rachel xx

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