No Fridge, No Microwave, No Problem!

Last week I was asked for some lunch ideas to bring to work that did not require a microwave or a fridge. At first I thought, what the what?! How does one function without these modern day marvels?? But after I thought about it for a bit, I realized this is actually pretty common, especially if you work for a small or family owned business.

So with the help of some ice packs and an igloo cooler, here are 5 super-easy-but-still-delish-not-heated lunch ideas! 

1. Chicken Salad

Container 1: Lettuce of your choice, shredded carrots, tomato, and celery

Container 2: Cubed chicken 

Container 3: Olive oil (and basalmic vinagar if desired) with salt, pepper, oregano

Notes: I've found that separating these items helps to keep everything fresh tasting.  

Sides: Banana


2. Ground Turkey Fiesta Bowl

Container 1: Brown rice, pinto or black beans, diced onion, ground turkey

Container 2: Salsa of your choice

Container 3: 1/4 of an avocado

Notes: Mix together and enjoy! Avocado is high maintenance and travels better alone. 

Sides: Blue corn chips

3. Chicken, Chickpea and Quinoa Bowl

Container 1: Cubed chicken, chickpeas, white quinoa, black olives

Container 2: Hummus

Container 3: Feta (optional)

Notes: Mix in hummus and feta and enjoy!

Sides: Grapes

4. Turkey Sandwich

Container 1: Sandwich "base" of bread, lettuce, and turkey (look for no added nitrates)

Container 2: Tomato and/or other toppings (avocado, cheese, olives)

Container 3: Spread, my favs are spicy mustard or olive and vinegar 

Notes: Building the sandwich when you are ready to eat it keeps it from getting soggy. 

Sides: Jackson's Honest chips

5. Veggies with Pasta 

Container 1: Brown rice pasta (cooked), squash, tomato, broccoli (sautee in pan for 6 min)

Container 2: Olive or macadamia nut oil 

Container 3: Red pepper flakes

Notes: Can add chicken, also best to add a little oil to pasta after cooking

Sides:  Rice cakes

Since you have an ice-pack and cooler, you might as well toss in some afternoon munchies! 

1. Apple sauce

I like to buy the big jars and just portion out a serving. 

2. Carrot / Pepper / Celery sticks with hummus

Oldie but a goodie, sometimes you just need something to crunch at your desk. 

3. Greek yogurt

Add a little honey or stevia packet to sweeten it up a bit. 

4. Almond milk / Cereal

Be sure to look at ingredients, especially for added sugars or artificial flavors, but my favs are Cheerios and Mini Wheats (unsweetened). 

5. Sliced apples / Oranges 

I like to slice my fruit because it makes it easier to eat (I know, kinda princess-like), but it also makes it more desk friendly!

I'd highly recommend prepping chicken, turkey or ground beef, and rice or quinoa (or both) on Sunday. It will really only take you an hour or less, especially once you do it enough to get really good and don't have to think about it. Planning ahead is key, and if you don't have these things already prepped and ready to toss into a to-go container, it will be infinitely harder to be consistent. So do yourself a favor, and dedicate some time on Sunday towards setting up your week right.