This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SimpleSatisfyingSalads #EverydayEffortless #CollectiveBias
Even though I love eating out, taking lunch to work (or making lunch at home when I’m telecommuting) has become a favorite.
Some might say, you know you’re getting older when “Leftovers for lunch!” is exciting, and something to look forward to. I’m not sure I agree with that sentiment, considering awesome dinner makes for supremely awesome reheats—and my kids agree.
In addition to feasting on leftovers, I like to whip together stand alone lunches, too. Meals that balance protein and flavor with all the goodness of salad. Mmm…
One thing I love about salad is that it’s crunchy and fresh and doesn’t leave me dragging all afternoon. One thing I don’t always love about salad is that it doesn’t necessarily travel well, especially if it’s dressed.
Wilted lettuce, anyone? Nope. Nope. Nope.
Know what does hold up well to night-before prep, or several hours in a lunch bag? Spinach!
We’re lucky to have fresh spinach growing on our property, thanks to the high tunnel my sister and her husband built when they lived here and were operating Truffula Seed Produce. They’re gone now, doing cool things with urban farming in New York City, but the high tunnel still exists, and thanks to my master gardener mother, we’re able to enjoy fresh spinach in January.
BUT, even if you don’t have that same “grown your own” luxury, baby spinach is super easy to locate at any grocery store these days. Even organic!
Back to lunch.
If you’re smart, you’ll keep your fridge, freezer and pantry stocked with foods that make meals easier. I’m a big proponent of having a well-stocked pantry, as well as other staples in the kitchen (frozen chicken stock, rice, potatoes, onions, garlic, etc.) to keep mulling over what to cook to a minimum. During the week, when things are nutso busy, it has to be that way.
Tyson® Grilled & Ready Chicken Breast Strips and Wish-Bone® Regular Italian Dressing are two more things that can help make throwing together a lunch and dinner a breeze!
They’re both so versatile. Since the Tyson Grilled & Ready chicken’s fully cooked, it makes quick meal prep a breeze. My son likes it heated up on its own with ketchup, and my daughter likes it thrown into a quesadilla with cheddar cheese and a side of sour cream. (And—bonus!— there are no preservatives. Yay!)
Wish-Bone Italian dressing can be used as…well…salad dressing, but it also acts as a great marinade for chicken, shrimp, roasts, and even grilled veggies!
This Italian caprese pasta salad I made the other day for lunch took all of 15 minutes to throw together, which is basically the time it took for me to cook the pasta from start to finish.
I used these big ziti shaped noodles, but you can really use any type of short pasta you like. Even orzo would be yummy!
I tossed together the cooled pasta, fresh baby spinach and tomatoes, a sliced mozzarella stick (but fresh mozzarella would be SUPER tasty, too—this is what I happened to have in my fridge), freshly diced basil, a few diced Tyson Grilled & Ready chicken strips, and 1/4 cup of Wish-Bone Italian dressing.
The terrific thing about this salad, is that you could make a BIG batch of it, and then portion it out for easy work lunches throughout the week. The spinach will stay fresh and not wilty, and the dressing will give the pasta an even more robust full taste the longer it sits, since it’s full of herbs, seasonings and other zesty flavors. Mmm…
Another idea? Make a big batch to serve on game day—a healthier option for those who might not want to gorge on cheese dip and wings (though…that’d be hard to pass up).
What’s your favorite simple weekday lunch?
Keep leftovers refrigerated!
Be sure to check out the Game Day Recipe Guide from Walmart and Tyson, and also other Wish-Bone recipe options, here. I found Tyson Grilled & Ready and Wish-Bone Italian Dressing at my local Walmart in Frederick, Md., and you can too—in the salad dressing and freezer isles! Be on the lookout for these two in-store coupons while you’re shopping:
Keep leftovers refrigerated!
- Tyson coupons will be placed on Wishbone Italian Dressing bottles: “Save $.75 on ANY ONE (1) Tyson® Grilled & Ready Chicken.”
- Wish-Bone coupons will be placed on Tyson Frozen & Refrigerated Grilled & Ready products: “Save $.75 on ANY ONE (1) Wish-Bone Salad Dressing.”
This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.