Lunch Lately

As I’ve mentioned, um, almost every time I’ve blogged this month, work has gotten crazy busy. Generally it just means that I’m always busy, and that my desk looks like this:

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However, it also means that I can’t take long leisurely lunches. I am the only assistant, as well as the receptionist in my office, which often means that when I’m not there and something needs to be done, or the phone’s ringing, or there’s a FedEx guy coming with an important package…sh*t gets cray cray.

There’s not lots of time to walk (or bike) home, whip up something for lunch, clean up and come back in less than an hour. I’ve also been trying to keep to my 3x per week workouts, which usually means lunch happens afterwards at my desk.

So here’s how I solve the problem of “I don’t have much time + I want to be healthy + I’m kind of cheap and don’t want to eat out”:

My most common lunch is leftovers, or whatever dish I made a big pot of on Sunday for lunches the following week. Usually this involves beans or, in the summer, some kind of grain like quinoa that is good to eat cold.

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  • This week: chipotle stout chili. Inspired by a Beeroness recipe, it has a healthy amount of chipotle, Stout beer, and even quinoa! Lots of protein and fiber in this one.

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  • An experiment involving lentils and chipotles (I am on a chipotle kick lately!) – it wasn’t blogworthy, but it served its purpose as lunch for a few days.

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  • Soup soup soup. This one was from a recent trip to my parents’ house…you know, one of those trips that ends with Mom rummaging through the fridge and saying, “Here, take this! I bought too much hummus at Costco! Have some soup!” Her Carrot Ginger soup is the best. In fact, the lunch I packed today includes some leftover turkey meatloaf she sent me home with last night! I added a side of broccoli…. for health ;)
  • As pictured, I also eat a lot of Wheat Thins. We’re running low on snacks in our office pantry, but Wheat Thins are always in stock. Not ideal, but they do the job!

Speaking of soup… I eat a LOT of soup cups. It started when I had a broken hand and couldn’t make much of anything else for lunch. There are a few brands that have pretty good nutritional stats, and many are less than $2 each. Score.

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  • This was actually a picture I sent to T-Man to show him my firm’s new coffee cups (lol) but my favorite brand of soup cup is making a small appearance. McDougalls is probably the most filling one you’ll find (at about 340 calories and 15+g of fiber for their Split Pea/Black Bean varieties), the ingredients are good, and the flavor doesn’t disappoint.

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  • Eating Right is a new brand I spotted on sale at the grocery store this weekend. They are pretty good on keeping the scary ingredients to a minimum, and the first cup I tried on Monday was pretty tasty. They’re only 180-190 calories, but that means they leave me a little hungry. (Wheat Thins to the rescue!)

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A closer look

Another good quick lunch is microwave burritos. The good brands (like Amy’s Organic) tend to be more expensive than soup cups, at $3 each, so I don’t get them often. Yes, I realize I base my grocery shopping decisions on the basis of $1 difference…yes, I might be cheap. At least I can admit I have a problem :)

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  • This puppy (from evol foods) has been waiting in our office freezer as a back-up lunch in case I ever forget or don’t have time to plan out a lunch. I was pretty intrigued by the idea of a spinach and tofu burrito, haha.

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Pretty good nutritional stats, too!

And since we’re on the subject of pictures of food I eat at the office, here’s my most common breakfast and one that I don’t have as often, but am trying to work into my weekly routine:

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  • Greek Yogurt (I buy whatever brand is on sale, but Oikos is my favorite!) + a Fiber One 90 calorie brownie. I eat this at least 3 days per week, and I love it. My beef with greek yogurt is that it has zero fiber…so pairing it with a Fiber One brownie is the perfect answer, as each one has 5g of fiber! AND THEY’RE DELICIOUS! I won a box in a giveaway from Christina at Hungry Meets Healthy, and I’ve been buying them regularly ever since.

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  • Smoothies. I’m really trying to make smoothies happen, you guys. I have a blender, and T-Man has a blender, and I almost always have frozen bananas & fruit on hand…But they don’t keep me full very long. Also, we both have roommates, and whenever I plan to make a smoothie in the morning, one always seems to be asleep or on a work conference call and I’d hate to run the noisy blender. The above smoothie was pretty good though: frozen banana, blueberries, juice/zest of an orange, and a dollop of peanut butter.

What is your favorite quick n’ easy lunch?

Do you ever choose price over flavor?

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9 thoughts on “Lunch Lately

  1. OMG katie I do almost all of the things you mention! From eating leftovers to lunch to choosing between 2 items to buy I will go with the cheaper one (even if its $1). I really like the eating right brand’s soups, too! The black bean is a fave of mine! You are crazy busy, but it seems like you have eating healthy under controlll! Do you workout during your lunch hour?

    • Hahaha, glad to know I’m not alone! I have only tried the Split Pea so far and it was really good!

      Yep I work out at lunch! My office building has a gym (with ellipticals, treadmills, & like 6 weight machines) and the perimeter around the State Capitol is about 1.1 miles so I’ll run around it 2-3 times (ok usually 2 lol) and still have time to freshen up before heading back!

  2. I wish I could eat out for lunch every single day. It is far and away my favorite meal of the day, and it makes me sad that I can’t eat fun things during lunchtime. Those soups look super easy. I’ve never even thought of those as a lunch option! Definitely checking them out the next time I hit up the grocery store.

    • It’s so tempting to eat out all the time, there are so many places in my ‘hood by the Capitol!

      The soup cups are especially easy since we have a hot water dispenser in the office! I frickin’ love that our water cooler has that.

  3. Intrigued by all of these soups… hmmm I need to possibly look into those! You should DEFINITELY put your greek yogurt INTO your smoothie! Fills you up for a while :)

  4. My go-to lately has been to buy salad greens at the store and quarter of a rotisserie chicken. Shred chicken, place on greens, top with whatever other vegetables, nuts, seeds, fruit you have in the kitchen.

    I’m totally checking out that Chipolte Stout Chili by the way.

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