Ok, it’s not really but why can’t we pretend and just do it anyway! Since my “Brown Bag a Free Trip to Hawaii” post, I’ve been getting a lot of requests of what to put in those bags. Here are a few suggestions that are not only healthy, but very tasty! Bon Appetito!
Brown Bag Lunch
1. Pesto Grilled Chicken Sandwich
-bread choice (french or wheat roll, pita, Italian bread)
-grilled chicken breast (make a few grilled chicken breasts ahead, we will use another in a salad)
-lettuce or sprouts and tomato
-pesto (store bought at Trader Joes or local market)
Put the sandwich together (put a dash of salt and pepper on too) and “Pesto!”, you’ve got a gourmet sandwich! Pack a mini fruit cup with strawberries and apple slices to round off your meal.
2. Not Your Typical Tuna Salad Sandwich
-bread of choice (english muffin for a little twist)
-small can of white tuna packed in water
-light mayo, salt and pepper
- radishes for your crunch and a little spice
-lettuce or sprouts
Mix the tuna and mayo together. Season with salt and pepper. Assemble sandwich with tuna, then radishes and then avocado. Pack baked tortilla chips and salsa as your side and a piece of fruit such as a banana.
3. Chicken and Pesto Pasta Salad
-1 cup uncooked farfalle pasta, spiral or penne pasta
-1 cup cut up grilled chicken breast
-1/2 cup cherry tomatoes
-1 tbsp pitted kalamata olives
-3 tablespoons of pesto (remember you still have some from your sandwich earlier in week)
Mix it all together, add s & p to taste and you have a fresh, gourmet tasting salad. Maybe bring a piece of dark chocolate as your treat today.
4. Chicken Pitas
- mix 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar,1 tsp oil packed sun-dried tomatoes and it’s oil, 1 minced small garlic glove and a dash of salt & pepper. (to your liking)
-then add to above mixture, 2 cups shredded chicken, 1/2 cup chopped fresh tomato, 1/4 cup asiago cheese and 1/4 cup fresh chopped basil (if you want a little kick of heat add a dash of red pepper flakes)
-this is enough for 2-3 pitas. stuff the pitas with the chicken mixture and some greens of your choice such as a nice Italian mix
-you’re not limited to using pita, it works great in a tortilla wrap or any type of bread
-Pack some fresh fruit such as grapes and you have a perfect meal.
A few of the recipes above make more than one serving. Double up and just make 2 or 3 of the recipes for the week. Notice pesto is used twice and chicken 3 times to make it a little easier.
Don’t be surprised if you lost a few lbs by the end of the week. These are very healthy and energy producing meals! Eat and enjoy guilt free.
In case you’re wondering, my favorite is the pesto chicken sandwich. If you don’t have chicken available, substitute turkey from the deli. I try to use wheat bread to be healthy, but once in a while a great Italian roll is soooo good with this recipe!