Healthy and Affordable Workweek Lunches!

Daily inspiration and advice for the ambitious savvy young professional
 Healthy and Affordable Workweek Lunches! blog image

Healthy and Affordable Workweek Lunches!

This blog post was written by Jade Carmosino, our Indiana University Campus Ambassador.

It is officially Summer 2015 and us older college students have just begun to realize that the definition of summer has changed. We worked our butts off to get these sought after internships and now, instead of hanging out at the pool and doing the occasional babysitting, we are getting used to the 9 to 5 lifestyle. Trust me, I know its rough. But you know what doesn’t have to be so hard? Planning some easy lunches that will power you through that lunch break and not break the bank. Here are three of my personal favorite staples whose different combinations are sure to make your stomachs (and wallets) happy!

1. Cold Cuts on Cold Cuts on Cold Cuts I think that when most people think of cold cuts, they think of the basic lunches that Mom used to make for them in grade school. But, as I’ve so recently learned, there are tons of varieties and recipes that us older kids can definitely get behind. Not only can you get cold cuts in ¼ and ½ of a pound so you don’t waste anything, but there are now incredible variations to choose from. Instead of the typical ham or bologna, try some more adult tastes such as buffalo chicken, peppered salami, or Siracha-roasted turkey. These tastes are more mature and they also add some much-needed flavor to a simple salad or sandwich. If they’re on a salad, make sure to pair your shredded cold cuts with some yummy cheese, like provolone or Swiss, and a variety of veggies. If they’re on a wrap, bread, pita, focaccia, roll, etc. make sure to grab a flavored mayo or oil to spice it up. Or, my personal favorite, you can make “roll-ups” and completely eliminate the bread all together. Talk about easy!

2. A Modern Twist on the Classic Pasta Salad. We all know how delicious a mayo covered, classic deli style, not-so-good-for-you pasta salad can be. But, being the responsible interns we are, we know that there’s an easy way to alter that recipe so our minds and bodies thank us. Replace the macaroni pasta with some easily found whole wheat or brown rice pasta. Not only are those better for you, but also they now make them so that you can barely tell the difference! Next, take out that mayo and replace it with some olive or avocado oil and some spices. The oil is lighter, and when used in the correct portions, can actually be beneficial in preventing cardiovascular diseases and strokes. How awesome is that. The final step is to use more vegetables then just the typical cabbage and carrot. My favorites include zucchini ribbons, cucumber slices, and broccoli. Don’t forget to add some protein like chicken or tofu if you’re feelin it!

3. The Chicken That Can Feed you for a Week. I thank my Mom for teaching me all of the wonderful things you can do with a Rotisserie chicken. A typical Rotisserie chicken like the one above goes for about $5 to $8 depending on the weight of the bird and grocery store. This is a HUGE bargain considering how much you can do with it. Stick it in the fridge when you get it and use it all week long. First off, you can separate the wings, add your favorite sauce, and have homemade chicken wings made within minutes. You can also slice off pieces of white meat in the breast area and use it for salads and sandwiches (my favorite is chicken, apple, and melted Swiss). Keep using the big chunks of meat until it looks like your knife can’t cut any more. This is where your hands come in to make the best chicken salad you’ve ever had. Pull off all of the meat from the bones that you can and place it in a bowl. Mix in a light mayo and add all the fixings. Some of my favorites include a classic celery/carrot combo or the more out-of-the-box grapes and walnuts. Regardless of what you choose to do, just one chicken can seriously last you for 5 or more lunches!

Happy Lunching!