Food, Lunch Ideas
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Classic Protein Box

I’m definitely one of those “don’t talk to me until I’ve had my coffee” kind of morning people. Which is to say, I’m not a morning person. AT. ALL. I usually push the limits as to how many times I can hit snooze before getting ready every day. Who’s with me?!

Enter this quick and easy meal prep lunch! It’s inexpensive, has zero added sugar,  and the ingredients are easy to find. And since it doesn’t need to be heated, it also allows me to avoid the dreaded line for the filthy office microwave at lunch time, which I hate almost as much as mornings.

This mix of the classic turkey, cheese, cracker sandwich combo and fresh fruits and veggies is a go-to in our house. I usually throw it together in the morning quickly before running out the door, but it can easily be made the night before , or even meal-prepped for a few days worth on a Sunday. This will only last in the fridge for a few days though, so I would only meal prep for a few days at a time.

We buy all the ingredients Sunday evening, and it’s generally enough to make two lunches for each day of the work week. I’ll make the shopping list with options for one person or two. Feel free to use different brands if you know they have no added sugars, but I’ll list the ones I prefer.

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Shopping List:

  • Smucker’s® Natural Peanut Butter – I’m a creamy girl, but to each their own
  • Hard-boiled eggs – You can pre-make your own, but we just buy the pre-boiled Eggland’s Best® Hard-Cooked Peeled Eggs (1 bag for 1 person, 2 bags for 2 people)
  • Block of Cheese – Dealer’s choice! I prefer a sharp cheddar or something more exotic, but Dan is one of the rare cheese haters, so he only likes mozzarella. Weird, I know! We bought Polly-O brand because it’s cheapest.
  • Hummus – Make your own or buy whichever flavor tickles your fancy. We went with Publix® classic because again, it’s cheapest. See a trend here?
  • Deli meat – The Publix GreenWise® brand Hickory Smoked Turkey flavor does not have added sugar, but most other flavors and brands do. Read carefully!  If you don’t have this product, maybe your store of choice has something similar. Another option I’ve found is Oscar Mayer Natural Slow Roasted Turkey Breast. It does have some added dextrose for preservative purposes, but it’s the next best thing I’ve been able to find on a national scale – 1 package for 1 person, 2 packages for 2 people
  • Nabisco Good Thins crackers – We buy ‘the corn one’. The added sea salt flavor has no sugar, but others do, like most crackers. Matzo crackers are a good choice if you can’t find Good Thins corn crackers.
  • Apples – 3 for 1 person, 5 for 2 people
  • Cucumber- 1
  • Bag of baby carrots
  • Green pepper – 1 for 1 person, 2 for 2 people
  • Berries or melon – whatever is on sale. If berries, we get three packages for 2 people, but you could probably do with 1 or 2 for just 1 person. You’ll only be eating a small portion each day.

If you can afford to, buy organic produce. If not, make sure to wash it well.

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Prep:

  1. Cut up all of the veggies at once and keep them in the fridge to use throughout the week. I cut the green pepper into bite-sized pieces and slice the cucumber into thin slices, just thick enough to hold some hummus.
  2. I wash and cut the apples the night before or morning of, since the apples will start to turn brown over time. But if the color doesn’t bother you, feel free to prep them all ahead of time. If eating melon, I usually buy pre-cut, but if you choose to cut your own, you could get all of that done at once, like the veggies. No need to prep the berries, just give them a good rinse.
  3. Slice the cheese into small squares to fit on your crackers. I cut thin slices and only enough for each of us to have about 6 small squares (about cracker size) of cheese.
  4. Take one slice of turkey breast per person and slice it 3 times vertically and 3 times horizontally until you have 9 little squares of turkey.

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Assembly:

In each lunch container arrange half an apple, 6 carrots, 3 slices of cucumber, 4-5 green pepper pieces, 1 hard-boiled egg, a small handful of berries or melon, 9 squares of turkey, 6 squares of cheese, and about 13 crackers. If you have a little dish for the peanut butter, you can add it as I do below, or just bring it in a small container on the side. It’s for dipping the apple slices. I package the hummus in a small container on the side. It’s for dipping purposes also- I think peppers and cucumbers are kind of boring without it! I bring about 3 tbsp of peanut butter and 3 tbsp of hummus per person.

Now you’re ready to grab and go! This is a great, light lunch that will fill you up without weighing you down for the rest of your day!

Hope you enjoy!

If you make any substitutions or find any new brands of sugar free products to use, please share in the comments below! We’re always looking for new tasty sugar-free products to try.

 

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