DIY An Exciting Brown Bag Lunch

Almost everyone knows that bringing a lunch from home, even a few times a week, can reduce your carbon footprint and equal big savings on your weekly food budget.  But it’s sooo boring!  And a bologna sandwich–ewwwwwwww!  So change your attitude about totables, and DIY an exciting brown bag lunch.

Today’s homemade lunch is interesting, healthy, sustainable and budget-friendly.  Whether you enjoy your lunch in the park, at your desk or in the company break room, below are a few suggestions to get you thinking outside the bag.

Get Bowled Over.  If you like a hot lunch, the bowl lunch–whether it’s base is rice, quinoaspaghetti squash or even pasta– is just right. Put all your ingredients in a resealable bowl and go! The great thing about a bowl is that everything is prepared ahead of time, and can include anything you want: mushrooms, green beans, onions, peppers, bean sprouts, and any kind of protein you like (or not!) Add your favorites and reheat just before you eat.


•Asian by adding teriyaki or soy sauce.

•American by adding cheese.

•Mexican by adding beans and salsa.

Real Men (And Women) Do Eat Quiche. Quiche is a great lunch choice.  It meets all the essential sack-lunch criteria:  it’s portable, easy to make and tastes good hot, cold or even at room temp.  Plus, if you make it in muffin tins, you don’t even need a fork!  Traditional quiche is made with ham and swiss cheese, but you can make a quiche out of almost anything.


•mushroom and swiss

•broccoli and cheddar

•cooked chicken and pepper jack.

•Find great quiche recipes here.

And speaking of salads… If salad is your style, skip the lettuce!


•Fresh spinach with sliced pears, blue cheese and toasted pecans

•Sliced tomatoes, cucumbers and onion with a splash of EVOO and vinegar.

•Sliced red and green peppers, squash, zucchini or broccoli served with hummus for dipping.

Don’t Let The Clock Tie You Down.  Lunch doesn’t have to be a structured meal, eaten at a certain time.  If you want to get outside and go for a walk, or if you have errands to run, take your brown bag with you.


•Small cuts of hard cheeses with whole wheat crackers or mini pita pockets.

•Nuts or trail mix

•Yogurt, cottage cheese or peanut butter with fruit.  Apples and oranges are lunch bag staples, but why not try something more exciting like strawberries, mango, pineapple, melon, or pears.

Packing a lunch doesn’t have to be boring.  With a little creativity you can have a healthy, delicious lunch that will keep you satisfied for the rest of the day.

Our Wild Oats bloggers are partners who love to share their passion and knowledge about better living! While we compensate them for being a part of this vibrant community, their views and opinions are their own and do not signify Wild Oats' opinions, endorsement or recommendations. Wild Oats reserves the right to moderate and remove comments that are off-topic or inappropriate, so please help us keep this community clean, fun and valuable!

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