Packed Lunch for Two in Ten Minutes Flat

I try to pack lunches for hubby and myself as much as possible.  Anything that comes out of my kitchen is guaranteed to be cheaper, and most likely healthier, than what we could buy from a restaurant or cafe near work.  Not that we won’t treat ourselves occasionally – but that’s what it would be, a treat.  On a regular day, I’ll throw together our lunches in the morning before we leave for work.  And since we’re out the door by 6:30 a.m. most days, I’ve got to make the lunch preparation snappy.  Here’s how I put together a balanced lunch for two in ten minutes flat:

Step 1: Decide – the night before, if possible, what will be on the menu.  At 6:00 in the morning, I’m not a short-order cook, so most of the time hubby and I have relatively the same thing.  If we’re having sandwiches, we’re having sandwiches – although he’ll get whatever kind of sandwich he wants (from ingredients we have, obviously).  So he may ask for PB&J while I’m having cheese or hummus – and that I can do.  Last night hubby expressed a preference for salad today, so salads it was.

Ingredients and containers laid out and ready to go.

Start the clock running!  10 minutes remaining

Step 2: Start assembling the salads.  Add lettuce to each container (hubby gets the big one; I’m also having one leftover enchilada so I’m just taking a side salad).  Chop salad veggies (we’re having bell pepper, cucumber and tomato, and I’m also having a chopped pear) and add them to the salads.  Hubby gets most of the veggies because the salad is his main course; I just get a few since for me it’s a side.

Look at those tasty fresh salads!

Step 3: Finish off the salads with any final touches.  Today it’s cheddar-jack cheese and dressing (Annie’s Naturals Goddess) for hubby; pasteurized goat cheese for me.

5 minutes down, 5 minutes to go!

Step 4: Clean up the work area – take dishes to the sink and throw out veggie scraps or other garbage.

Lunches laid out and ready to be packed.

Two minute warning!

Step 5: Pack it all up!  Hubby is also getting an apple and I’m getting a pear.  And I have snacks because the baby gets cranky by late afternoon – so I’ve got a YoBaby yogurt (don’t hate) and some cherries to nosh on so I don’t get queasy on the drive home.

Ready for the commute!

Annnnnnnnd… she’s done!

Exactly ten minutes later, here we are all packed up and ready to go off on our day.  (If you’re curious about our lunch containers: hubby’s salad is packed in a glass bowl from Anchor and his lunchbox is actually a free insulated lunch bag I got as part of a packed lunch when I stayed at the Ritz-Carlton for a conference earlier this year.  My salad and enchilada were packed in Snapware – also glass and available at Target – and my lunchbox is from Built and is available at the Container Store and other stores.  My snack bag, which has my cherries and yogurt in it, is from Posh Pouches.)

Happy lunching!

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