Chicken Salad – Packing Lunch To Work

Chicken salad

You want to eat healthy while at work but how do you do it when the cafeteria lunch is less than appetizing? Order in, then. With a growing client base, salad and juice places are delivering super healthy lunches to offices. But spending 300 bucks (rupees, of course) upwards on salads everyday gives my wallet an acid reflux. Packing lunch to work sounds like a lot of work. Is it really a lot of work? I’ve started packing my own salad lunches to work and here’s how I keep it simple and stress free and inexpensive.

Chicken salad

I’m no expert on salads and I’m not a nutritionist either. I thought of all the veggies that can go in a salad without making it soggy by the time it’s lunch and not be a stretch on my budget.

  • Bell peppers/capsicum – this one is high on vitamin C (yes, I Googled it), low on calories (35-40 calories a pop is great) and of course, cheap (not like potato cheap, but still).
  • Carrots – I grew up hating raw carrots despite threats from elders saying I’d go blind if I don’t eat them (still not a fan). But when cut into lots of thin strips are great to make salads more filling. You get more of the vitamin C stuff and fibre from this one.
  • Apple – I add one fruit with some crunch in it and that is mildly sweet to balance out the tart vinaigrette (and it’s a good distraction from the carrot). Green, red, Fuji, any kind will do. Not an apple fan? Try a pear or even pineapple chunks.
  • Cucumber – It’s cooling and refreshing. Almost like drinking a glassful of water. It adds a great crunch to salads and is probably the cheapest veggie you can load up on. Besides being a source for vitamin K, they’re good for your nails.
  • Greens – I got a salad leaves bag for Rs 100. It has a mix of lettuce, rocket, baby spinach and some basil. You can get them all separately but will cost you more. Or just go for lettuce and be done with it. These greens┬áhave iron, calcium, vitamin K and lot of other stuff (Google it!) that’s good for you.
  • Onions – This one’s probably a staple at most homes and in most salads. Even Indian restaurants give you a side of sliced onions and cucumbers and call it a salad.

Chicken saladI’d mix and match with these veggies and change the main ingredient of the salad. The one I packed today, for instance, has chicken. I simple got boneless thigh pieces of chicken and tossed them in a mixture of soy, hoisin, paprika and garlic. Then it went into a preheated oven at 190 degrees C for 15 mins. That’s my main ingredient for today’s salad.

Dressing options:

Mustard sauce – 2 tsp

Honey – 1 tsp

Lemon juice/vinegar – 2 tsp

Olive oil – 3 tbsp (get the good kind else it’ll have a bad aftertaste)

Dried herbs – 1 tsp

Salt


Apple/Orange juice – 3 tbsp

Lemon juice – 1 tsp

Mustard sauce – 2 tsp

Olive oil – 1 tbsp

Dried herbs – 1 tsp

Salt


Whisked curd – 3 tbsp

Mustard sauce – 2 tsp

Honey – 1 tsp

Lemon juice – 2 tsp

Pepper – a pinch

Dried herbs – 1 tsp

Salt

If making the dressing is too much to do, just get the bottled stuff from the supermarket *shrugs*.

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