Using Leftovers to Create a Delicious Brown-Bag Lunch

In case you haven’t heard, FN Dish is participating in Healthy Eats’ Brown-Bag Challenge. The challenge: Bring your lunch to work each weekday for the month of September. We know this isn’t an easy feat, so we’ve asked some of our favorite food bloggers to share their experience and favorite recipes to help keep everyone motivated.

This week, Jenna Reed from The Undercover Cook is getting us through the work-week with her leftover tips.

It has always been my goal to take my lunch to work most days because it is cheaper and healthier than going out. Lately, though, my make-ahead lunches were slipping down the priority list in the evenings and becoming the exception rather than the rule.

That’s why I was so excited to see the Healthy Eats Brown-Bag Challenge. It has been great motivation to get back on track and has helped me be more creative with my lunches. Because, let’s be honest, if I am bored with my brown-bag choices, I am not going to be motivated to stick with this healthy habit.

The secret to my best brown-bag lunches is leftovers. Rather than just packing up last night’s dinner for a re-run at lunch the next day, I like to take my leftovers and make quick combinations to come up with new dishes. Some of my recent leftover combinations have been Chicken-Stuffed Baked Potatoes and Inside-Out Chicken Egg Rolls.

This weekend I made baked chicken one night and roasted sweet potatoes the next. This gave me two great ingredients to make a delicious and easy lunch entree: Chicken and Roasted Sweet Potato Salad. I added a side salad (left over from dinner the night before, of course) so I would get a healthy dose of veggies in there, too.

My tip for making this recipe? Measure the mayonnaise. This recipe doesn’t need much mayo and it is easy to dollop in too much (and too many calories) without even realizing. So take the time and measure.

Chicken and Roasted Sweet Potato Salad
Prep time: 5 minutes
Makes: 1 serving

1/2 cup baked chicken, diced or rough chopped (I used one baked chicken thigh)

1 cup roasted sweet potato cubes, cold

1/2 Gala apple, peeled and chopped (or substitute a preferred apple variety)

1 to 1 1/2 tablespoon mayonnaise (regular or low-fat)
1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 shallot, diced

Place all ingredients in a bowl and toss until well-mixed. Serve and enjoy or place salad into the refrigerator until ready to serve.

What are some of your brown-bag tips?
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