It’s my favorite season: fall! The temperatures are dropping and our lifestyle switches to all things comfy and cozy. This includes our food choices. When we start thinking about food as summer turns to fall we switch from iced coffee to hot, salads to soups, and outdoor grilled dinners to cozy crock pot recipes. Today, I want to give you a few ideas and tips for transitioning your lunches into the cozy, cooler weather. These are the changes that I typically make when it comes to lunches during the colder months.
1. Use dinner leftovers for ready-made lunches. It’s so easy to make a little extra at dinner and pop the leftovers into meal prep containers. Then you can simply reheat at lunch time for a warm, satisfying lunch in minutes.
2. Soups! Whether you decide to make soup from scratch and store it for later or use some store-bought soup, this is a great way to stay warm in the afternoon. One of my favorite pre-made soups is the creamy tomato soup in a box from Trader Joe’s. It’s one of the tastiest soups I found, it’s super soul warming, and added bonus: it’s only 110 cal per cup. You can always add things like crackers or cheese to your soup to bulk it up a little bit more.
3. Breakfast for lunch. This might be less practical if you work out of the home, but for me I have found that making scrambled eggs and toast for lunch has been a really delicious way to get plenty of protein and stay warm in the afternoon. I do this most often on days where my breakfast consists of a cup of coffee and a protein bar of some kind so I don’t end up doubling up on my eggs, but if you haven’t had eggs for breakfast you could definitely consider prepping some egg sandwiches or something similar to have for lunch instead.
4. Hot sandwiches. OK, I’m about to give you a pro tip that’s going to blow your mind and change your life. You can put your sandwiches in the air fryer. Yep! I shared this on social media last year and it blew up. One day I had leftover Quiznos for lunch. For those of you that don’t know what Quiznos is, it is a sandwich that is always warm and toasted, so I wanted to re-create that for my leftovers. I decided to try putting the sandwich in the air fryer and the results were nothing short of mind blowing. It took my leftover sandwich and made it taste like it was fresh from the shop. After that, I knew I had to try with a homemade sandwich, and sure enough the results were the same. Toasted, crispy bread, warm and melted cheese, and a sandwich that went from cold and regular to warm and comforting, all because of a few minutes in the air fryer. Trust me, this is a lunch hack you’re going to want to try.
Of course, changing your lunch routine with the seasons is a decision that is completely unique to each and everyone of us. There are still days that I will have cold salads or cold sandwiches, and occasionally even a smoothie, but I know as the weather gets cold, I’m more likely to want food that warms me up. For whatever reason I find that warm food keeps me satisfied and fuller longer, which positively impacts my ability to stay on plan. I would love to hear if you have any fall lunch tips and tricks. Do you have favorite recipes that you love to make this time of year?