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The Whole Deal Pack-a-Lunch Contest

Tell us what’s for lunch and you might win a $50 gift card. You know packing lunch is worth it. It saves you money vs. eating out and lets you know exactly what is going into your meal—and your body. But when is lunch worth $50? When you win $50 just for your concept of lunch! Whether you’re packing your own lunch or packing one for someone else, no doubt you’re always looking for fresh ideas to make it both tasty and healthy. Throw your favorite lunch concept into the mix below and see what you get back. It might be great ideas from other readers. And it might be a $50 gift card! We’re truly looking for both tasty and healthy, so be sure your lunch idea includes a protein, a whole grain and at least one serving each of fruits and vegetables. We’ll choose 5 winners—one for each weekday—at random from all entries that meet those guidelines and are submitted by September 30, 2010. So, tell us…what’s for lunch? We’re hungry!

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2426 comments

Comments

Wendy Nissen says …

One of my favorite lunches is whole wheat cous-cous with grilled veggies and salmon mixed in. For desert an apple dipped in almond butter. YUM

Carolyn Shepherd says …

Grilled cheese on whole wheat Horizon yogurt tubers Apple slices baby carrots

Susan Harrington says …

I like to take a sandwich like turkey on whole wheat bread with lettuce and tomato packed separatley. Usually I will put a spoonful of chutney in with lettuce and tomato. Frozen mixed vegtables with a splash of homemade italian dressing and some frozen fruit keep everything cool until lunch even without access to a fridge. I put chutney on my snadwich to satisfy the 5th taste, umame, which helps to make a lighter meal more satisfying

Heather says …

A sandwich made from home made Gluten Free Sandwich bread, dijon mustard, a slice of colby jack cheese, organic sliced chicken breast, and baby spinach along with a fresh crisp apple.

Miko in Metairie says …

I work 12 hour shifts (6a-6p) for a small police department. It might sound like a lot but I consume this for breakfast, lunch and snacks. I pack this way for the day, because I _refuse_ to eat fast food everyday like most of my "fellows." I try to pack stuff that doesn't have to stay cold to be safe 'cause in Louisiana heat, no small ice chest stays totally cold for that long. I go for whole wheat/grainy bread with almond butter and fruit spread or occasionally whipped honey spread. In "baby bowls" for portion control I pack a serving of pretzels, 2 oatmeal cookies, a serving of mixed nuts roasted, lightly salted, a luna/cliff bar type thing-usually breakfast, and a quart of both water and vitamin water or something close.

Jennifer Rosen Heinz says …

diced jicama, avocado and mango with a squeeze of lime, leftover salmon from the night before on top of zucchini couscous from the night before.

John Nesbitt says …

I usually go with white meat chicken salad sandwich. I put green peas and celery in the salad, then usually have it on whole wheat bread. And a small red (delicious usually) apple. Then iced tea or ice water. That's all I need.

Ardis Bartle says …

Sliced tomatos lightly salted with olive oil and spinach and roasted red peppers as a salad. A sandwich of turkey, mayo and sliced pickles.

Jenna says …

Gazpacho soup with flaxseed flatbread crackers, honeydew with fresh berries, and lime sparkling water.

Nicole says …

I LOVE to pack my own lunch for school! It's cheaper and healthier. You can make it fun by getting a fun lunch bag. Ezekiel's cinnamon raisin bread w/ golden farms black forest turkey and cheese apple or baby carrots w/ peanut butter

Teresa says …

I really enjoy this grilled sandwich: 2 slices sourdough or italian bread sliced provolone sliced turkey pasta sauce Serve with red grapes and cucumber spears. I love the textures of this lunch as well as the sweet and saltiness.

Dana says …

Here's my lunch (all organic, as possible): * Red chili tortilla * Colorful salad: chiffonade dino kale (steamed), sliced red bell pepper, finely chopped Walla Walla or red onions, tossed with olive oil, garlic, salt, and lemon juice. * Hard-boiled egg or 2 slices turkey * Handful of cherries or a small apple * Square or two of dark chocolate

Karen J says …

I love to share lunch with friends that I haven't seen in a while. Once a month we break from work and meet at a park to catch up. My favorite lunch is a turkey bagel sandwich and apple salad! I always bring extra, because that goes FAST! Turkey Bagel Sandwich: Whole Wheat bagel, sliced lengthwise Mayonnaise and mustard Smoked turkey slices Sliced tomatoes Fresh Spinach leaves Swiss Cheese Toast bread, let cool slightly. Spread bottom bagel with mayonnaise and mustard, place slices of turkey, tomatoes, spinach leaves and swiss cheese over. Place top bagel on top. Wrap in waxed paper and foil. Place in lunch bag with a freeze pack. (Feel free to add sliced red onions or any other fresh vegie you like!) Apple Salad: One apple, cored and diced 1 snack box dried raisins 1/2 cup green and purple grapes, sliced lengthwise fresh lemon juice Place first three ingredients in bowl. Spray with lemon juice. Place top on bowl and place in lunch bag with freeze pack.

Michele V says …

Hummus on whole wheat bread, topped with spinach, red onion, cucumber, tomato and a dab of whole grain mustard (it gives the sandwich a unique kick!). I would pack a refreshing bean salad for a nice contrast to the rich hummus, a few slices of Tofurky deli meat for extra protein, and a handful of dark chocolate covered almonds for dessert.

Mary Jane Tait says …

One of my favorite lunches when I was a kid was a thermos full of hot lentil or vegetable soup and my mom used to put a hot dog into the soup in the morning and then send me an empty bun and all the fixings so I could get my hot dog out at lunch and it was hot and ready to serve along my thermos of soup. Usually there was a scored and sliced orange and homemade cookies to share as well. To me it just symbolized a great deal of love and we have made it with vegetarian hotdogs since adulthood and is still very tasty.I would now add some Marys Gone Crackers flaxseed crackers with the lentil soup. Can't beat it!

Kathleen says …

My daughter loves grilled cheese, fruit (preferably mango) and carrots... with a water bottle!

Jenn says …

I like to make a smashed chickpea salad with chopped onion, red pepper, fresh dill, chopped pickle, lemon juice, and olive oil. You can pretty much add anything you want to it. Then put it on whole grain bread with some veganaise, avocado, and sprouts. Sooo good! A raw mock tuna salad made with soaked raw sunflower seeds in a food processor with some lemon juice, olive oil, pickles, dill, and onion works really good in a sandwich too. Just add some sliced veggies or fruit to your lunch and you are good to go!

Lynn Bailey says …

My favorite lunch is...Crispy tostada shell, with whole pinto beans, jalapeños, shredded pepper jack cheese, diced tomatoes, shredded lettuce or cabbage, avocado slices and hot sauce....fresh grapes on the side

Sandra Hartung says …

Hummus and crackers.string cheese and an apple.

leslie says …

Cottage Cheese with cut up fruit - (peaches/blueberries/raspberries) Tuna salad stuffed pita - zapps cajun chips

Sue Mann says …

Baby spinach with avocado and goat cheese drizzled with fig vinegar, topped with chopped walnuts. Whole grain crackers on the side, and a side of cantaloupe chunks.

Moni Food says …

I love Korean Beef Wraps: thin slices of beef cooked with a shot of soy sauce and spice, wrapped with other vegetables (tomatoes, radish, fermented soy beans) in lettuce. I like to accompany this with white rice and seaweed, with fresh fruit for dessert.

Chelsy Ehthidge says …

I bring a tuna salad made with sweet relish, nonfat greek yogurt, and a dab of spicy dijon mustard. I usually pair it with some salty Ritz cracker! Yum!

Suzanne Mate says …

Taste this! Spaghetti squash "sauced up" in pesto (made with walnuts and hints of lemon)with cubes of grilled chicken breast mixed in. On the side, balsamic marinated red peppers, tomatoes and cucumbers tossed with Lundberg Black Japonica rice mix. For dessert, farm-fresh blackberries to celebrate the August harvest. Another gluten and dairy free lunch...I will have to try the lunch posted by Evan Thomas.

Gordon von Hollen says …

My lunch made very quickly in home made vegetarian sushi rolls

Elizabeth Gilchrist says …

I have found it hard to cook for just one person and still hit all the main food groups, but recently I have been digging my made up quinoa salad. I make quinoa, then saute a can of organic black beans, some red onion, corn off the cob, and spinach. I mix it all together with some salt, pepper, some lime juice and top it off with some cut up avocado. It is so easy and delicious! This salad is packed with protein, fiber, healthy fats and yummy flavor to get you through the day!

Terrill Espsito says …

pack a variety...crunchy, salty, sweet, dry, moist, fun and serious. Let the kids assemble a sandwich or pick! I am a picker so love the choices. Whole grain bread, crackers, cheese, prosciutto/ham, carrots, jicama (with lime), apricots, apple slices or cubes, hummus, what fun!

Jessica Groth says …

I love a sandwich made with a crusty baguette, thinly sliced granny smith apples, thin-sliced provolone, spinach and pesto mayo. Add a side of tabouleh salad (fresh parsley, mint, cucumbers, olive oil, lemon juice, cracked pepper…I skip the tomatoes) and a fresh peach and I am in summery lunch paradise!

Ann Williams says …

I pack a lunch for both my sons for camp. I pack them a water bottle with ice cubes so it keeps everything else cold. 1 sandwich on whole wheat. 1 boy likes organic american cheese and the other boy likes strawberry preserves. A fruit: which is either an apple whole or if I'm in a hurry it will be a squeezable fruit or fruit leather then usually a little bag of something like pretzels, raisins then maybe a cheese stick or yogurt squeezer.

Sara Henderson says …

Sliced turkey breast on dense grainy or wheat bread with a smear of brie or soft blue cheese and just enoguh pear jam or chutney to bring it all together. Add a little arugula or spinach for a nice fresh bite if you like.

Meaghan Kinser says …

I packed a corned beef sandwich on rye bread with low fat swiss cheese, home grown grape tomatoes, watermelon, and wheat thins with low fat chedder cheese slices and water to drink.

Mary says …

I like to make wraps with whole wheat tortilla, spread with pesto and then layered with turkey, provolone cheese and fresh spinach. I also cut up fruit for my dessert--depends on what's in season--peaches and blueberries are a favorite combo

MARIA says …

Lunch for my 5 year old are: (examples/ 1. CHicken nuggest ( from Whole foods) plus little pieces of Cucumber plus Strawberries + milk!!! 2. Lentils mix with rice + mango slices ( or any other fruit) + milk.

Andrea says …

Oven-roasted turkey slices, light swiss laughing cow spread, and green apple slices on whole wheat bread (Grilled on my Griller, Jr. panini press) with Kashi 7-grain crackers and Whole Foods' Sweet Red Pepper Hummus Dip. For a mini-dessert? Most likely it's a handful of blueberries and strawberries topped with a small amount of Soyatoo whipped topping and a sprinkling of almonds!

april mcelhone says …

For two of my four kiddos this lunch is a hit. Our "Monkey tail sandwich" To make it I take a whole wheat hot dog bun spread the insides with fresh ground peanut butter from the bulk foods area(but you could use whatever kind your family likes). Slice a whole banana to make it fit on the bun just right and add the toppings of your choice jams, toasted nuts, or dried fruits. I always pair their main course with veggies, fruit, dairy, something crunchy(chips, pitas, crackers, popcorn...) and something sweet. They get water or milk to drink all packed in reusable containers with a cloth napkin.

Lynnette says …

2 slices whole wheat walnut bread+365 brand whole cranberry sauce+3-4 slices turkey=sweet, salty, crunchy, delicious, nutritious sandwich

Joyce Schwartz says …

My son loves it when I take a flour tortilla shell, spread it with peanut butter, put a banana in the middle (peeled, of couse) and wrap the whole thing up. Then cut it in half on the diagonal. Good looking, delicious and nutritious!

Ana says …

This is lunch, whole wheat tortilla, a generous spread of organic refried beans topped with chunks of avocado,thin slices of purple onions, tomatoes and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil all wrapped in the tortilla.A bottle of passion fruit juice to quench my thirst, and slices of fresh mango to finish it of.

Christine Magnan says …

I like Salade Niçoise - tuna in water, a hardboiled egg, cold green beans, small red potatoes, black olives (not canned), and lots of other cold vegetables I may have on hand. Dressing is red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, olive oil and plenty of garlic. Great served on a bed of lettuce at room temperature or even better served cold on a hot summer day! Bon Appetit!

Kim Carlson says …

My celiac son gets bored easily with the gluten-free lunch choices, but one I can count on comes from the deli. He loves it when I send dolma, feta cheese with Mary's Gone Crackers, kalamata olives, and cherry tomatoes. Seedless red grapes make a great ending. The best part is it doesn't spoil easily in the lunchbox!

Ruzanna Barczynski says …

Caramelize sliced sweet onion, add cubed butternut squash, salt, pepper, pitted prunes, cranberries and raisins add some water and cook until squash is tender. Serve over brown rice. You also could add some chicken breast when caramelizing onion. This Armenian recipe from former Soviet Union. Delicious and very healthy meal!!!

Kate Lawn says …

Um, how about a baguette spread with ricotta cheese, sliced fresh peaches and a little smackerel of honey? (I keep the peach separate until it's time to eat it) For a side in the summer, I like kale-avocado rolls; take a leaf of raw kale, wrap it around half a date and a slice of avocado. Mmmm mmm! I personally like a little salty with my sweet, so I'll throw in a couple of Kettle chips to round it out.

Ben Roberts says …

Just today, I threw together a quick faux-chicken salad of some simple mashed up tofu, spices, and vegan mayo, spread between some toasted whole wheat bread with whole grain mustard and topped with lettuce and a thick slice of tomato. I served it with some carrot-apple salad I made up for the week. Light and easy! Some days I just like a nice stack of veggie-turkey, goat cheese on top in place of the chicken salad.

Hope says …

I just discovered sunflower sprouts...I would take a chopped salad with chopped provencal deli turkey, sunflower sprouts, grape tomatoes, orange bell pepper, fresh corn, avocado...maybe some fresh herbs...or if I'm indulgent some fresh mozzarella or applewood smoked bacon. Add a bit of fragrant olive oil and sea salt, or mix with a couple tablespoons of tzatziki and eat with flatbread. Add some watermelon and Cultural Revolution peach yogurt on the side and you've got a great meal! (Don't forget the blackcurrant iced tea!)

Rebecca says …

Whole Foods frozen brown rice Whole Foods frozen veggie medley Chicken breast strips terriyaki and hoisin sauce to taste put all ingredients into a microwave-safe container and heat when ready to eat lunch! Finish meal off with a piece of fresh fruit for desert!

Julie Didion says …

Smoked salmon on Seduction Bread with mayo and spinach, carrots + hummus, a peach, and one square of dark chocolate (for the antioxidants of course ;))

mina says …

Natural peanut butter on whole grain bread with an apple on the side and some carrots with hummus.

Kelli Snyder says …

For lunch i like to lightly saute (the night before) Squash,Eggplant, Zucchini,mushrooms, onion, and garlic in olive oil. In the morning i grab my bowl of veggies, a pita pocket or two, and pine nut hummus. At lunch-time, i heat the veggies, spread a thick layer of hummus inside the pita, and fill the pita with the hot veggies. Such a delicious sandwich!! Pair that with a fresh SC peach...heaven for 20 minutes. Then, back to work.

Kimberley Fuller says …

Baby Spinach, sliced red onions, red pepper, topped with 2 fried eggs, drizzled with olive oil, salt, pepper, and shaved parmesan cheese

Christine Lima says …

I love to cook, but my husband ends up with the left overs and I end up buying my lunch. When I need something quick to pack something from home, I purchase Red Pepper Spicy Hummus and I put a TBSP on slices of cucumber. If I am really hungry I will put it a small pita. YUM!

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