There aren’t a ton of great lunch options in the neighborhood where I work, so I tend to make my lunch on most days. Buying lunch out at a restaurant every day can get both expensive and unhealthy pretty quickly, so I tend to keep it pretty reined in. Making my lunch also allots me my full lunch hour to relax outside (although I’ll admit that lately I’ve been holed up inside all day long — starting Monday, that changes! It’s been beautiful out!)
Today’s post is sort of a mash-up of lunch suggestions I’ve been wanting to put together into a post for a good long while. These suggestions are meant for portability, lunch on the go, or a quick and easy snack to make in your tiny office kitchen without the need for actual kitchen appliances. I also love these suggestions for picnic fare if you’re tossing your lunch into a backpack and going on a hike. The possibilities are endless, so I’m going to give you a jumping off point and then send you on your way to concoct your own, personalized rolled lunches!
A Rolled Lunch
There are endless combinations of ingredients that can be rolled into a nice, neat, tasty rolled lunch — I like the freedom of throwing things together, but I understand that some people need specifics, so that’s what we’re doing here today. We’ll start with the wrapper options and then move into fillings. And then, as usual, I’ll encourage you to be creative and try whatever suits your fancy.
The Paleo Burrito
For me, the wrapper sort of sets the tone for the meal. Not all wrappers can accommodate all fillings. It might be more accurate to call my paleo burrito a “paleo wrap,” but you can honestly make it as Mexican as you want for a truly burrito-y experience. For a burrito or classic-style wrap, I like to use Paleo Wraps (affiliate link), which are made out of coconut flour and only impart a very subtle coconut flavor into your rolled lunch. I love them because they’re sturdy and you can really pack a lot into them. They’re also pretty tasty and low in sugar. All good things!
The Collard Wrap
This wrapper is exactly what you think it is. Collard greens are perfect for a rolled meal, because they are wide, flat leaves sturdy enough to hold the ingredients inside and flexible enough not to crack. I find that since collard greens have a little bit of a bitter flavor, the stuffing should have some pretty strong flavors of its own. My favorite thing to wrap in a collard green leaf is a chicken salad made with a good strong dijon mustard and dill pickles. So good!
I lovingly call the nori-wrapped lunch an “Ameri-maki.” Maki is the Japanese name for rolled sushi, and since I can put whatever I want in my maki-style lunch (including the chicken salad I just mentioned above), I can invent a name for it too! This is the nori I use (affiliate link). Nori does have a decently strong “ocean” flavor, so consider that when selecting your stuffing.
To simplify the stuffing suggestions, I made a handy-dandy chart for you. These are just suggestions, most of which I’ve had in all three wrappers at one time or another, so don’t hesitate to switch up ingredients or wrappers based on what’s in your pantry or fridge at any given time. Simply take one ingredient from each column and roll ’em up! (Use as many different veggies as you want, I’m just trying to keep it simple for you!) I left out grain options here to remind you that there are plenty of awesome grain-free lunch choices; but if you aren’t trying to eliminate grains, feel free to add a bit of quinoa or black rice into your rolled lunch if you so desire.
The Paleo Wraps are probably the most accommodating wrapper, because they have the mildest flavor, but the collard and nori bring something exciting to the table too. They also bring more phytonutrients, because they are vegetables, each with its own unique nutrient profile.
A rolled lunch has as many possibilities as a salad would — from greens, veggies, and toppings to dressings, sauces, and spreads; it all goes in! Get creative and make your own rolled lunch. And I want to hear about it!
What do you like to have for lunch? Ever considered a rolled lunch? Any stuffing ingredients I’m forgetting that are must-adds?
Let me know in the comments below!