I appreciate the huge convenience lunch meats are and realize they may appear rather cost effective, but they are not healthy and they are definitely not for me. Over they years, the solution to the lunch meat problem has become second nature- a little planning goes a long way. The first step is to decide it isn't an option, then we take the next step. Most meats translate well to convenience foods once you start to look at them that way- and left over meats are a serious help.
1. Roast. Pick a day and set a roast in the crock pot. Tender meat cooked low and slow is easily shredded for salads and wraps. Cold roast is perfect for slicing sandwich filling from. A roast will last several days and freeze beautifully (another great help in a hurry).
2. Chicken. Whole, halved, thighs, breasts or tenders- once cooked are great lunch meat replacements. If you are really in a crunch, pick up a rotisserie chicken from the market. Again, the meat will freeze well after cooking to keep emergency backups on hand.
3. Eggs. Boiled, scrambled, fried or in an omelet- eggs are versatile and quick to fix.
4. Beans. Spicy black beans in a tortilla are a go-to quick lunch. Beans are great in salads, tortillas, soups or straight up.
5. Meatless. It never hurts to go meatless for a meal; spinach and cheese quesadillas, grilled cheese, salad or a sandwich with nut butter. It works.
The reality is: we don't have to have lunch meat to ditch the drive thru. A little planning and consideration keep us stocked up and ready for weekday lunches, and when we are caught unprepared there is always a rotisserie chicken at the store.
Have you beat lunch meat? Share yours!