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I spend a lot of time writing about dinner and occasionally I talk about breakfast (or brunch) but I very rarely write about lunch – mostly because I don’t usually make anything special. I’ve never been a big fan of sandwiches, so I usually just bring leftovers.

Glad recently asked me to review some of their products and, since I’ve been using them to pack up my lunches for years, I thought it would be a great opportunity to talk about what I eat during the day. In order to save time (I’m so not a morning person), I take a few extra seconds to divide the leftovers between several lunch-sized containers rather than packing them all away together. That way, it’s all ready to go and I have options in the morning. All I have to do is decide what I’m in the mood for, add whatever fruit I have that week, and throw it in my lunchbox. I also toss in a yogurt for breakfast.

It doesn’t take more than 5 seconds – which is good because if it takes any longer than that I give up and end up spending $12 on a salad at the cafe next to my office. I can’t afford to do that very often! This week, I can choose between sweet potato enchiladas (on the left) or quinoa, carrot, and pistachio salad (on the right). I also have  some soup in the freezer.

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I learned the hard way that I can’t eat an exact replica of dinner at lunchtime without gaining weight, so I try to keep my lunches to about half the size of my dinners. With soup, that might mean skipping the bread to go on the side. With the enchiladas, it means swapping out rice and beans or tortilla chips for a green salad. Since some things (like burgers or fish) don’t really reheat well, I’ll sometimes make a big pot of soup or a grain salad over the weekend with the sole intent of bringing it to work for lunches. Some of my favorites are Brussels Sprout Salad with Maple Vinaigrette, Pumpkin Polenta with Chorizo, and – if I’m feeling particularly ambitious – Roasted Eggplant and Tomatoes with Tangy Cucumbers and Yogurt.

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Since my Glad food storage is all pretty old, I bought some new sets for this post. The pieces I have are perfectly good, but over the years they have gotten discolored from things like tomato sauce so they aren’t the prettiest.

I was really excited to see that they have these “Glad to Go Lunch” containers now that have a little dressing container that snaps into the lid. I always struggle with how to bring salads to work, because they get soggy and gross if you put the dressing on them in the morning, and I don’t like to bring the whole bottle of dressing with me (I always end up forgetting it!). In the past I’ve tried putting dressing in a little baggy, but that gets kind of messy and it’s hard to get it all on to your salad. I’ve also tried a few other “dressing in the lid” options, but they’ve all been one piece and hard to clean. This is actually two pieces – the dressing just goes into a little cup that snaps into the lid. The seal is pretty tight, so it works well. It will pop off and drop the container (I’ve done that a few times) but under normal circumstances it stays put pretty well. (I do handwash them though because I worry that the heat of the dishwasher will warp the lid slightly and make the seal not as tight).

Now that the weather is warming up  and salads seem more appetizing than soups, I think I’ll be using these a lot!

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Glad is currently hosting an “Inspire your Lunch” contest on Pinterest! Create your own Pinterest board for a chance to win weekly prizes from now until April 28. Go to www.glad.com/food-storage/mom-made/pinterest/ to learn more or to enter!

Steps in entering the contest:

Step 1: Click the Glad photo in the gallery (www.glad.com/food-storage/mom-made/pinterest) that most inspires you to get started pinning.
Step 2: Choose “create new board” in the dropdown menu of the Pinterest pop up screen.  Title your new board “Inspired Lunches”
Step 3: Find at least 4 photos anywhere on the web that fits the theme of “Inspired Lunches” and pin them to your new board.  Include #gladinspiredlunches in your photo description.
Step 4: Once you’ve pinned 5 photos (including one from the Glad Pinterest Gallery) come back to (www.glad.com/food-storage/mom-made/pinterest) submit your board.

If you make a pinboard in the Glad contest, share your pinboard URL in the comments—I’d love to see what you’ve done! I’m always looking for inspiration too, so tell me how you make your inspired lunches.

Visit Glad’s page on BlogHer for more ideas!