It is no secret that I am an expert in the area of yogurt parfaits.
I am good. Real good.
It has taken some practice but I have a technique that is a true winner. I am pretty sure I have touched upon my technique before but in case you missed it, here is a refresher course:
- Step 1: Fruit of choice on bottom (strawberries).
- Step 2: A layer of yogurt
- Step 3: All toppings (berries, granola, dark chocolate chips and/or a little peanut butter)
- Step 4: A layer of yogurt
- Step 5: Choose 2 toppings for the top (granola and sprinkle of dark chocolate chips)
If you are lucky, the store will have a cherry to top it off.
Going to the yogurt store is fun. And delicious. And a treat.
And if it is Red Mango (the only yogurt store I really frequent), the all-natural ingredients make the yogurt healthy enough to be considered lunch.
But let’s face it, the cost can add up. I am convinced those yogurt weighing scales are rigged to charge us more and more each week.
Besides being an expensive habit, it is not always possible to pop into Red Mango on a daily basis.
This used to bother me. Yes, it truly bothered me.
Until I solved my own problem.
One can easily recreate the parfait experience at home. All you need is some fruit, granola (or other favorite crunchy cereal), and options such as dark chocolate chips, nuts, peanut butter etc.
*Don’t forget that Nature’s Path Pumpkin Flax Granola is the granola used at the Red Mango toppings bar.
No need to thank me for this valuable piece of information.
As for your at-home yogurt choices, you can always buy a pint from the yogurt store (a little pricey), or, Trader Joe’s makes a few natural frozen yogurts.
Truth: The majority of my at-home yogurt parfaits are made with plain greek yogurt. It is delicious without being frozen as well as extremely filling due to the high protein content. If you don’t like greek yogurt, use regular yogurt.
Perfect breakfast, perfect lunch, perfect anytime meal that adds a sweet little excitement to your day.
THE BEST PART- totally portable!
Admit it – weekday meals, especially packed from home, can get boring. Routine. Blah.
I always tried to make my packed lunches exciting, interesting, and colorful just to keep from getting bored.
Also, a great lunch gives you something to look forward to during the workday.
THREE TIPS TO PERKING UP YOUR WORKDAY LUNCH
1. Pack yourself something you look forward to.
Lunch doesn’t ALWAYS have to be a sandwich. Or even a salad.
I really recommend you switch things up a bit and make a portable yogurt parfait. Using greek yogurt gives you a serious amount of protein as well as calcium. The fruit will provide you with antioxidants and nutrients, the granola is a healthy balance of carbs, fat, protein, fiber (and flax if you use the one above).
Simply place all toppings in one container and bring a container of yogurt of choice.
Assemble when ready to eat.
If you are too embarrassed at work to start layering your lunch, just dump the yogurt on into the toppings container and mix.
Feeling guilty for not getting a serving of vegetables?
No problem. You can (and should) pack a few snacks with your lunch to be eaten in the morning and afternoon.
Pack up pre-cut veggies to be munched on plain or with dips such as salsa, hummus, or even peanut butter.
Peanut butter is not just for “ants on a log” people. Don’t knock carrots dipped in peanut butter until you try it.
2. A pretty napkin
Go ahead, laugh.
I always liked to pack my workday lunch with a pretty napkin. It may sound silly, but a napkin with bright colors featuring cupcakes brings a smile to my face.
It may seem ridiculous and minuscule but when you eat at your desk every day and are unable to leave your office, sometimes you need something to make you smile.
Why should fun lunches be reserved for kids?
3. The emergency snack – The only thing worse than a hungry day is a hungry day when trapped in the office. You have eaten your way through your food supply, are still ravenous and are stranded for another few hours.
Enter the emergency snack.
I never leave home without some form of a portable, nonperishable snack in my bag. One must always be prepared for a hungry moment.
Good choices are KIND Bars, Larabars, Quest Bars, a trail mix of different nuts/raisins.
The goal of your emergency snack is to serve two purposes:
- Be there for EMERGENCIES ONLY; I always hope to NOT need to eat it.
- Be filling, satisfying and nutritious, containing a minimal list of ingredients
Do not take the emergency snack lightly. Anything referred to as emergency is serious. Your hope is to not need to eat it, but it is there for you should you need rescuing.
Speaking of lunch, it is time for me to prepare the boy’s lunch box for school. He was home sick yesterday (how is it that he always effectively times illness for Monday?) but is better today.
Better= Off to school.
Have a great Tuesday!
I need to know:
Do you bring your lunch to work? What do you normally bring?
Do you like greek yogurt?
Do you carry an emergency snack?