Sept. 26, 2019

Pop Some Eggs into Your Lunchbox

President's Blog
Margaret Hudson
President, Burnbrae Farms
4th Generation Farmer

As busy as my work life gets, I always try to take a break for lunch. Whether it’s a lunch meeting at a restaurant, a casual catch-up with colleagues, or a quick carried-from-home meal that I eat at my desk, I know that a nutritious lunch will keep me fueled for my afternoon ahead.

If you’re anything like me, perhaps you tote lunch from home so you don’t end up in restaurants daily. Whenever I pack my lunch, I like to keep the imagery from Canada’s Food Guide in my head, and ensure that I pack vegetables & fruit, whole grains and a good source of protein – for me, that’s often eggs.

Why eggs? So many reasons! First, they are filled with protein, which provides long-lasting energy. That means you won’t feel hungry soon after eating your meal. Protein ideally needs to be consumed throughout the day to ensure muscles work their best. Canadians tend to get enough protein, but it’s not always spread out correctly since we get too little at breakfast and lunch, and too much at dinner. Muscles need protein constantly, so aim for 25 to 30g of protein at every meal – including lunch. In addition to protein, eggs contain a variety of vitamin and minerals, including vitamins A, D and E, selenium, iron, zinc and B-vitamins.

Secondly, eggs cook quickly, so prepping lunch in the morning (or the night before) won’t take long, and eggs are easy to pack and transport. I use a bag with an ice pack to keep everything fresh. Finally, eggs are also versatile, so I never get bored! I could enjoy a quiche, or a salad topped with sliced hard-boiled eggs, or EGG Bakes! Egg Patties on an English muffin with spinach and tomato.

Need some inspiration to help you pop more eggs into your lunchbox? Here are some other ideas:

Breakfast for Lunch : Whether you toss some scrambled eggs into a thermos, or tuck into avocado toast with sliced hard-boiled eggs, you can recreate traditional breakfast foods at your midday meal. One of my favorites is to pre-toast an English muffin, add a slice of cheese, one of the varieties of EggBakes ! and some spinach, and pack it in a sandwich container. This is a kid-friendly option too – it makes a wonderful addition to a school-day lunch box. You can also try this Ham Breakfast Sandwich – don’t let the name fool you, it’s perfect for lunch too!

Salad Jars : I’m a huge fan of this prep method, because I can make four salad jars on Sunday and they will last right through until Wednesday. The key to making jar-based salads is to put the dressing on the bottom layer (i.e. add it first), then layer the rest of the ingredients on top. This ensures the lettuce won’t wilt by being coated in dressing, and it also makes it super-easy to serve -- just turn it onto a plate. The salad ingredients will fall first, and the dressing will follow as a perfect coating. Try this Chicken ‘N Egg Cobb Salad Jars , or turn these Niçoise Egg & Potato Salad ingredients into a jar meal.

Baked Egg Cups : Whether it’s Mini Frittatas , creative Ramen Egg Cups , or delicious Mini Quiches with Feta , making batches of portable egg-based mini-meals makes packing lunches so much easier. All of these options can be made in batches of 12 to 24, and they stay frozen until you’re ready to use them. Whether they are in the kids’ lunch pail or atop your sophisticated lunch salad, you’ll be happy to have these around when you need them.

That’s A Wrap! Sandwiches and wraps are another easy lunch option. Sometimes I use EGGS2Go! hard-boiled eggs and mash them with mayonnaise for egg salad. I especially love the dill option paired with tomato and tucked into a whole grain pita. Another favourite is to make Hoisin Lettuce and Egg Wraps where the ‘wrap’ is lettuce rather than a tortilla. While still wrapping, you can also use rice paper to make cold spring rolls. I love this recipe for Egg and Avocado Rolls .

With all of these great options, you can see why eggs are so versatile! I think it’s so important to plan ahead so your midday meal is nourishing, delicious and will keep you focused all afternoon.

Margaret Hudson

President, Burnbrae Farms