Beach, beach, beach. I don’t know about you, but as soon as the sun comes up in the morning I’m ready to head to the beach. This generally makes for a long day, and if I forget sunglasses, water or most importantly, food then my day is blown.
Packing lunch for the beach can be hard. You usually need a cooler to keep whatever it is you plan on eating cold. If you want a sandwich then you need a little baggy, chips get crushed, and more times than not something spills, leaving a gooey mess on the bottom of your bag.
Next time you head out for a beach day, pack these simple, no-mess meals for a perfect lunch at the beach.
The Health Nut – Salad in a Jar and an Apple. An apple is the easiest fruit to take on the go because the skin is hard to puncture, and you’d need a 5 pound brick to squish it. Unless you’re carrying an encyclopedia in your bag, the bottom should stay mush free. For a salad in a jar, start with the dressing. I usually like balsamic vinegar and olive oil with some salt and pepper. Pour some in the bottom and then add all the toppings: chick peas, sunflower seeds, walnuts, tomatoes, fruit, chicken etc. After the toppings comes the greens. You can play around with it and put whatever you want in! The great part about this upside down salad is that the dressing won’t touch the greens until you’re ready to eat! Soggy lettuce problem solved.
The Classic – PB&J and Fruit. Flash back into middle school days when the best lunch ever was mom’s PB&J. Are you a crunchy or smooth person? Grape or strawberry jelly? Slather whatever you like onto some bread, throw it in a bag or wrap it in a napkin and you’re set. This is a perfect beach meal because the peanut butter will make the sandwich stick together. While a ham sandwich is great, the chances of it being fully in tact after a trip to the beach are slim to none. Pair your sandwich with some blueberries or strawberries to wash down the sticky peanut butter.
The Meat Lover – Cheese and Meet Rollups and Crackers. So a salad and a sandwich just aren’t for you. You need a little something more to get you through the day. We have the perfect solution. Take a piece of whatever deli meat you like – salami, turkey, ham – and a piece of your favorite cheese – havarti, swiss, american – and roll it up and stick it with a toothpick. If you want to get creative, add an olive in the middle or splash on some mayo, mustard or hot sauce. Add some crackers on the side, like Ritz, for a perfectly satisfying meal.
The Fiesta – Rice and Beans and Veggies. If you’re feeling a little spicy, cook up some black beans and rice either the night before or the morning of. Put them in a carry-out container and add whatever toppings you want. Personally, I like some avocado, hot sauce and cheese. The bumpier the ride to the beach, the better. It’ll get all mixed up and you basically have a burrito bowl. What more could you want while sitting on the beach? Oh, of course. You need your veggies. Sautéed peppers and onions are a perfect topping or side dish for this little fiesta.
The Smorgasbord – Anything that’s left. If you’re not feeling like putting any effort into packing lunch, check the fridge and grab whatever seems mess-free and nonperishable. Crackers, fruit, cut up veggies, bread, dinner leftovers, etc. Throw it all in a container and instead of having one large lunch, opt for some small little snacks throughout the day. This will hold you over until you get home, when you can make a mouth-watering burger on the grill.