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Lunch hour. It’s a beloved part of the day where you can stop your work, take a break from your errands and go out to get something yummy to eat. But for far too long boring sandwiches and sad salads have ruled our lunch hours. It is as if people think only fancy brunches or late-night dinners can make for a meal worthy of Instagram.

We say no! Stop the madness and stop those boring sandwiches and sad salads.

Just. Stop.

Your can have a great lunch hour. You can be a foodie even with pick-up-and-go style meals!

Check out some of the delicious creations out there and how each raises the level of your foodie game.

Power Kale Caesar Salad with Chicken

up-your-foodie-game-panera-kale-caesar-saladPhoto Credit: Panera / WomensForum

FOODIE BADGES EARNED: Clean Eating, Trend, Twist

Kale alone can give you some great street cred in the foodie world. It’s a trend that heated up in 2014 and hasn’t really cooled since. Now kale appears in 248% more salads than it did a year ago, according to Datassential

For those who are just starting to dip their toes in, or more like open their mouths to, the foodie life, this salad is a great place to start. Try a classic Caesar with a twist of kale. The kale allows you and your taste buds to experiment but not go overboard. It's proof not all foodie options are eccentric menu items. We can only eat a flaming Cronut only so many times. 

Best of all fast-casual restaurants as a whole are getting on trend by serving clean ingredients and right on board with the clean menu movement. Yum!

Strawberry Poppyseed & Chicken Salad

up-your-foodie-game-mediterranean-chicken-saladPhoto Credit: Panera / WomensForum

FOODIE BADGES EARNED: Photo, Layered Flavors, Seasonal

Look at this salad. Just look at it! It was made for snapping Instagram pics and will definitely create waves of food envy across your office break room. The combination of chicken raised without antibiotics, fresh strawberries, blueberries, pineapple, mandarin oranges and pecans all mixed with fat-free poppy seed dressing makes this a fabulous seasonal salad, too.

This salad offers what most foodies crave, layered flavors. Long gone are the simple salads made of greens, a sprinkle of cheese or nuts with dressing. Lunchtime salad options have become tastier and more complex. This one is a prime example of how several food types and textures, when mixed together correctly, can create a combination of flavors that are simply, perfection. 

Mediterranean Chicken & Quinoa Salad

up-your-foodie-game-mediterranean-chicken-saladPhoto Credit: Panera / WomensForum

FOODIE BADGES EARNED: Wanderlust, Adventure, Trend

When we take some time to ourselves to enjoy lunch, our minds may wander, thinking of far off places with beautiful beaches, cabanas, and exotic foods and flavors. If you've still got some time before your next vacation or just got back and are still wishing you were away, we have a little taste of a foreign place to feed your wanderlust.

This version of the Mediterranean salad has Chicken & Quinoa Salad. It can take you, or at least your mouth, to a far off locale in no time. Sorry, it doesn't come with plane tickets, just a spark for your imagination!

With a boost from organic quinoa, you get to eat a trend that is protein-rich and gives you energy long after you've finished lunch. Plus the intriguing mix of kale, romaine, cucumbers, Kalamata olives, tomato sofrito and toasted almonds in Greek dressing show you how adventurous and new your foodie life can be. 

OK, so enough reading! Its time to eat! We expect you to rock your lunch hour, show off your bowls and plates, and let the world know (or as many people as you have following you) that you too have earned your foodie badge of honor! Bon Appétit!

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