Local Upgrades for Your Packed Lunch

Do you remember picking out the perfect lunchbox as a kid? You had to find the perfect representation of you — did it have a certain show, or a cute design? Did it have your name written in sharpie on the side? 

It’s time to start taking just as much care for the inside of the lunchbox! Check out our suggestions for packing something worth looking forward to: 

For something warm on Fall days –

Chicken Hand Pie from Great Lakes Pot Pies

Make sure to pack something to warm your belly on cold Fall days! The chicken hand pies from Great Lakes Pot Pies easily come to temperature in the microwave in 1 ½ minutes, and their thyme-flavored crust holds great ingredients like white meat chicken, carrots, celery, onion, peas, and corn. Order yours for pickup in Clawson, local delivery, or even shipped to your door on their website

For something to keep on hand –

Cherry Chipotle Hot Sauce from Natural Northern

Natural Northern Foods from Traverse City makes a hot sauce to warm up any lunchtime sandwich with Michigan cherries. It’s a smoky sweet sauce to keep on hand for any lunch that needs a hit of Michigan flavor. You can order a bottle from their website

For ultimate convenience and freshness –

Planted Detroit Salads 

Planted Detroit is a controlled environment agriculture farm located in Detroit’s Islandview neighborhood. Not only do they grow specialty greens in their hydroponic facility, but they offer salads made from these fresh greens 5 days a week. Order on their website for delivery to Metro Detroit or Ann Arbor! You can choose from: 

The Ravendale Salad 

The Ravendale is all about fall flavors. This salad includes three varieties of kale and three varieties of radish micro greens from the farm, plus pomegranate arils, pickled pears, fried shallots, and a wild rice blend. 

The Greektown Salad

The best upgrade on a traditional Greek salad! Red onion, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, golden beets, pickled hungarian peppers, kalamata olives, vegan feta cheese join romaine, arugula microgreens, scarlet frill, golden frill, parsley microgreens, and dill from the farm. 

The Southwest Salad

Make any workday a taco tuesday! Freshly grown romaine, three varieties of kale, sorrel, pea shoots, and cilantro microgreens party with cherry tomatoes, bell peppers, green onions, radishes, hominy, black beans, red onions, pepitas, and tortilla chips by Aunt Nee’s. 

For a Michigan classic –

Vollwerth’s Snack Stix

Vollwerth’s has been in the sausage business since 1915! This UP business makes protein easy to snack on with snack stix ranging in flavors from Upper Michigan Honey to Hot and Spicy. You can order them on their website!  

For a dairy-free, gluten-free and soy-free snack –

DoughChick’s Crunchy Brittle

DoughChicks from Kalamazoo is dedicated to healthy and delicious baked goods that keep you moving! Their granola-like Crunchy brittle is a sweet and salty snack featuring cashews and seeds. You can order your next bag on their website

For a PB&J upgrade –

Cellar Door Preserves Jams

Do you like traditional or unique flavors for your jam? Cellar Door Preserves out of Grand Rapids makes both! Try their Blueberry with Ginger, or go more savory with flavors like Tomato Jam with Red Pepper, or Peach with Habanero. All of these jars are available on their website

For a final something sweet –

Cookies from Crust 

Perfect for packing for lunchtime, cookies from Crust make weekdays feel like weekends. Their variety box, available for shipping, includes ginger molasses and double chocolate with sea salt cookies. Order yours here

What’s your lunchtime local source?

Claire Butler is the Communications Coordinator for Taste the Local Difference. Contact her at [email protected]

Find more great stories at www.localdifference.org/blog/

Looking for local food recipes? Check out localdifference.org/recipes