Wednesday Wants;  Easy, healthy, diet friendly and tasty brown bag lunches. I LOVE going out to lunch.  For me it's a break from stress and a time to let my mind go and relax. And of course there are the must have girl friend lunches.  But taking into consideration how going out ot lunch every day can blow a girls shopping budget, compromises must be made.

Here are some great brown bag picks from Self Magazine. Reader tested and taste approved!

Best Cracker

Kashi TLC Stoneground 7 Grain Crackers (130 calories, 5 g fat per 4 crackers)

Kashi crackers go well with cheese or peanut butter or to munch with soup or salad. Or make a cracker sandwich with turkey and mustard.

Best Mustard

Annie's Naturals Organic Yellow Mustard (0 calories, 0 g fat per teaspoon)

That's 0 calories an 0 fat! I'm putting it on everything! The panel said "Go for the gold". Annie's mustard more than passed muster with the Self panel.  Use it on crackers, pretzels, bread or go bread less like me and just wrap your turkey with mustard in a big romaine lettuce leaf or on a brown rice cake. The mustard is so good on the rice cake you don't even need the turkey!

And speaking of turkey..

Best Deli Meat

Applegate Farms Organic Roasted Turkey Breast (50 calories, 0 g fat per 2 oz)

Just YUM!

Best Peanut Butter

Santa Cruz Organic Creamy (210 calories, 16 g fat per 2 tbsp)

I also recommend Trader Joe's Better than Butter if you want to cut the fat and Trader Joe's Almond Butter, in crunchy, no salt. In addition to sandwiches these butters are fab on apples and pear slices.

Best Jam

Smucker's Simply Fruit Black Cherry (40 calories, 0 g fat per tbsp)

Self Readers suggested using Simply Fruit in plain yogurt, on bread, with its pal peanut butter, of course. And they praised the jelly's natural feel and flavor: "You can really taste the fruit."

Best Tortilla

Trader Jose's Handmade Whole Wheat Flour Tortillas (160 calories, 5 g fat per tortilla)

Sampling these soft wraps inspired the Self panel to get cooking. "I could see myself filling this up with warm rice and beans, veggies and guacamole to make a mean burrito," said one aspiring chef.

Best Bread

Arnold Whole Grains 100% Whole Wheat (110 calories, 1 g fat per slice)

Carbs, anyone?  It's so low-cal, you can have two slices!

Best Light Swiss

Finlandia Light Swiss Deli Slices (57 calories, 3 g fat per slice)
The review, "these sharp slices have the hole package: strong flavor, supple texture and superb creaminess." "It's hard to believe it's healthy!" a sampler said.

Best Faux Deli Meat

Tofurky Hickory Smoked Deli Slices (100 calories, 3 g fat per 5 slices)

"The vegetarian victor is smoked in a real smokehouse to create a down-home flavor that will satisfy even a dedicated carnivore."  One sampler claimed the slices "taste like chicken."

Best Lentil Soup

Progresso Vegetable Classics, Lentil (160 calories, 2 g fat per cup)

This "creamy and fulfilling" soup persuaded one intrepid tester to amend her grocery list. "I typically don't eat lentil soup, but this changed my mind".

Best Light Cheddar

Cracker Barrel 2% Milk Extra Sharp (90 calories, 6 g fat per oz)

The tasters couldn't tell the difference between this and the full fat version. "I'd use it in grilled cheese or slice it cold to have on crackers."

Best Mayonnaise

Hellmann's Light (35 calories, 3.5 g fat per tbsp)

"I want to smear it on everything!" a tester said. Go right ahead! Despite its eggy richness, this classic condiment has only 0.5 g saturated fat per tbsp. "It will make great tuna salad". If you're vegan I recommend Veggenaise, soy based and tastes just like this mayo.

Get Your Bargain On Lunch!
and Happy Snacking