Are you one of those people who buys lunch everyday at work? Not only is this an expensive habit but by eating store-bought food, you generally consume a higher number of calories, fat, sugar and sodium that you would have if you had prepared your meal yourself.
I constantly hear the excuse that people are too busy to prepare their lunch and take it to work. Apparently, it is much easier to (a) decide what you feel like for lunch from the hundreds of options that present themselves on a daily basis, (b) leave the office, (c) withdraw money to pay for it, and (d) actually consume it, than it is to have something pre-prepared and ready to go. Hmm.
Your midday meal should be light but also provide you with enough energy to last throughout the afternoon, ensuring you avoid the 3.00pm energy slump that leaves you reaching for the chocolate box.
Below are some simple, cheap and easy ideas that you can take to the office for a wholesome and satisfying lunch.
Lettuce wraps are ridiculously cheap and easy and can be filled with your favourite healthy foods. Grab an iceberg lettuce and fill individual leaves with a variety of raw vegetables. Prepare the vegetables overnight and marinade them in red wine vinegar and olive oil with some fresh herbs and sea salt and pepper. Examples include capsicum, cucumber, zucchini, tomato, mushrooms etc. Place the vegetables in the lettuce leaves, wrap up and eat! You also have the option of adding protein to the veggie mix so could include tofu, shredded chicken or sliced turkey. Super simple and super healthy.
This one is a no brainer but it still survives the test of time. Make a big batch of your favourite healthy dish on a Sunday night and pack a portion to take for your lunch each day that week. A great one here is the lasagne I posted a while back. The recipe makes about 8 servings so eat one for dinner then pack the rest for lunch. You can re-heat it in the office microwave or eat it cold. Perfecto.
Asian supermarkets and health food stores these days sell large seaweed sheets that are used for sushi rolls. And they are cheap. Skip the high carb and high GI rice though and fill the delicate seaweed sheets with a range of your own favourite Asian flavours. I personally like marinated tofu with cucumber, carrot, capsicum and alfalfa sprouts. Add some avocado for some healthy fats and you’ve got yourself the perfect meal.
Quinoa with roasted vegetables
This one involves a bit of pre-preparation but it is well worth it. Pick a night and roast a heap of vegetables and cook up a big batch of quinoa. Keep the two in separate containers and at lunch time, mix a portion of the veggies in with the quinoa. Top it off with some baby spinach or rocket, drizzle with olive oil and this makes for a nutritious and filling lunch.
Let me know if you have any other quick and healthy lunch ideas that you enjoy.