Making your own lunch has many benefits. Not only does it give you control over what you are eating, so you can fuel your body with the right food, but you also save a lot of money. Buying lunch at the nearest stop next to work can become very costly once you add it up for the week. I know for some people it’s hard to find the time to prepare healthy work lunches, especially when you are juggling so many other things in life. That’s why I’ve come up with a few great tasting lunch ideas, that are quick and easy to prepare, and will help you save on food costs.
1. Vegetable frittata
All my F.I.T programs have different frittata combos for lunch, breakfast or snacks. That’s because they are quick and easy to prepare, can be done in bulk, and be eaten at any time of the day. It’s also a great way to use up any leftover vegetables in the fridge, which may go to waste. Simply chop up the vegetables, add some fresh herbs, like parsley and basil, and then whisk up your eggs. Add the mixture together, in either a cake tin or muffin tins, and then bake in the oven. I’ve got a great spinach and mushroom frittata recipe on my blog. Why don't you try it out? For lunch, simply have a slice with a salad of your choice, and some avocado. This makes a great lunch that is packed with protein, good fat and tastes amazing.
2. Quinoa salad
If you are making quinoa for your dinner, then double the recipe and have leftovers the next day. In fact, quinoa keeps for a couple of days in the fridge, so I always like to cook it up in bulk. Quinoa is great for lunch, as it provides the body with good complex carbs (to keep you fueled for longer), and is also a great source of protein. Simply mix up the quinoa with some of your favourite salad vegetables (or roasted vegetables), add a couple of tablespoons of your favourite nuts and seeds, and then a healthy dressing of your choice. Because you have already cooked the quinoa, it honestly only takes five minutes to prepare. For some extra flavour, add some fresh herbs, or cook the quinoa with some of your favourite spices.
3. Protein smoothie bowl
If you have a blender on hand, then smoothies are a great way to give yourself a good nutritional boost at lunch. They also only take five minutes to make. You can easily change up the flavours so that you don’t get bored of the same thing day in and day out. Some of my favourite smoothie bowl combos are:
Green smoothie protein bowl
½ a cucumber
1 scoop of vegan protein (natural or vanilla)
1 cup spinach
1 cup almond milk
Topped with a small handful of almonds, kiwi fruit and coconut flakes.
Chocolate protein smoothie bowl
1 tbsp of raw cacao
1 scoop vegan protein powder (natural, vanilla or chocolate)
½ an avocado
1 cup almond milk
Topped with some almonds and goji berries.
You really can pack as many nutrients as you want into a smoothie bowl, and make a super healthy meal out of it. Just make sure you find a good balance between protein, good fat, a little bit of fruit and some vegetables (if you can get them in there).
4. Refreshing chickpea salad
Get a can of organic chickpeas, add them to a bowl of diced cucumber, mint, coriander, parsley, red onion, capsicum and tomatoes. In a matter of minutes, you have yourself a delicious, protein-packed lunch, that will keep you full and satisfied for hours. Keep some chickpeas in your work drawer, and some fresh vegetables and herbs in the fridge at work, so that you have something quick and healthy on hand. For the dressing, I like to add a little bit of olive oil with a squeeze of fresh lemon, and then season with salt and pepper.
4. Thai chicken salad
If you are making chicken for dinner, then cook double the amount. That way you can use leftovers the next day in a yummy, delicious salad. One of my favourite salads is this Thai Chicken Salad recipe, that comes straight out of my F.I.T. program:
Simply use your leftover chicken from the night before (approx. 100 grams for one serve)
½ red onion
1 capsicum (bell pepper)
½ large cucumber
1 carrot shredded
Handful of fresh coriander
Fresh chilli, to taste
Mix together 1 tbsp. tamari, 2 tbsp. of lime juice and ½ tbsp. of olive oil
If you want something light, then you can have it on a bed of lettuce. If you would like to have some carbs, then add some brown rice, vermicelli noodles, or quinoa. Add some crushed peanuts on top and you have a super tasty salad, that is far better for you then getting a Thai takeaway.
When it comes to making healthy work lunches, don’t be afraid to double up when cooking dinner the night before. You will then have healthy leftovers for lunch the next day. Leave me a comment below with some of your favourite work lunches, that are quick and easy! I'm always looking for new recipes and ideas.