Healthy Lunches To Take To Work
Healthy Lunches To Take To Work – Pack Your Own Lunch!
Lately I have been tempted to go out and buy lunch at work. I think I’m getting bored with the same lunches that I have been making for work. Bringing healthy lunches to work can sometime be a challenge, especially if you work in an office that is surrounded by cafes, fast food places and vending machines that make it pretty easy to just go out and ‘buy’ lunch.
Today I want to share with you some ideas for healthy lunches to take to work. I came up with this list to help me add some variety to my everyday lunches. I PROPOSE it is actually easier and faster to make your lunch at home rather than going out to buy your lunch – Never mind it’s cheaper and healthier!
Think about the time it takes to walk over to the cafe, fast food place or vending machine. Then you have to wait in line to order (the lineup at our workplace local Tim’s can be a 30 minute or more wait at lunchtime) and then walk back to your workplace.
Hmm… is this really faster than putting together a lunch at home? I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that it is healthier and faster to make your lunch at home.
What do you think? Do you buy or pack your lunch?
Feel free to leave your comments in the sidebar. I’d love to hear what you are do for lunch!
SO WHAT CAN YOU DO?
My #1 TIP
Plan ahead – plan for the next few days or even a few weeks ahead, and see where you can cook extra food for your lunches. If I know I am going to be cooking a roast dinner, I will also plan a quick recipe to be cooking in the oven at the same time.
My #2 TIP
ADD variety to the type of lunches you will bring to work every day. Bringing the same thing every day can lead to you heading out to that fast food place just around the corner!
MY #3 TIP
When you prep your veggies for dinner, you can also cut, chop, slice a few more for your week day lunches. These veggies can be either cooked or raw to be added to salads, sandwiches, soups or wraps. This will not only save you time but makes it convenient to add to your favorite lunchtime recipes.
MY #4 TIP
Use your oven efficiently – One of the people at work said to me the other day… “when I cook in the oven I always do more than one thing” For instance she said when she cooks chicken legs she might also throw in an extra dish like a lasagna. Try to cook extra dishes each time the oven is on. Saving yourself time and also money.
WHAT ELSE CAN I PACK FOR LUNCH BESIDE SALAD?
I call this my Pack ’n-go Lunch. Aka leftovers. On the nights that I cook I usually make extras. Whether you are roasting a chicken, cooking a roast in the oven or cooking extra sausages, the amount of time in the kitchen is the same whether you cook one batch or several batches. I portion out this extra food into single sized containers (preferably glass so that they can go in the microwave.) You now have a couple of ready make lunches.
I usually pack a salad pretty much each day. The cool thing about making a salad is that you can add just about anything to it. I often have leftovers in my fridge that work wonderfully. Typically, I put my salad together the night before.
I start with a base – spinach, lettuce, kale, coleslaw or a combination
I then add some protein – meat, beans, cheese
Next I add some veggies – cucumber, tomato, broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, brussel sprouts… (usually whatever I have leftover from dinner)
Lastly I add olives, hot peppers, avocado…
I usually keep a bottle of extra-virgin olive oil in my desk at work which works for dressing. Throw in a piece of fruit and a bottle of water and you have an easy lunch option that took you maybe 5 minutes to put together.
List of BAG OR BOX LUNCH IDEAS
Tuna or Egg Salad
Boiled eggs – lunch or a snack (my favorite as I always have a bowl of hard-boiled eggs in my fridge.)
Cream Cheese Stuffed Meatballs –
Fathead Pizza – one of my favorites
Ham & Egg Muffins / Cups – fill with each family members favorite filling
Meatloaf – I actually prefer the taste when it’s cold!
Beef, chicken, shrimp, pork … Kebabs
Spinach & Feta Frittata or omelet
Bacon & Egg Pie – crustless and adapt with favorites like onion, peppers or diced tomato
Burger – with or without bread
Salmon Quiche – crust or crustless
HOW TO MAKE HARD BOILED EGGS
Hard-boiling eggs is one of my favorite healthy lunch box item. Here’s my favorite method for hard-boiling eggs. What’s your method?
- Place your the eggs in a saucepan.
- Fill the pan with cold tap water; cover the eggs by an inch or so.
- Place the pan on high heat and bring the water to a boil
- Once the water boils, turn off the heat and cover the saucepan with the lid. Let the eggs stand in the hot water for about 10 minutes.
- Drain the eggs and place them in the bowl of ice water for about a minute to cool.
- Peel and eat immediately or put in your refrigerator; eggs in their shell will keep for up to a week.
HOW TO MAKE QUINOA
Have you heard of quinoa?
Quinoa has been around for many, many years. I have just recently started to add it to my meals. It is a great option for protein and has a sweet nutty flavor. I think it makes a good substitute in your recipes for pasta, potatoes or rice.
I like to make a batch of quinoa on the weekend and then I can eat it during the week with curry, grilled chicken and veggies, beef stir-fry etc…
THE BEST WAY TO COOK QUINOA
How to prevent quinoa from becoming mushy or bitter? Quinoa should come out delicate and fluffy once it is cooked!
RINSE YOUR QUINOA It is a good idea to rinse your quinoa since it has a natural coating called saponin. Saponin, can make your quinoa taste bitter. I find there is no need to soak it first.
AMOUNT OF QUINOA TO WATER
I like to use 1 cup quinoa to 1 3/4 cups water when cooking my quinoa. If I use more water than that my quinoa tends to come out sticky or gummy. I often will use vegetable or chicken broth instead of water to add more flavor.
One cup of quinoa will make about 3 cups of quinoa and usually takes about 20 minutes to cook. I will often add a bit of salt, pepper or spices – think Rosemary, garlic, turmeric, etc…
MY FINAL THOUGHTS…
There are so many healthy options for you to put in your lunch bag or box. By packing your own lunch you can skip those pricey calorie packed cafe or vending machine options.
Making your own lunch is easy to do using any of my healthy lunches to take to work options or creating your own. You can put your healthy lunch together in 10 minutes or less to help you power through your day and save your hard-earned money too!
Check out… The Healthy Meal Prep Cookbook: Easy and Wholesome Meals to Cook, Prep, Grab, and Go Paperback – Aug 22 2017
by Toby Amidor MS RD CDN (Author)
The Healthy Meal Prep Cookbook offers practical and straightforward meal prep advice. You will find three, 2-week meal plans and over 100 healthy recipes. This book is great for a newbie or the more advanced cook!
I want to share my favorite healthy lunch to take to work in your – lunch bag.
ONE OF MY FAVORITE RECIPES
1 3/4 cups grated mozzarella cheese
1/4 cups coconut flour
2 tbsp cream cheese
pinch salt to taste
1/2 tsp garlic or rosemary (optional)
Choose your toppings: ham, cooked ground beef, pepperoni peppers, tomatoes, olives, green peppers, onions, mushrooms, herbs etc.
Directions: Mix grated cheese and coconut flour in microwaveable bowl. Add the cream cheese. Microwave on HIGH for 1 minute.
Stir then microwave on HIGH for another 30 seconds.
Add the egg, salt, garlic or rosemary and mix gently.
Place in between 2 pieces of parchment paper and roll into a pizza shape. (Remove the top parchment paper. Note: If the mixture becomes too difficult to work with, just pop it back in your microwave for about 10 seconds to soften again). BECAREFUL not to cook the egg.
Make fork holes all over the pizza base so that it will cook evenly.
Pace on a cookie tray or pizza stone, and bake at 425F for 12-15 minutes, or until brown.
To make the base really crispy and sturdy, flip the pizza over (onto parchment paper) once the top is browned.
Once cooked, take out of the oven and add your favorite toppings. Make sure your meat is cooked. Then put the pizza back in the over to melt the cheese 425F for about 6 minutes.
Quote: “Success is the sum of small efforts—repeated day-in and day-out.” ~Robert Collier
Affirmation: Aim for progress, not perfection.
If you liked this article, please feel free to share on social media or pass it on to a friend who will thank you for helping them learn about healthy lunch bag or box ideas. – Once you start making your healthy lunches you will find it’s HABIT changing!
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If you liked my article I would appreciate you passing it along to friends, family or on social media. Let me know in the comments what you put in your healthy lunch bag or box.
Until next time,