Take to work lunches – I LOVE them!
Seeing the looks of envy on my co-workers’ faces as I eat my delicious homemade box of goodies is almost as good as how I feel knowing I’m doing myself good.
Seriously, I make take to work lunches nearly all the time, and it’s something I always encourage my friends, and my clients, to do too.
The awesome Staci over at NerdFitness has just written a two-part series on meal-planning, and the second one is totally focused on take to work lunches. She points out that “A few decisions early in the week can eliminate hours of work (or dozens of bad decisions) later on in the week, and be the difference between success and failure.”
I know this is definitely true for me! I plan a lot of my meals, but I have been living this way for a loooooong time. If you’re not in the groove, or are new to healthy eating or meal planning, then starting with lunch is you best bet.
Why? Well, you’re probably busy, stressed, at work, and very likely surrounded by poor food options that seem like a very good idea to your tired brain. You’ve been working all morning making decisions – choosing what to eat if often not something you’ve got the power to prioritize right now.
So, make it easy for yourself and make the decision ahead of time by making and awesome take to work lunch!
The beauty is, you don’t have to stick to traditional lunch options, like sandwiches. Anything you make can be put in a leak-proof container and taken to work. Get dinner leftovers working for you, or go ahead a create something specifically for your lunches.
Here I’ve rounded up 10 easy, healthy take to work lunch recipes for you. There are three lighter options, for if you’re not really that hungry come lunchtime; three more filling options for if you’re like me and get raging munchies in the afternoon; and four recipes for snack and treats to go with your lunch.
Yes, snacks and treats with lunch. It’s ridiculously important that you get some pleasure and joy from your food – especially during a dreary work day, so please add a treat to your lunchbox. You can read more about this (and why I recommend it to my clients) here.
Lighter Take to Work Lunches
These are an amazing lighter lunch option. The recipe make 4 large burritos – so you can have lunch for 4 days. What’s even better is, they are made to be kept in the freezer. You just whip one out, heat it up, and you have a warm, tasty take to work lunch.
These are as easy as they are delicious. A simple shrimp salad (that could also be made with canned tuna or salmon) is popped inside a bell pepper. It’s creamy, fresh, and light, but the fat and protein in the shrimp salad will keep you going for longer. This recipe only makes enough for one serving, so just increase it by doubling or tripling or more) the ingredients to make lunch for more days.
This is just so beautiful! How could you not feel amazing while eating this. If a rainbow salads doesn’t brighten up your work day, I don’t know what will. It’s a pretty free-style creation, meaning it can work for you no matter where you are of what the season. Make sure you don’t skimp on the healthy oils, and if you want to you can add in some protein like chicken, fish, or whatever you’re into. Sure, this isn’t going to look quite so pretty once it’s all shaken up in my lunchbox, but I’ll know it’s beautiful on the inside 😀
Filling Take to Work Lunches
Classic Beef Stew (from Well Fed)
This is probably more of a cold weather classic. A simple beef stew, easy to make, and so satisfying! if you crave more of a meaty, substantial lunch, like I often do, then this is a winner. And it freezes well too!
The name is a mouthful, and so is the meatloaf! This is not your average meatloaf. With the added awesome of bacon, and the goodness of spinach, you won’t go hungry with this one. I’d suggest packing a side salad, or some vegetables too, and make a full meal out of it. If you struggle with being ravenous after work, then getting a great lunch can make all the difference.
I love frittatas. I usually make mine with potatoes, but this one looks amazing. I can’t get polenta in Korea, but internet shopping saves the day! I love how you can top this with whatever you want. The polenta makes a great base (and has a cool texture), and then I often add avocado, canned tuna, and spinach to mine. Go for it and be creative!
Strawberry Macaroons (from livethewhole.com)
These tasty little bites are my own creation, and not only taste great, but smell divine. Exactly hat you want from a lunch time treat.
Coconut flour Carrot Brownie (from livethewhole.com)
This is another of my own recipes. It’s jam packed with goodness! I love to heat it up little before eating, or put some berries or jam on top for those days when I need a treat ON my treat 🙂
Who doesn’t love peanut butter and chocolate? Well, I’m here to tell you they can be an awesomely healthy addition to your daily lunch. Just steer clear of the Reese’s and make up a batch of these granola bars at the start of the week. They’ll have you feeling like you really had something tasty today.
I am a massive mint-chocolate fan, so my excitement when finding this recipe (on Pinterest) was maybe a little more than the average person. But, ending your yummy homemade lunch with refreshing and sweet burst of real mint and dark chocolate? It’s just perfect for me! Confession time… the recipe says to paint a light coating of chocolate with a pastry brush? Well, I kinda just drag the leaves through the chocolate, while holding the stem) and let them gather a thicker coating. Time saved + more chocolate. Win-win 😀
So, there you go! 10 ridiculously awesome take to work lunches you can enjoy. Get some nourishment, nutrition, and pleasure from your lunch and be healthy inside and out.
Do you have any recipes or tips you use to make your workweek lunches awesome? Tell us in the comments!