Those dreadful lunch breaks! Once in a blue moon, they might be something you are looking for. Usually, they are simply an additional level of stress, especially on Mondays.
Truth is, lunch at work is another decision you just gotta make at some point. You could be laying in bed at night thinking about how to pack those leftovers to carry them with you without having them spill all over your important documents.
So many other questions might be popping up in your brain. Slept in and didn’t fix it beforehand? Where to buy the much-needed food to get you through the day? Should you order delivery, and if so, can you stand another pizza? If you have a cafeteria at work, what is the healthiest option you could go with? And, also, has the lady serving you food washed her hands after going to the bathroom?
Wouldn’t it be amazing if you had that figured out? Food magically pops on your table when you get peckish? Healthy food at that, because your office hasn’t yet considered implementing standing desks and you don’t feel like gaining a pound or two around your waist.
We’ve all been there. People who have it figured out and have meals ready on their desks already are most likely aliens. If you are trying to figure out what to eat, prepare the day before and bring to work each day, here is our list. It will get you through the next five days of your workweek.
Monday – Pasta Day
Let’s be honest with each other – everybody hates Mondays. There is no need to make it worse and kill your determination on day one by telling you to bring a salad with you. Let’s just get you started, and you can focus on the healthy once you have this habit pinned down.
Everybody likes pasta. With so many recipes out there, there must be something you like. Go with your regular Mac and Cheese, it is totally fine. You are just starting out, so don’t be hard on yourself. Or, you can always replace macaroni with fettuccine, cheddar with parmesan, garnish it with parsley and call it Fettuccine Alfredo.
If you are feeling overly enthusiastic and ready to actually prepare something, you can make the avocado pasta. Prepare your regular pasta as you would usually do it. In the meantime, you will need to cut two avocados in half and put them in your food processor. Add a tablespoon of lemon juice, and 7 ounces of pesto. Pulse it until the avocado fully mixes.
Transfer the sauce to the mixing bowl, add a ¼ cup of parmesan and cooked pasta, and mix. To add the important flavours, garnish it with another ¼ cup of parmesan, basil and a bit of olive oil. There you have it, delicious and modern pasta in less than 20 minutes.
Tuesday – Lunch in a Jar
This one is more open to interpretation, as you can stuff almost anything in a jar. People are putting salads, puddings and goldfishes. Do not eat the goldfish, though!
What we mean with lunch in a jar is more in a form of a soup. It might sound unappealing, or as a lot of hard work. It is, unless you are heading for homemade instant soups. The best part of this is that you can make them in bulk and store them, so you will always have some ready to go. With the right ingredients, all you will need is a bit of boiling water – put that coffee machine in the office to good use.
You will be relying on a lot of powders to make the “just add boiling water part” true. You can prepare some delicious soup mix by adding tomato and instant dried milk powder. Use some dried chicken and basil, and spice it up with garlic and onion powder, for example.
Store that in a jar, and you are set for lunch. This way, you can be sure nothing is spilt and still, your stomach will be grateful for it.
Wednesday – Sandwich Day
Wednesday is a difficult day and on some occasions even more difficult than Monday. You are halfway through but got the same amount yet to survive. Kinda like “glass half full or half empty” situation, but in a shape of a day.
For this, a good old sandwich will do. It is probably the easiest meal to prepare, and you can use your favourite ingredients to make sure you don’t give up in the middle of the week. Peanut butter and jam will do, just keep up with the good work!
If you wanna healthy it up, here is our recommendation: grab a whole grain toast bread instead of your regular white one. Spread some hummus over one side of the bread slice, and top it off with some rocket and tomato. You can add a bit of avocado too if that is your thing, and season it with some pepper. Delicious and fairly simple, you can make this happen even in the blurriest of mornings.
Thursday – Salad Day
Well, it had to come by someday. Still, there is no reason for you to get discouraged. Salads might have gotten some bad rep over the years by being associated with diets and weight loss, but that does not mean they cannot be delicious. Why not make it super healthy while we’re at it?
Let’s go to Asia for inspiration to keep it interesting. Start with brown rice and cook it according to the instructions on the box. Keep it warm after draining it. In the meantime, put two boneless chicken breasts into a pan with boiling water and make sure that they are fully covered with it. Boil for 1 minute, turn the flame out and let it sit for fifteen minutes. Cut it into slices. Boil some broccoli, too. Make sure to rinse it with cold water once they become tender.
From here, it is a piece of salad. Put the rice in the bowl, and sprinkle some sesame seeds. Add the chicken and broccoli on top. For the dressing, you can add mix up some miso paste, and a single tablespoon of mirin, ginger and rice vinegar together. Still a healthy salad, but a delicious one at that.
Friday – Wrap it up!
We mean this quite literally – wrap the food up and take it to work. Who doesn’t enjoy a good wrap every now and then?
Here is our wrap recommendation for you. It is, like all those recipes before, simple and ready in less than 15 minutes. Cut up some chicken into thin slices, and mix it together with ½ lime juice and half a tablespoon of both chilli powder and garlic. Fry it in oil for a couple of minutes, until chicken is ready.
In the meantime, heat up the tortillas. Make sure you do not overheat them, or they will be hard to roll and create a wrap. Add a bit of roasted red pepper to the chicken and place the mixture onto the wraps. You can add a bit of coriander for an additional taste.
There, what to eat list from Monday to Friday! You can mix up the days, and the ingredients or recipes in it. We’re sure you will never get peckish again!