This week we are in the middle of some big meetings. Mostly, I am trying not to fall asleep, and to remember to keep everyone well fed so that they are amiable in the boardroom. Also, I count down the hours to lunch, which I think is most people’s favourite hour at work. At the moment I am trying to read some of my latest book during lunch, and I also like to take a little walk in the sunshine, just to warm my bones and remember what the beautiful midday winter sky looks like. Friday lunch hours are reserved for an outing to a local sushi place or coffee house for lunch with my friend Jess – best lunch of the week! On the other four days where I eat at my desk I try to pack something healthy and filling that will fuel my brain for the rest of the afternoon and fuel my body for an afternoon workout. Sometimes these lunches are leftovers from dinner salads and other times they are quickly thrown together creations from the night before. Today, I would like to share with you some inspiration for dining at your desk. No recipes, just simple suggestions for spicing up your lunch hour. Warning, there are a lot of photos coming up. Hope you’ve had your lunch!
Let’s start with leftovers from dinner:
A recent recipe from the blog – Moroccan Roasted Pumpkin and Quinoa Salad. Transports well and stays fresh in the fridge for up to 4 days.
I love fritters for an easy ‘breakfast for dinner’ recipe. Just add bacon for Chris and avocado for me. These are my Summer Vegetable, Herb, and Cheese Fritters. Still a common visitor at our dinner table.
This one is perfect for summer barbecues, and a favourite in my lunch box all year long: Quinoa, Chickpea, and Capsicum Salad with a Lime-Honey Dressing.
Soup is one of my favourites in winter, and on chilly air-conditioned days in the office too.
Nothing like leftovers from Mum’s Pumpkin Soup (recipe coming this winter!) with a cup of tea and a good old-fashioned murder mystery. Add some crackers or gluten free toast and you’ve got a feast for mind and body.
This kale, chickpea, and brown rice soup was a recent recipe trial and while it lacked enough flavour and pizzazz for me to share with you it did make a good solid lunch for a rainy Monday.
Next up: lunches that can be made from the leftovers of another meal:
This one is leftover roasted sweet potato with the last of some baby lettuce mix, a half can of chickpeas, and sprinkle of feta and olives. Add some balsamic, salt and pepper and say hello to savoury perfection.
One of my favourite roasted vegetables (beetroot) paired with nearly the same ingredients as the salad above, and some toasted almonds sprinkled on top for good measure.
Let’s move on to lunch salads that can be made in a tiny office kitchenette with the help of a corner store visit or desperate morning fridge raid.
First up: the simplest of them all. Rice crackers that I always keep in my drawer enjoys the company of vegetable draw leftover avocado, half a punnet of tomatoes and the remains of the rocket and spinach mix that is omnipresent in our house.
The next level of convenience store dining: olives from the deli counter meet chickpeas, tomatoes, avocado and lettuce. One quick shop before work meant two days of easy lunches made in 5 minutes.
And some days you just need to do this: treat yourself. Take a book and order yourself a cold beverage. Just breathe.
Now, a few tips for a successful, healthy and yummy lunchtime:
- Keep some staples in your desk drawer. I always have ‘fancy salt and pepper’ – I found a grinder at the supermarket that contained pink salt and black pepper and it has saved many, many lunches. I also have a packet of rice/corn crackers; tins of baked beans; a variety of tea; peanut butter; and vegemite just in case.
- Stock up at the beginning of the week. On Sunday night put 10 pieces of fruit into a bag along with a few small tubs of yoghurt and some carrots – snacks for the whole week! Maybe add a box of healthy muesli bars too.
- When you bake up some healthy muffins or quick bread at home, wrap some individually and then put them in the freezer at work. 30 seconds in the microwave and you’ll have the comfort of a freshly baked treat all over again. Bonus: the scent of sugar and spice (or cheese and herbs) wafting from your desk will make your co-workers very jealous.
- Know where the healthy lunch spots are in your area. I work in an industrial estate so there are many trucker friendly options, but not so many good choices for a gluten free vegetarian lass like myself. However, a quick scout around and I located a sushi shop only 10 minutes away! Perfect for the days when I just want to escape for a little while.
I hope that this post was a little helpful or provided some inspiration. Tell me dear reader, what are your tips for a quick healthy and delicious lunch? Anyone favourite lunchtime treats?