It's a common tale: 1 p.m. rolls around, and while in a dream world, we would log off our laptops, take a leisurely stroll through the park and pick up a gourmet salad from that fancy (read pricey) new deli along the way, what actually happens is quite different. At best, it involves a mad dash to Pret to pick up the same sandwich you've had for approximately the past 476 working days, and at worst, you'll drag out that sorry-looking granola bar that's been knocking around at the back of your desk drawer for months. As we all know, refuelling via a healthy, nutritious and ultimately satisfying lunch can be the difference between a hellish or productive afternoon.
The answer: Bring your own. But because nothing is less appetising than a soggy sandwich, squished by the contents of your handbag, we've found five healthy lunch ideas that will make your midday meal so much more interesting. Good news: They take barely any prep at all.
Keep scrolling and you'll find a whole week's worth of lunch inspiration…
Nothing beats a hot lunch when the weather is chilly, but rather than making a beeline for a toasted sandwich, get yourself a Kilner Jar and try this genius and healthy version of a Pot Noodle by The Londoner. Fill the jar with glass noodles, your favourite vegetables and protein source, a stock cube and miso paste. When lunchtime rolls around, simply fill the jar with boiling water and you've got a super easy and rather delicious pot of ramen.
While office kitchens rarely boast Le Cordon Bleu–level equipment, most do come equipped with a toaster, so you might as well make the most of it. Try toasting a couple of slices of rye bread and topping with whatever healthy ingredients you could find in your fridge that morning (who said avo on toast was just for brunch?). Even better still, we love the idea of this smokey chickpeas toast topper recipe (a great source of protein) by The Simple Green.
Even if you do take the time to whip up a quick salad pre-work, there's nothing worse than opening up your Tupperware to find limp, wet leaves sodden with dressing. Instead, fill a jar three-quarters full with your favourite salad ingredients. These jars have a built-in compartment especially for transporting dressing. Then, at your desk, pour on the dressing, put the lid back on and shake to coat each and every leaf. We love this pomegranate and pear salad recipe by Fake Food Free.
We know what you're thinking—and yes, we love bread too. But if you've got a particularly big meeting or have a tonne of work to power through that afternoon, you might want to avoid bread and the sugar slump it brings with it. Instead, we've taken to the idea of using lettuce in its place. Topped with something protein-rich like this recipe for teriyaki chicken by A Saucy Kitchen, and you'll find it just as filling as the beige stuff.
Feeling inspired? Here are another 15 healthy lunch recipes to whet your appetite.
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