With many people now having the option to work from home, lunch can be easy to skip over. Instead, the alternative to eating a sit-down meal may be snacking throughout the day. There's less urgency to meal prep or pack a lunch for the office when you know you can "put something together" last minute in your own kitchen.
While that may be true, many work-from-home professionals aren't eating as balanced of a lunch as they could be. The idea of "cooking" lunch doesn’t have to be overwhelming or time consuming. These 5 easy work-from-home lunch ideas will help energize you for your at-home workday, while also providing satiating and nutritious foods so you don’t feel like you’re grazing all day.
5 Work from Home Lunch Ideas
1. Switch Up Your Sandwich
Sandwiches take no prep at all so if you find yourself lacking energy for meal prep, make sure you have a loaf of bread and toppings available. If you're all about keeping things simple, turkey, ham and cheese with a veggie and condiment can get the job done. To add more nutrients with a little flare, consider adding avocado, sprouts, dill, crunchy chickpeas or grilled veggies.
Pile your ingredients onto a bagel, pita, focaccia or sourdough. Cutting out bread? Wrap your "sandwich" in a lettuce wrap.
We like these roasted chickpeas cauliflower pitas for inspiration.
2. Assemble Mason Jar Salads
Mason jar salads, or salads in a jar, take a few minutes of prep work the night before but are easy to grab and take back to your desk. Assemble your favorite salad ingredients in a mason jar or large container, and when ready to eat, add your dressing and shake.
Add greens, grains, a protein source, a handful of different veggies and dressing. A sample mason jar salad may include spinach, quinoa, hard boiled eggs, chopped peppers, shredded carrots and hummus. Mix up your protein options – like chickpeas, shredded chicken, tofu and black beans – to prevent taste fatigue.
3. Try Out 5-Minute Tacos
Let’s taco 'bout our love for tacos. They can be super easy to put together and pack a whole lot of flavor! First, make sure you stock your pantry with tortillas, so they're readily available the next time you have a taco craving. Add beans, spinach and cheese for a simple plant-based meal. Or you can take another route and add leftover cooked chicken (or even quicker, rotisserie chicken) with avocado. Enjoy a balanced meal that can be prepared in under 5 minutes.
4. Recycle Leftover Pasta
While you can easily buy a pasta salad mix, it’s just as easy to make your own. Save leftover pasta from the night before or earlier in the week. Toss with Italian dressing, cucumbers, tomatoes, Italian seasoning and parmesan cheese. Add any additional desired add-ins. To mix things up, toss your salad in a hummus dressing.
5. Go for a Buddha Bowl
Buddha bowls are some of the easiest to put together if you have the ingredients prepped ahead of time. Similar to the mason jar salad, dreaming up a buddha bowl requires the addition of grains, a protein, some veggies and your favorite toppings. For a Southwest twist, add brown rice, black beans, corn, tomatoes, cheese, tomatoes, avocado and chicken. Try switching out the brown rice with quinoa or barley and mixing up the toppings and dressings based on what you have available.