Brown bagging it isn’t always easy. It involves a bit of foresight: buying groceries on the weekend to set yourself up for the week, and setting your alarm to buy an extra 10 minutes to pack it up. But the alternative—buying lunch at work every day—isn’t always the best idea. While there’s nothing wrong with treating yourself sometimes, buying lunch every day can get expensive, and depending on the offerings around your place of work, it can get dull fast. The solution is to mix it up by bringing wholesome, tasty options from home at least a few days a week. Here are a few ideas.
Italian vegetable hoagie
Sandwiches don’t come much better than this. It’s loaded with veggies and flavor, with red onion, balsamic vinegar and some interesting meats. And don’t be afraid to mix it up. Get whatever cuts you like. There are no rules. Why not make an extra-long one and cut it in half, then you’ll have lunch for two days? See? Eating well can be easy.
Curried squash and red lentil soup
Let’s be real: Soup is the best workplace food. Personally I love a hot lunch during the week, especially this time of year. If you make a big batch ahead of time, divide it into a few reusable containers and heat it up in the office microwave—you’ll be the envy of everyone. I like to put a scoop of Greek yogurt in the middle, which gives a nice protein boost and can help temper the hot temperature if you’ve over-zapped it. This recipe from Shutterbean is my favorite soup of all time.
Pasta Salad with Goat Cheese and Arugula
This is a great summer office number from Martha. It’s another one you can make ahead of time in a decent-sized batch so you can just grab it from the fridge and toss it in your work bag on your way out the door in the morning. It has a nice balance of nutrients, with the pasta, cannellini beans, goat cheese, olive oil and arugula providing some carbs, protein and healthy fats. Great for an outdoor office picnic in the spring or summer.
Everything is better with avocado, it’s been proven by science. Also, people seem to like bacon. These wraps are great, wholesome lunches, with a nice dose of vegetables and flavor to help you power through the afternoon without feeling logey. Make the bacon ahead of time and you won’t have to do it in the morning.
Fresh Tomato Soup
Another classic soup. This one is especially nice with tomatoes bought in season, or even ones you grew in your garden, if you’re into that type of thing (I am). This goes great with a fresh baguette or pita chips, which you may want to dip.
Quinoa and Smoked Tofu Salad
Quinoa is still hot. And why not? It’s fairly easy to prepare, provides a decent dose of protein, and makes a nice framework for a healthy, wholesome salad like this one. Smoked tofu provides nice complex flavor while several vegetables give nutrients you need for the day. It tastes good, and you’ll feel great.
Need another option? You might want to try a Luvo burrito for lunch. You can store them in the freezer at work and microwave them when you need a bite. They come with a nice mix of flavors and provide a healthy midday meal that will help fuel your brain and your body for the afternoon ahead.
What’s your favorite wholesome lunch for six dollars or less? Let us know in the comments and on Twitter @luvoinc.