I am a pretty dedicated to bringing my lunch to work. Sometimes I feel lame because I don’t go out to eat and socialize with my coworkers, but I know that I eat healthier and save money by bringing lunch—bonus bonus! It does take some planning though, like all good things. And from time to time I still find myself putting my palm to my face when I make it all the way to work and think, “BLEEP. My lunch is sitting in the fridge. At home.” But seriously the benefits outweigh the struggles.
The key to sticking with bringing my lunch has always been two things. First, remembering my why. This is particularly helpful when I want to go to bed, but I’m packing up a lunch instead. Saving dollars and pounds is so worth it. Second, make the lunch as simple as possible to make and pack. If you’re trying to bring your lunch more or you already do and you’re looking for some other options, these are my go-to healthy 2 minute prep lunches that I always have on hand.
p.s. for now, I’m not making lunch for a little one. I’m sure this prepping process doubles and triples quickly once you have school aged kids. If you do, bless you.
Avocado + salsa
Yes, I am the type of person that cuts into a perfectly ripe avocado and gets goofy excited. Try cutting an avocado in half, grounding some sea salt over top, dolloping a heavy hand of salsa on each side, and digging in with a spoon. It’s a healthy fat, flavorful lunch. Sometimes I also add chips if I’m feeling it. I love the Simply Nature Yellow Corn Chips from Aldi—they are salted perfectly and super delicious.
Layer these four things—one slice of lunch meat, one slice of cheese, one veggie (carrots, cucumbers, or mixed greens are my go-to), a condiment (mustard and hummus are my go to)—and then roll. it. up. You might need a toothpick so they make the trip to work.
I usually make a bunch of these a head of time and put them rolled up into a Pyrex container so I can grab and go on the way to work. The key to make these crave worth for me is finding meat + cheese combinations that I am like, “YES, PLEASE”. Here are a few of my favorite combos:
Turkey + havarti + cucumber + mustard
Salami + habanero jack + carrot + mustard
Turkey + cheddar + mixed greens + hummus
Have you discovered the 90 second rice packets? They are life savers for me. You can find them at any grocery store in a tons of different varieties. I usually get the wild rice or brown rice from Aldi for about $0.79 a pack. What’s nice about these is that you can add whatever you want (or whatever you happen to have leftover) to them and make a full, satisfying meal.
My go-to is to add whatever greens I have at the time into a bowl as the base then top it with the rice and heavy dollops of hummus, salsa, and sauerkraut. Sometimes I add avocado, roasted veggies, whatever leftovers I have that aren’t enough for a full meal, and depending on the bowl some oil and seasoning. I stock a couple of these at the office in case I forget my lunch or don’t have enough to fill me up, it’s a versatile option and doesn’t go bad very quickly.
Soup + spinach
I learned this one from a friend + coworker. Along with your rice packet, leave a few canned soup options at the office. And when life is crazy bananas (a term I also learned from that same friend), you can grab a bag of fresh spinach add it to your can of hot soup and suddenly you have some health in your life. There is a super random German noodle + vegetables soup from Aldi that my sister got me hooked on and that’s normally my go-to, but any soup will do!
Plate o’ pairs
If you ask any of my coworkers they have definitely seen me at the office with a random “plate o’ pairs”. Banana + peanut butter, hummus and carrots, almonds + cheese, chips + salsa—I’ve done it all. And it’s extremely easy and satisfying. I like appetizers and snacking. a lot. so this feels fun and indulgent. Not to mention it’s a breeze to put it together.
If you feel rushed at lunch time and end up eating unhealthy expensive things, try buying supplies for one of these and trying them out. Not much to lose here—2 minute prep, inexpensive, and good taste!