It is all too easy, when lunchtime finally rolls around, to head out with some friends to the nearest café and get yourself a pre-made sandwich or pizza slice. We have all done it. But, if you want to improve your health then you need to make some changes and mix things up. A treat with friends every few weeks is no problem, but this shouldn’t be the norm.
The number one thing that puts people off making their own healthy lunches to take with them to work each day is the effort level required. Fortunately, it doesn’t always have to be like that. There are plenty of healthy lunch recipes out there that don’t require too much time and effort and will fill you up and keep your feeling healthy.
If you’re not willing to sacrifice a few minutes of sleep each morning to get everything prepared, why not get your lunch ready the night before? This way all you need to do is grab it out of the fridge in the morning before you run out the door.
Butternut Squash & Spinach Pasta with Pecans
People shy away from pasta because they think it is unhealthy but this is not entirely true. Of course, if your whole diet consists of pasta (I’m looking at you, students) then you’re not going to feel very healthy. However, a small portion of pasta with squash and spinach at lunch will fill you up and give you the energy you need to get through the rest of the day. Simply roast butternut squash, tossed in oil and sage, in the oven for about 40 minutes. After 20 minutes add some chopped courgettes and five minutes before the end throw in some pecans. Mix this all in with pasta and voila you have yourself a delicious lunch for the next few days. Simple.
Salmon with brown rice
Brown rice is the healthier alternative to traditional white rice and has a delicious nutty texture that makes it great for salads. This recipe is simple and healthy and won't leave you feeling bloated. First, cook a batch of brown rice – remember that brown rice takes longer to cook than white rice. Three minutes before the rice is cooked, throw in some frozen soya beans. Then, microwave a salmon fillet for 3 minutes and use a fork to flake it. Add the salmon, chopped cucumber, spring onions and coriander to the rice and then drizzle with lime juice, chilli and soy.
Beetroot, feta and bulghar wheat salad
If you make a big batch of this, you will have lunches for a few days – making your mornings that much more tolerable. Cook as much bulghar wheat as you thing you will need and once it is ready, leave it to cool for half an hour or so. When it is warm, but not hot, stir in orange zest and juice, garlic, vinegar, mint leaves and spring onions. Finally, add beetroot, walnuts, olives and feta and you’re all ready to go.
Tuna Niçoise Protein Pot
If you’re looking for a lunch that is packed full of protein then this little pot will do wonders for you – with a whopping 30g of protein. Start by cooking some green beans – these will form the base of your pot. On top of the beans you will place one or two boiled eggs, depending on how hungry you are. You can either hard boil or soft boil the eggs. Finally, add a tin of tuna and a chopped tomato and dress with a spoon of French dressing.