When you’re working it’s easy to fall into the trap of buying takeaways every day. While this may seem a thousand times better than the schlep of packing your own lunch or eating the unappetising “lunch” you quickly scraped together this morning, packing your own will make your life so much more convenient and healthier!
I’m sure you’re all too familiar with the scenario of first struggling to decide what you’d like to buy and then having to wait in a queue for almost half your lunch break to get your meal. Packing your own lunch at home, could solve most of these problems and will end up being much more of a benefit than you originally anticipated.
I know that this is much easier said than done, but with this list of useful tips, tricks and hacks, preparing lunch at home will be a breeze.
Making a start
This is probably the most difficult step but once you get into the swing of things it will become easier. For the first week or so, plan what you would like to eat for the week and work according the schedule for some structure to start off with. Also, mornings are already such a rush so don’t complicate it even more by leaving lunch packing for mornings. Prepare everything the night before or even at the beginning of the week, where possible. Also buy ingredients that can be used in a variety of dishes for example salad ingredients can turn into sandwich ingredients.
Your lunch box
Invest in lunch boxes with compartments. With these boxes you won’t have to trek around with five different containers, as a lunch box with separate compartments will preserve your food and prevent it from going soggy.
Store salads in mason jars for a more appealing look and convenience.
Incorporate your Sunday lunch or weeknight dinner leftovers into your lunch for the next day. Do this by making a bit extra in the evenings and then there's zero effort required for lunch prepping.
Keep things interesting
Sandwiches get boring after a while, switch things up by throwing in some pita bread, wraps or rice crackers. Pasta and rice dishes will be easy on your pocket and there are so many variations that you can try, this option will work if you have a microwave available.
Also, keep some condiments at work or some vinegar and olive oil for salads. Lemon juice is also great on salads and you can some lemons in your draw or fridge at work.
Nuts and seeds are a great addition to salads or stir fries. They take things up a notch, adding some crunch and can be store easily in your draw as well.
READ: 10 sarmies to make weekday lunches more exciting
Try to include as many food groups as possible. Fruit and vegetables should never be forgotten as this adds much needed nutritional value and colours!
Don't be unrealistic and just pack a quickly-thrown-together green salad, add some chewy bits and remember to pack snacks like fruit and nuts.
Next time you're at a loss for lunch ideas, try these yummy options!
Butternut, mince and avo wraps
Left over lamb sandwich
Summer chicken goujon salad
Pork meatball pitas with miso and tahini yoghurt
Cheesy mushroom and pork enchiladas
Creamy chicken and mushroom pot pies
Roast chicken pita breads
Bobotie filo parcels with apple ring chutney
Sweet potato, butternut and chevin tarts
Low carb fish tacos
Green chilli con carne tacos
Low carb salad jars
Chicken salad wraps
- Chante Felix