Much though we might all like to have lunch out of the office, the reality is that most days, most of us take lunch at our desks. And it’s not just the location that can feel routine; it’s all too easy to fall into a rut and produce the same packed lunch to bring to the office every day.
Whatever your regular lunch is – and let’s face it, for most of us, it’s usually some kind of sandwich and a packet of crisps – it might well be time to take a stand and do something different! Try one of these ideas to make lunch at work much more inviting, and trust us, your tastebuds will appreciate it.
There are two Japanese traditional dishes that work well for an office lunch. The word ‘bento’ actually means ‘convenient’ and a bento box is certainly that. Typically, it will contain white rice, meat or fish and cooked or pickled veggies. You can buy specially-designed bento boxes from sites such as Little Bento World, so there’s no excuse not to get creative and think up your own bento box recipe or follow this one for Teriyaki Chicken.
Then, of course, there’s sushi. While you might prepare your own bento box to bring into work, few of us would bother to make sushi, especially when it’s so readily available to buy. And since a huge surge in the popularity of the Japanese cuisine, from big-name chains like Wagamama to smaller independent eateries, there are certainly plenty of exceptional Japanese restaurants to try in every big city. Going out to buy a box of sushi might also give you a chance to stretch your legs before lunch, but if you’re tied to your desk as so many of us are, food delivery providers such as Deliveroo can bring sushi to your door.
Bring a bowl
Instead of unwrapping foil from your sandwiches, flip the lid on a bowl of food you’ve prepared the night before; it’ll be so much more interesting. Companies such as Ziploc provide sealed bowls to stop the danger of spillage, but otherwise, transporting the food around in a bowl is always an issue. With just a little bit of preparation and a well-chosen meal (we wouldn’t recommend soup!), it’s well worth a little midweek treat.
There are lots of bowl lunch recipes around, and what you put in yours really depends on what you have in the cupboards and fridge at home. It can be super-healthy, too! Use pasta, quinoa, or bulgar wheat as your base, then add in protein like chicken breast or salmon, as well as some roasted veggies, or some fresh salad like cucumber, tomatoes. Sprinkle on pumpkin seeds for crunch and bring a dressing to drizzle over it when you’re ready to eat. If you like the idea of a bowl, but don’t want the effort of preparation at home, join one of the latest trends in bowl eating and buy a poke bowl instead. You’ll be leading the way and the talk of the office!
Quiches and frittatas
Yummm olive oil bubbles. This week’s frittata is zucchini, garlic, cheddar cheese, salami, and jalapeños topped with arugula and some (not intentionally) dried basil. . . . . #frittataqueen #frittata #zucchini #jalapeños #newyork #brooklyn #veggies #csa #farmtotable #homemade #food #instafood #instagood #delicious #goodmorning
The great thing about a sandwich lunch is that you can eat it with your hands, but there are plenty of other ways to eat lunch without cutlery. Instead of regular sangas, try bringing in some home-made quiche or frittata. This fabulous and health-conscious zucchini frittata recipe will get you started. These are infinitely variable, just by choosing different ingredients to go in them. They can also provide multiple portions – ideal if there is more than one person in your household taking lunch to work or school.
So there you have it; there’s no excuse to eat a boring lunch. Get creative in the kitchen the night before, or if you simply don’t have time, order in so that lunch at work is a treat, not a chore.