Simple and Healthy Office Lunches
Heads up! All of these recipes are vegan! That is what is easiest for me in terms of prep/transportation to work, and goes along with my food preferences. Although I am not a "vegan", I prefer to eat mostly plant-based meals during the week when I am cooking for 1. It is way cheaper and way nicer to our planet. That being said, feel free to add chicken, shrimp, egg, etc. to any of these dishes, I am sure it would be delicious!
Frozen Veggies: I love using frozen veggies. I saute them, roast them, or use them in smoothies. Frozen organic fruits and vegetables are actually extremely nutrient dense and often times more flavorful than "fresh" fruit and veggies you might find in a grocery store. Unless you have access to constant trips to the farmers market, frozen fruits and vegetables are an easy, inexpensive and healthy alternative. When you buy frozen, that means that the produce you are buying was flash frozen at its ripest point at its peak time of year on site. When you buy "fresh" from a grocery store, a lot of times that produce has been transferred from hundreds of miles away, will go bad within the next few days, and was picked maybe before it was ready.
Whole Foods Rice Blends: These pre-made rice blends are a life saver. The different combinations that they come in include, long grain brown rice, lentils, quinoa... all grains that are pretty time consuming to make. These rice blends are pre-made and only take a couple minutes to heat back up.
Nuts & seeds: I try to buy all of my nuts and seeds at Trader Joe's because you can't beat the price. One extra tip is to buy the packaged pieces of nuts instead of whole nuts because they are cheaper.
Olive Oil: Olive oil gets a bad rep for being too fatty and caloric... when in reality this oil has amazing health benefits for your body with all of its antioxidants including polyphenols which lower your risk of heart disease and dementia with it's anti-inflammatory properties that protect LDL cholesterol from oxidation. Do your research and eat your polyphenols!
Rice & lentil blend with peas, carrots, avocado and cashews:
Sauté the peas and carrots mix in some olive oil, sea salt, pepper, and lemon. Use the same pan afterwards to sauté the rice a bit to add in some flavor, the rice blend packets already have olive oil in them (read your ingredients!) so I don't add anymore, I use vegetable oil to add some flavor and moisture to the rice, you can use water as well if you don't have vegetable oil. Store your the mixture in a little container and bring it to work along with an avocado and some cashews to snack on. I am super lucky and my office has a microwave. This meal would be just as good cold, however it was a rainy day so I was craving something warm and cozy. I dumped my rice & veggies mixture onto a plate and stuck it in the microwave for 1 minute. Once hot, I chopped up half of an avocado and sprinkled a few cashews on the plate. This recipe left me craving more however all the healthy fats and protein from the avocado and cashews kept me full for the rest of the afternoon.
Chickpea pea pasta AKA "double pea pasta":
Boil some Eat Banza chickpea pasta (their recipe has much improved over the years if you were hesitant to try a chickpea pasta). Sauté a bag of frozen green peas in some olive oil, sea salt, thyme and lemon. Throw half of your sautéed peas into your Vitamix and blend with more lemon, a bit of unsweetened almond milk, some garlic or garlic powder, and a tbsp of nutritional yeast. Drain your chickpea pasta and place back in the warm pan. Pour the pea sauce over your pasta and mix in the rest of your peas. You can eat warm or cold the rest of the week. If you do choose to warm your pasta in a microwave, you might want to add in a little bit of water to reach a desired consistency.
Easy transportable Salad:
Bring in to work: Kale, other lettuce, seeds/nuts, lemon, avocado, some sort of cracker (pictured here is the Trader Joe's Norwegian Crispbread which I LOVE). At work, dump the lettuce and nuts/seeds into a bowl, squeeze lemon and chop half an avocado over the salad. Throw on some a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper if desired. Eat with the crispbread.
Avocado "toast" on simple mills crackers
My office does not have a toaster... simple fix! Bring in some crackers and load up your crackers with mashed avocado. I usually use a half of an avocado (depending on the size of the avo) and then squeeze half a lemon on top to make it easier to mash. Here I brought in a little tomato as well to add some extra flavor.
Quinoa and Avocado:
Cook quinoa in vegetable broth instead of water for extra flavor. Top with half an avocado once at work. Mix in some hot sauce if spicy is your thing.
Cauliflower rice, lentils, mushrooms, peas:
I sautéed cauliflower rice (frozen from Trader Joe's), lentils (from the vegetable fridge at TJ's), fresh sliced mushrooms and frozen peas in olive oil, sea salt and thyme. Sautéing mushrooms in vegetable oil also adds a bit of flavor. I threw all of the ingredients in a cute mason jar and brought to work to be eaten cold or warmed in the microwave.
Quinoa with roasted veggies:
This recipe idea is extremely customizable, here is a quick outline of how this particular bowl went down, but in reality, just cook your quinoa and then throw some roasted veggies on top and voila!
Cook your quinoa in vegetable broth. Roast any veggie of your choice with some olive oil at 375 degrees for about 30 minutes. "Massage" kale with avocado oil. Throw everything together with some avocado and hot sauce. Eat cold or heat up in the microwave for 1 minute.