Looking for healthy lunch inspiration?
When I'm trying to eat healthily, I often find lunch can be a bit of a make-or-break point in the day. If I've got something delicious and homemade with me, it's satisfying and keeps me wanting to eat well for the rest of the day. If I don't, I end up buying lunch at work - and sometimes those M&S flapjacks and Percy Pigs are too hard to resist!
I've always tried to make an effort to take lunch with me to work (or university before that) - mainly because it's a great way to save money.
But even the best of intentions can be hard to keep. There have been so many weeks that I've started by preparing tasty lunches for the first couple of days, then getting lazy by the end of the week. Lazy lunches of peanut butter on crisp breads don't really make for the best midday momentum boost I need!
So recently I've been doing all my lunch preparation for the week in one go. Typically a Sunday evening (though it depends on my work pattern that week), and all in all it takes no more than an hour.
I've been inspired by Naturally Sassy and the idea of making batches of mix-and-match salad bits for midweek lunch combinations.
It's so simple to have everything made in one evening, then just pick bits each night to take for lunch the next day.
It's one lot of food prepping, cooking and washing up - all over and done with before the week even begins!
I tend to just have a couple of spoonfuls of everything everyday, but you could easily be more creative, having different combinations to mix things up throughout the week.
A week's worth of healthy lunch ideas:
If you fancy trying your own week's worth of lunch preparation, here's what I've been having this week:
Quinoa & Bulgur Wheat
Put 150g mixed quinoa and bulgur wheat in a saucepan, add 300ml water and bring to the boil. Simmer for 10-15 minutes, until fully cooked.
Simply 1 tin of soaked borlotti beans!
Chop 1 courgette and 2 sweet peppers into small chunks, sprinkle with 2tsp of paprika and drizzle with a tablespoon of sunflower oil. Roast in the oven at 180°c for about 15-20 minutes.
Spinach & Mushroom Salad
Mix 2tbsp tahini with 1 tbsp of reduced salt soy sauce, 1tbsp lemon juice and 1 tbsp water until you have a smooth dressing. Put 300g spinach into a bowl, adding 4 to 5 chopped, raw mushrooms. Pour over the dressing and mix together.
Add chopped cucumber, tomatoes and feta cheese to four or five handfuls of mixed leaf salad.
Beetroot & Carrot Slaw
Grate 2 carrots and 2 beetroots into a dish, adding a couple of handfuls of pomegranate seeds for added sweetness and crunch.
Making batches of your own salads at home is an efficient and easy way of keeping up healthy eating, while ensuring your lunches are nutritious, appealing and full of colour! The mix-and-match approach is also ideal for a balanced meal - it becomes really simple to have a variety of vegetables, proteins, healthy fats... whatever you need, it's easy to add in!
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What are you favourite things to have for lunch?