I might be the minority here, but I love bringing my own lunch to work. Every once and a while it’s fun to go out, sure. But most days, I prefer to eat my own food. It’s typically a healthier option, always cheaper, and makes me feel better through the rest of the day. The only downside is that this requires some extra prep work the night before or morning of.
Most nights, I’ll make double portions of dinner so that Dylan and I can each bring leftovers the next day. This makes things so much easier. Usually I’ll divide up the portions as I’m serving dinner — putting our lunches straight into tupperware. Then, you do all of the clean up at once, and it’s barely any additional time in the evening.
But, sometimes you want something different the next day! Or maybe these recipes can serve as inspiration for both dinners and lunches. Either way, happy prepping.
When you want a salad:
The majority of my lunches are some form of salad. After many years of this, I’ve discovered a few tricks to make a salad that is filling and not completely soggy come lunchtime.
Tip #1: Make sure you have sources of protein and fat along with plenty of greens. This will make you feel satiated at the end of the meal and keep you full throughout the rest of the afternoon.
Tip #2: The order that you pack your salad ingredients matters. Put dressing at the bottom (if not in a separate container), then layer on the heaviest ingredients (your proteins, cheese, starchy veggies, grains), followed up with the lighter veggies, and then greens on the very top. When it’s time to eat, shake up the container and you’ll have a salad that’s fresh and ready to go.
A few of my favorite salad recipes:
When you want something hearty:
I love a good bowl. They are so easy, quick, filling and can be made with pretty much anything in your fridge. All you need is a base of grains (or cauliflower rice if you want to keep it lighter), a protein, some cooked veggies, and a flavorful sauce. I also love to throw a little avocado or shredded carrots and broccoli on top. If you do this, I’d recommend packing these separate so that you can add the toppings that are better cold after quickly heat up the bowl at work.
A few of my favorite bowls:
When you only have 5 minutes to prep:
It’s a random weekday morning, you have to be out the door in 5, but you don’t want to figure out a lunch option midday….what do you do?
Make a quick turkey wrap. This one looks delish.
Throw together a quick bento box lunch. This can be a little bit of everything that looks good in your fridge. Not feeling inspired? Brit + Co put together a list to get you started.
How to pack:
Good tupperware to pack it all up is essential. We have a great set of glass tupperware that I use daily. It’s also nice to have smaller containers for salad dressing, divided containers for portioning, reusable silicone bags, and a great tumbler. Also, I fell in love with this bento box — it would make any lunch more fun to pack.