There are days and occasions that call for lengthy, drawn out lunch affairs. Client meetings, promotion celebrations, holiday parties, and even birthdays can warrant lunching out at a nearby restaurant for a proper, sit-down meal.
But more often than not, work lunches are scarfed down at your desk in between conference calls and firing off emails. If you bring your lunch, it consists of some sort of sad salad or cold leftovers, and if you order your lunch, it’s typically something on the unhealthier side, like a burrito or a sandwich.
Surely there must be a better solution? A warm, wholesome meal, that can be “cooked” using the meager kitchenette offerings at most offices – ie, a little counter space and a microwave.
Use these slight tweaks and tricks to make the following four recipes into perfect work lunches.
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1. Meal Prep Roasted Veggie and Brown Rice Bowls with Green Goddess Sauce
One great trick for adding lots of flavor to your lunch is to add great sauces or dressings. You’ll want to add them at the last minute so that your dish or salad doesn’t get soggy, and for that we love using these reusable sauce containers.
Prep these veggie bowls in microwave-proof containers so that you can throw the entire container into the microwave, reheat it in 45-second intervals until warm, then pour the sauce over top.
2. Pressure Cooker Vegan Quinoa Burrito Bowls
Your pressure cooker can be a huge asset in the meal prep arena. These Vegan Quinoa Burrito Bowls are packed with protein from the quinoa and beans, perfect to keep you energized through the rest of your work day.
What makes these bowls really special is the contrast – hot, warm, soft, bean and quinoa mixture vs cold, crunchy vegetables. To make that happen at the office – pack the quinoa and bean mixture in a microwave-proof container, and pack all of the vegetables that you want to keep cold in a separate container – a bit of iceberg lettuce, some thinly sliced red onion, cilantro, and some lime wedges.
If you want to add avocado, keep it whole and slice it at the last minute at the office. When you’re ready to eat, first warm the bean and quinoa mixture for about 1 minute or until warm, then add the lettuce, onion, cilantro, and avocado over top. Squeeze fresh lime juice over top.
3. Tuna Salad Sandwiches or Tuna Salad Stuffed Avocados
Make this tuna salad the night before, store it in a small tupperware, and pack the tuna salad and either 2 slices of bread or an avocado. When you have time for a quick 10-minute break between polishing of that Excel model and a conference call with China, run into the kitchen and prepare your lunch.
If you’re going the sandwich route, toast your bread and pile the tuna salad on! If you want to go the stuffed avocado route, just cut open the avocado, de-pit it, and stuff it with tuna salad.
A lot of office kitchens keep olive oil and vinegar stocked, if yours does, drizzle some of that over top.
4. Chicken Posole Verde
A huge, comforting bowl of soup can be just what the doctor ordered after a crazy morning of work, when an entire afternoon of craziness lies ahead of you. Pack your soup in a microwave-proof container, and pack some thinly sliced radishes, a few cilantro leaves, and an avocado (uncut) in a separate bag.
Warm up the soup in 30-second intervals, then top with the radishes, cilantro, and avocado. The crunchy coldness from the radishes and creamy coldness from the avocado has such a great contrast to the warm chicken soup.