What do you usually eat for lunch? Work lunches often fall into two distinct categories: expensive or boring. Many people in our workspace either grab pricey takeout or bring in leftovers, hoping they reheat okay. But, of course, it doesn’t have to be that way! With some help from SoYoung, here are five cheap and delicious meals that’ll take no more than fifteen minutes…
Salad in a Jar
Salad in a mason jar is the easiest way to have a big, zillion-ingredient salad at work. The key is simply knowing how to layer it: Dressing goes in first, followed by your firmest vegetables (carrots, etc.). Next, add your grains and/or beans and a protein. Top it all off with lettuce or leafy greens. When you’re ready to eat, just dump it all into a bowl and toss!
Nothing wrong with the classic, if that’s your jam. But if you’re in the mood for something new, try swapping out peanut butter for sun butter or almond butter. Add one more ingredient and you’ve got a whole new sandwich on your hands. Try slicing up a fig or sprinkling in some dried apricot for texture; or add sliced fresh fruit or bananas instead of jelly.
Picnic in a Bag
Joanna has had this lunch every other day for years. Pack your favorite cheese, crackers and some fruit. (For example, a Honeycrisp apple with sharp cheddar is one of life’s simple pleasures.) If you’d like, toss in a few slices of cured ham or a handful of almonds. Voila! A picnic at work couldn’t be easier.
Chicken Waldorf Salad
Not to be confused with regular chicken salad, Waldorf chicken salad is the fancy (and more filling) version. The recipe combines chopped up chicken, tart apple, halved red grapes, raisins, walnuts, mustard and mayo. But it’s easily tweaked for whatever you have on hand: Sub in carrots for the celery. If you don’t have walnuts and raisins, swap them out for virtually any nut and dried fruit (or even a handful of trail mix). Any kind of chicken will do, as well: leftovers from last night; the frozen skinless breast taking up space in the freezer. Toss it all in a bowl and taste as you go.
Any Grain + Any Green + Hummus
A grain and a green are a good start, but if you crave something more solid to make it a meal, that solid thing is hummus. A good hummus is rich in protein, fiber and flavor; and that thick creaminess hits the spot so well. Cook a cup of whatever grain you have in the house (rice, farro, quinoa) and some kind of leafy green (ideally something a little crunchy, like kale, which will hold up better than softer greens). Dollop a nice, big heaping spoonful of hummus right on top. Simple as that.
What do you bring for your work lunches? And what do you bring it in? The SoYoung lunch poche fits all the essentials, with room for a drink and extra snacks. It’s fully lined, with a removable insert for easy cleaning and a shoulder strap for easy carrying. (They also have great kids’ lunch boxes and backpacks, too. Anton has the shark!)
We love that SoYoung is a woman-owned company (you can find the founder’s amazing story here) and that every SoYoung product is made with the hope that it helps people embrace a little bit more wellness in their lives.
What do you eat for lunch? Do you have any easy ideas to add?