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Eat Well Wednesday: Five healthy work lunches

Kate Freeman

When it comes to work lunches, it’s easy to fall into the habit of grabbing something quick and easy from the nearby food court or indulging in a long lunch with the ladies from work on a Friday. But often the choices we make when it comes to these quick and easy solutions isn’t always the healthiest or has the most nutritional value. Here are five filling lunches you can make for work and know that when you eat them you’re feeding your body the healthier alternative.

Make it in the morning: Roast beef & mustard sandwich

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Spend 10 minutes in the morning after you eat breakfast to make your lunch.

Spread 2 slices of bread with dijon mustard, add the cold meat, sprouts, baby spinach and cucumber slices. Wrap in cling wrap or use an airtight container.

Make sure you use the total portion of the meat – you should feel full after you eat it and this is what will keep away those afternoon munchies.

Ingredients (1 serve)

  • 120g roast beef – shaved (can be bought from the deli or leftovers from a home roast)
  • 2 slices high fibre bread (burgen, wholegrain, wholemeal sourdough, rye, etc)
  • 2 tsp dijion mustard
  • 1/2 cup alfalfa sprouts
  • cucumber slices
  • 1/4 cup baby spinach leaves

Make it the night before: Egg & bean salad 

egg and bean salad

Spend 15 minutes before you go to bed making your lunch for the next day. It actually won’t take you long to cut up some vegetables, drain and rinse your 4 bean mix and boil some eggs.

Put your eggs on first and while they boil prepare all the other ingredients (hard boiled eggs take about 8 minutes on rapid boil). You’ll be done before the eggs finish.

Pop all your ingredients into a container. Store the vinegar separately and add it to your lunch just before eating.

Tip: After boiling your eggs, immediately run them under cold water and once they’re cool enough to touch peel them.

Ingredients (1 serve)

  • 150g 4 bean mix – drained and rinsed under cold water
  • 2-3 boiled eggs
  • 1 cup baby spinach
  • 1/4 cucumber
  • 1/4 red capsicum
  • 1/4 avocado
  • 2 tsp white balsamic vinegar

Cook it in bulk on the weekend: Beef and vegetables with rice

beef stir

Spending time on the weekend prepping for the week ahead is the best way to stay organised and make yourself a healthy lunch.

The recipe below only takes 15 minutes to cook and will make 6 serves! That’s lunch for the whole week done! Or you can freeze a few portions and save them for a rainy day

Put the brown rice on to boil first and let that cook away while you prepare and cook the stir fry.

Ingredients (1 serve)

Make it while you’re making dinner: Snapper, couscous and avocado salad

Snapper and cous cous

This has to be my favourite ways of ensuring a healthy, substantial lunch each day at work.

You’re already cooking dinner. Kill two birds with one stone and make extra for lunch as well. As you’re planning and buying your food for dinner, just ensure you have extra for the next day. When you’re dishing out the meal put out your dinner plates and your lunch box and serve it all at the same time.

This meal is a favourite of mine and is really easy to make. Make the couscous according to the packet directions. You pretty much cover it with boiling water and let it sit for 3-4 minutes, fluff it up with a fork.

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Cook the snapper in a non-stick frying pan. Season with salt and pepper. Fish usually only needs about 3-4 minutes each side over medium heat.

Divide a bag of leafy salad greens between your plates and lunch box.

The olive oil and red wine vinegar gives the meal lots of flavour. Just drizzle it over your whole plate just before eating. Keep the olive oil and red wine vinegar separate for your lunch in a small container.

For your lunch, wrap the snapper in foil keeping it separate to the salad and then heat it up (still in the foil) using a sandwich press.

Ingredients (1 serve)

  • 1 cup wholewheat couscous (cooked)
  • 200g fresh snapper fillets
  • 2 cups leafy salad greens
  • 1/4 avocado
  • 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp red wine vinegar

Steal the kid’s lunch: Cheese & herb pikelets with salad & goats cheese

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These cheese and herb pikelets are super yummy in the kids lunch boxes. Why not steal 2-3 for your own lunch. Serve it with a big salad, 40-50g of crumbles goats cheese and a big dollop of hummus.

Cheese pikelets

Soooo yummy if you put all those foods in your mouth at the same time.

Ingredients (1 serve)

  • 2 cheese & herb pikelets
  • 2 cups of salad (lettuce, capsicum, cucumber)
  • 50g goats cheese, crumbles
  • 2-3 tbsp hummus

At The Healthy Eating Hub, our nutritionists and dietitians are the experts at teaching you how to eat well with simple, fresh, balanced advice. Make an appointment today for individualised help.

Image of roast beef sandwich with lettuce from Shutterstock.

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Kate Freeman

Kate Freeman is a Registered Nutritionist and the founder and managing director of The Healthy Eating Hub. Kate’s healthy eating philosophy is all about whole, fresh foods, being realistic about life and creating long term healthy eating habits. She doesn’t believe in detoxes, fad diets or quick fixes. Once you’ve finished working with Kate, you’ll be empowered to feed yourself well for the rest of you life! More about the Author