Office Lunchtime: 5 practical ideas for your meal


Office Lunchtime: 5 practical ideas for your meal

Let’s be honest: buying ready-made meals or eating tasty but horrible snacks are not the best we can do during our lunch time in the office. Have you ever reflected on how much money you could save if you brought lunch from home or how much healthier your meal could be? It just takes a little extra effort and time. Leave it to us to inspire you.

Here are some lunch tips to bring with you to work along with your briefcase or back pack.

This article is also available in Italian.

1. Sandwich mania!

The Caprese Sandwhich (Basil, Mozzarella, and Tomatoes)
The Caprese Sandwhich (Basil, Mozzarella, and Tomatoes)

As mentioned, pre-packaged foods might seem more convenient, but healthier DIY options aren’t hard work if you have some ideas (and we’re definitely DIY fans)! The most classic and easy-to-make food for lunch in the office is the sandwich.

First off, bring bread and fillings separated so your sandwiches don’t become soggy, and don’t forget that the right condiments make a difference between a good sandwich and a great one.

Apart from ketchup and mayo, try hummus: a smooth, garlicky condiment (don’t forget the brush your teeth after) is terrific on a burger, in a pita pocket or even with raw vegetables. Remember that pesto sauce is not just for pasta; they are for sandwiches too. Try a basil pesto (basil, oil, garlic) or a sundried tomato pesto on a Caprese sandwich.

2. Carb lovers: Pasta&co

For a filling lunch at work, eat leftover pasta from dinner

If you’re having pasta, couscous or rice the night before, it doesn’t cost you any effort to prepare 100-150gr more.

Easy add-ons are olives, sundried tomatoes, feta, almonds, goat cheese, arugula, cherry tomato, mays, mushrooms, grapes, dices of ham or turkey, cucumber, roasted or fresh peppers, chickpeas, beans, ricotta, brie, parmesan, avocado, apple, pear … the list is just endless!

Plus, give an Italian touch to your leftover pasta and prepare a delicious Frittata. Just mix it with some eggs and bake it each side for about 5 minutes (after a while you’ll become an expert in turning them over). There you go, crispy fried pasta.

Pasta Frittata
Pasta Frittata

Ps. sick of rice or pasta? Try salads with Quinoa, a healthy whole grain, wheat or spelt!

3. The art of leftovers

In your everyday life, every moment could be the perfect time to rediscover the lost art of turning leftovers into tasty meals. Don’t be a food-waster! Here are some ways you can use them:

Bread – bake crusts or stale bread and bring them to the office, this way you can dress your salad like a real Caesar Salad; or try to make a delicious croque-monsieur by preparing some  ingredients like ham and cheese the night before, then just quickly bake it all in the morning. Easiest brunch dish ever!

Potatoes – Make large portions of extra potatoes for dinner, and try an easy and healthy potato salad the day after: add tuna, green beans or olives.

Pizza croutons

Pizza croutons!
Pizza croutons!

Typical leftover food from your party night. Use leftover pizza, slice crustless cheese pizza into little bite-sized squares and heat them up.

Smoothie break

Frozen Smoothie Packs
Frozen Smoothie Packs

Make frozen smoothie packs at home to last the whole week: when you’re ready to enjoy a smoothie just pick a bag and blend! Simple and quick!

4. Meal transport

Is separating wet stuff from dry stuff your unmentionable dream? We discovered some plastic “adapters” for bringing great food with you on the go! They’re conveniently shaped inserts that separate a canning jar into two compartments so you can mix or dip food.

Check out the video below and tell us if it’s a stroke of genius or not.

BNTO by Cuppow! from Paper Fortress on Vimeo.

5. His majesty, the tupperware!

Forget those cheap and plastic Tupperware containers: have you ever thought about packing your lunch using jars instead of plastic boxes? Follow the food-in-a-jar trend!

They look both functional and cool and your salads and meals will remain fresh, at last.

Keep fantasy going, there’s no limit to recipes, and you can mix beans with salad, nuts, veggies or fruit. Watch out, the dressing/liquid will stay at the bottom of the jar, and don’t forget grains or pasta as nice add-ons!

So, next time you meet your grandma remember to save one of her jam jars.

Bento Boxes

Bento boxes are great for bringing lunch to work!

These are also a great way to bring your meal (curious what bento means in Japanese? It means ‘convenience’!). That’s the point, there’s not only super cute: they have little compartments so you can really mix it up with the leftovers. In fact, a traditional bento holds rice, fish or meat, with pickled or cooked vegetables.

Eventually, reflect on the fact that we all need a little time to recharge, so try to take your time: don’t eat on the fly (and get up from your desk!)