Top Tips for Fabulous Packed Lunches
Although your employer is not forced to give you a lunch break, it’s important to take some time off to eat properly during the day.
A recent survey revealed that most Americans take 30 minutes or less for their lunch break, and spend most of that time socializing with colleagues as well as eating.
However even if you don’t have a lot of time, it’s still possible to eat well at work. More and more people are bringing packed lunches, not only to spend less money but also to eat a better, more balanced diet.
Do you find that your work lunches are boring and too repetitive? Follow our top 10 tips for stellar work lunches!
Let’s be honest: after 8 hours sitting in an office, we’re already too lazy to cook dinner…let alone tomorrow’s lunch as well ! So to solve this problem, the best solution is to make a little extra dinner that you can then pack in a lunchbox for the day after. Plus leftovers always taste better the next day. If you're looking for tips on recycling leftovers, check out this article.
Try this delicious pizza recipe that you can make with leftover turkey! (especially when you have loads of Thanksgiving turkey lying around...)
Vary your diet
Not everyone likes to cook and many people prefer to just bring a sandwich to work. If you’re part of this group, then try to at least vary what you put on your sandwich (ham, cheese, vegetables, tuna etc.) as well as the type of bread that you use (French, rye, sourdough, white, whole wheat etc.) If you’re bringing a salad, then try to not always bring the same thing; instead, adapt the vegetables to the season !
Opt for light foods
Nothing is worse than the 2pm food coma. To avoid feeling sleepy because of the heavy meal that you’re digesting, go for smaller portions and choose foods that are light and not too heavy.
Instead of having a burger try a veggie wrap. The idea is to eat a light and balanced meal.
Get colorful !
The office walls are white, the floor is black and your desk is gray. So to avoid going totally insane, put a bit of color on your plate! All you need is some seasonal vegetables, a slice of pink ham and a handful of yellow bulgur and before you know it, you’ll be eating the rainbow.
use pretty, high quality containers
To avoid worrying about whether your lunch is currently dripping into the inside of your purse, be sure to invest in a high quality container, like Tupperware. You can also go for a colorful Japanese bento box or a pretty thermos.
Take your time
A lunch break is supposed to be just that, a break. Sure, we’re all professionals and committed to our jobs, but we should still be able to take a 20 minute break to eat a sandwich! And don’t eat standing up or walking down the street: take a break and sit down to eat.
Eat with others
It’s not about what you eat, it’s about who you eat it with. Of course it’s annoying to not be able to eat a wholesome, home-cooked meal at lunch, but the least you can do is to eat in good company. Sit down with some colleagues and try to talk about something other than work for half an hour!
Step away from the computer
Maybe you prefer to eat alone because you don’t feel like gossiping with your colleagues or waiting in line forever. Whatever the reason, just make sure to not eat in front of your computer! You need to empty your mind in order to take a real break, which is why it’s important to step away from your workspace.
Get some air!
No one is forcing you to bring a packed lunch - maybe you love eating ready-made sandwiches. If that’s the case, try to alternate where you head for lunch so that you don’t always eat the same thing. And take advantage of your lunch break to stretch your legs and walk a little; after 6 hours of sitting at a desk, your legs will thank you!
Do you eat a packed lunch at work? What do you bring?
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Chef Tips and Tricks
Enjoy these super easy, cheesy, dumpling-style croque monsieurs!
- 4 slices of bread
- 4 slices of ham
- 6 cherry tomatoes
- Mozzarella cheese
- Egg yolk
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- On a large piece of plastic wrap, press one slice of bread flat with a rolling pin.
- Add one slice of ham, cherry tomatoes, and mozzarella cheese.
- Take the four corners of the bread, pull them in towards the center, pinch them together so that the bread maintains the shape.
- Envelope the bread in the plastic wrap. Gather and twist the ends on top to seal the sandwich dumpling.
- Repeat this step with the other slices of bread.
- Remove the bread balls from the fridge and roll each one in flour, then egg yolk, then breadcrumbs.
- Bake for 15 minutes.
- Serve alone or with dipping sauces of your choice.