5 Healthy Lunch Ideas For Working Women
4:45 pm, May 1st | by Emily Manke
Packing your own lunch is a smart decision both financially and for your health. It’s easy to pick up a sandwich at the deli, or even a to-go salad from the grocery store. Those options are fine every once in awhile, but the price and the mystery ingredients can start to take a toll. Brown-bagging doesn’t have to be a bummer. Many of these ideas are simple ways to rework leftovers, making them easy and inexpensive. Working women don’t always have time to prepare the perfect, healthy lunch, but these ideas can help inspire you to get creative with simple ingredients. Here’s some easy ideas for some delectable lunches for working women.
Fruit, Nuts, and, Cheese
This option is the ultimate in easy preparation. Any fruit, nut or cheese will do, and you can prepare them in quantities as large or small as you’d like. Single serving cheeses like string cheese, or Laughing Cow (or even fancier cheeses, if you’re so inclined), make it even easier to prepare. Fruit and nuts will provide a healthy dose of vitamins and minerals, sugar, and fiber to help you feel full and energized. The calcium and protein in the nuts and cheese will help you fill up faster, and stay full longer. Try it and you’ll be surprised how filling and energizing a simple and light, lunch can be.
It’s no secret how much food gets wasted in the US. As any home cook knows, sometimes the leftovers just don’t get eaten in time. Leftover pasta salad is a great way to incorporate already-cooked food into a light and healthy lunch. If you have some leftover, cooked, plain noodles, then you’re in business. If not, it’s easy enough to cook some up. Though macaroni and penne style noodles work best, a wide variety of noodle types (and even dumplings and pierogies) will work. Whole wheat noodles provide more fiber and protein than white noodles, so they’re your best bet nutritionally. Add some olive oil, veggies, seasoning, and anything else you’d like to the noodles, mix it up, and you’re good to go. This simple dish will provide you with the energy and sustenance you need to get through the afternoon.
Hummus, Veggies, and Crackers
You’ll be amazed how full, energized, and happy you can feel after you eat this lunch. Preparing the meal is as simple as cutting up vegetables. You can buy a variety of delicious and healthy types of pre-made hummus, and it’s also easy to make your own at home if you so choose. Toss some crackers, hummus, and veggies into a container, and lunch is done. The fiber from the hummus and veggies will fill you up fast, and the lack of animal fats will keep you from suffering from that after-lunch lull in energy.
Making a brand new salad for lunch every day can be laborious and time consuming. Salad is also, generally, not the most exciting lunch. In order to cut time, use up leftovers to make a leftover salad. The only fresh ingredient needed is greens. With greens as your base, add any leftover meat and veggies from dinner to your greens, and voilá! You have leftover salad. As simple as it sounds, many people don’t think that some leftover chicken and steamed broccoli will make a satisfying lunch. But if you add dressing, and some fresh greens to leftover meat and veggies, you’ll be amazed at what a tasty salad you can create. Beans, nuts, fruit, and much more can be incorporated based on your taste.
For an easy hot lunch at work, pita pizza is perfect. Just bring a pita, a small container of tomato sauce, a few slices of the cheese, and your choice of meat and/or vegetables. Stuff the pita with the ingredients, put it in your work oven, toaster oven or microwave, and wait for your savory and satisfying lunch to finish cooking. Though this one takes a bit of at-work preparation, it’s not much. Pita pizza allows you to feel like you’re splurging without eating anything unhealthy.
Working women don’t always have the time, or energy to prepare filling and nutritionally sound lunches, but if you get a little creative, and put in a little extra effort, finding healthy, simple lunch options is possible. The above are just some basic outlines to which you can add a million different twists using whatever ingredients you have at hand. It’s important for working women to know that there’s more out there than sandwiches and salads when it comes to homemade lunches.
Emily Manke is a nutrition, health and lifestyle blogger out of Portland, Oregon. She writes for a number of blogs, including the blog for Online Human Resources, and this female-owned dentist in Milwaukee, OR.
[Photo via Shutterstock]