Maybe you're also starting the year with a list of exciting resolutions — taking care of your health, having more time to yourself, cooking more nutritious foods, et cetera. But when work days get busy, we realise healthy habits are harder to keep than we think!
So what's the solution? Meal prep! Here are lunch ideas for work that are healthy, quick, and easy to get you through the year.
Shop the photo: Maxwell & Williams Royal Botanic Gardens Beeswax Food Wraps
Leave the stress at your desk. Once you've made it home, you deserve to unwind and have a nice time. Preparing lunch for the office is not about slaving hours away at the kitchen all day (who has the time?) But you actually just need a few hours each week.
Here, we'll help you come up with those fun work lunch ideas, and point you to the tools you need to stay on top of your food game all year long! By starting with ease & consistency, 2024 will be the year you realise working hard while prioritising your health is absolutely possible.
Before we get to our healthy work lunches, there are some simple changes you can make to your everyday habits to start living more consciously.
1. Keep your water close to you
You can eat flawlessly healthy but if you're not drinking enough water, it's time to re-evaluate! Don't worry, even the best of us can forget to drink enough each day. The easiest way to fix this is to keep your drink bottle within reach!
Place it by your screen so that it's always in sight, or even right by your hands. Either way, find a drink bottle you won't mind using everyday, and always keep it by your side so that there's the least hassle to grab yourself a drink.
2. Bring lunch from home
If you're here, you're most likely thinking about reducing those takeaways and building a habit of packing lunches from home.
You know it's going to be super rewarding, but as with any lifestyle change, it's also going to take some practice. That's where we come in! Not only are we giving you some quick go-to recipes for making healthy lunches, but we'll also show you the many reusable & best work lunch sets we have available.
Beeswax food wraps are also extra helpful. Giving you the flexibility to bring fruits or foods of any kind and shape, the Maxwell & Williams Royal Botanic Garden Wraps are also gorgeous to look at. Buy the pretty & practical things! With us, you'll find perfect back-to-work lunch sets that serve a good function, and can still keep you excited everyday.
3. Make your own coffee
Now you've found a reliable water bottle, have the best adults lunch boxes in your cabinet, and a stylish lunch bag for work, next... your morning coffee!
Don't worry, we won't tell you to stop drinking it forever. But one of the ways you can build a sustainable lifestyle is by making your own coffee from home!
This is excellent if you want to have better control of what goes into your coffee each day. Plus, switching to a reusable coffee cup will really reduce your carbon footprint in the long run and eliminate single-use paper and plastic from your daily routine.
We've tried & scoured far and wide for the best lunch recipes for your 2024. So without further ado, here are the healthy & easy work lunch ideas that will get you through the year. Time to get inspired!
1. Avocado Spread Sandwiches
Who doesn't love a good avo toast? The protein in avocado paired with tons of great avo toast toppings can make for a great midday pick-me-up. Some avocado topping ideas include sunny side up or scrambled eggs, tomatoes, feta cheese with spinach, and more! View a complete recipe here.
2. Shrimp Cobb Salad
There are endless options when it comes to salads to kickstart your work in the summer. Tackle those heated days with a fresh and juicy cobb salad recipe! This American-inspired recipe is packed with colourful and nutritious elements like avocado, corn, red onions, and cajun shrimp for that extra umami. You'll keep going for more!
Looking to figure out how to bring your favourite salads to work? The Bentgo All in One Salad Container does the trick! Packed with separate compartments, it lets you keep veggies separate from your toppings. That way your salad stays fresh & crisp all the way to lunch time!
3. BBQ Chicken Pizza
Quick, yum, and super versatile, all you need is a good pizza dough (you can buy one in the grocery store or we have a recipe for making your own here!), and some tasty toppings! (Here's another recipe you can try with that pizza dough.)
To make this BBQ Chicken Pizza, you just have to layer on BBQ sauce, mozzarella, a handful of red onion and green capsicums, and a bigger handful of shredded chicken. Pop it into the oven and you're done!
4. Olive & Halloumi Cheese on Ciabatta
Office lunch ideas don't have to be elaborate. Another super simple recipe (this one takes only 10 minutes in the oven!) is Olive & Cheese on Ciabatta! All you need is slice some ciabatta bread, spread butter (optional), and place your selected Mediterranean olives, basil, halloumi or mozzarella, and other chosen toppings on top. Drizzle with olive oil and bake it in the oven for 8-10 minutes.
You can close the ciabatta to make a sandwich and pop it in a sandwich presser, or prep it however way you'd like. Salty crunchy goodness in 15 minutes and less!
5. Caesar Pasta Salad
Who's up for another salad? The summer sure calls for it! This Caesar Pasta Salad is great because it makes for a fresh lunch, or you can also make one for dinner and it will still taste great as leftovers the morning after. All you need to do it mix together romaine lettuce with the classic Caesar toppings (cherry tomatoes, croutons, eggs, and more), and then add cooked fusilli into the topping mix! You can also expand it into a caesar chicken salad if you'd like.
Need help mixing? Trust us — a salad spinner will change your life. No more tiring hours in the kitchen trying to mix salads to perfection! Cut your food prep time by half using these latest tools. Don't forget a good ol' Caesar dressing plus some optional cheese to top! More on the recipe here.
Another way to make the most of that pizza dough? Homemade pizza pockets! With a good mix of pepperoni, marinara, mozzarella and rosemary, you're pretty much there.
Want to make a healthier version? You can use whole wheat dough and fill it with feta, spinach, and other low-fat or light alternatives instead! We also recommend turkey for a leaner meat. See the original recipe here.
7. Quick Chipotle Chicken Quesadillas
In under 30 minutes, you can sink your teeth into these easy and cheesy chicken quesadillas any home cook can achieve! Mexican food is a great refresher for your everyday lunches, and suitable for any weather.
You can fill it plenty of choices including fresh vegetables, juicy chicken, and as much or as little cheese & smoky seasoning as you want. Access the full recipe here!
8. Chicken Burrito Bowls
Nothing says 'time-saving' like the act of placing every ingredient on the same baking sheet though, right? That's why this recipe is the perfect quick, easy lunch for you! Place 2 boneless chicken breasts on a lined baking tray, along with sliced bell peppers and red onion.
A bit of oil, seasoning, and a good 20 minutes later, you just need to mix them together with the base and veggies of your choice to make many hearty burrito bowls! Talk about easy meal prep that can last you many days in the office. See the recipe here!
9. Taco Casserole
This one could not be more simpler. Tortilla chips, vegetarian chilli, and shredded cheese goes into a baking dish, pop it into a 175ºC oven for 20 minutes and you're done! Pull it out to meet sizzly melting cheese, and top it all with lettuce, spinach, or salsa to freshen it up. You can make as big of a batch you want to last the whole week! Find more in the recipe.
10. Roasted Sweet Potato Salad
When it comes to healthy eating, kale & sweet potato can get you so far. Meet this hearty & breezy roasted sweet potato salad! Loaded with goat cheese, apple, and topped with vinaigrette, there are tons of ways you can modify this salad recipe to suit your taste!
Share to us your favourite lunch ideas and share these fun & fresh lunch ideas with your friends and colleagues!
Find all your Back to Work needs at Matchbox online or in stores today.
Have an exciting new year!
The Matchbox Team
Recipes & photos courtesy of Natasha's Kitchen, Tasty & All Recipes