History in the Making

History in the Making

5 Easy and Fast Lunches, Make It Monday

A few of you lovely readers have asked me to do a post on easy and fast lunches to make for and take to work! Life can be busy and hectic, and I’m going to guess that majority of us don’t want to have to make our lunch in the morning before work instead of getting an extra 10-20 minutes of sleep. These are some inexpensive and easy to make lunches that will get you through the day and work and leave you as much time as possible in your day!
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I am not a fan of food prep. I mean, I do it because I want to be the most efficient with my time, but I hate making my lunch. So, I’ve slowly amassed different ideas for lunch to save me time and energy. These suggestions are based on you having access to a kettle and a microwave, as most workplaces will at least offer that to employees! (We also have a toaster oven, but I know that that is a less common option.) From my experience, most people tend to eat smaller lunches and larger dinners- these suggestions aren’t meant to be three course meals to keep you full for the rest of your day, but rather to fill you up for your afternoon and keep you functioning! These should include 5 minutes of prep or less (one takes slightly longer… at seven minutes), and are relatively inexpensive to make.

1) Leftovers… Duh

I figured I would get this out of the way- leftovers are probably one of the easiest lunches to make. All you have to do is make a little bit more of whatever your dinner is, set it aside while you are eating to cool, and then pop it in the fridge until you are ready to go to work the next day. Some things may have to be left separate until you get to work to prevent soggy and wilted items- like adding the taco chips to your taco salad at lunch- but overall, it’s probably the most effective use of your time. It takes a bit of practice to get used to figuring out how much to make to have enough to bring without having to eat it for the whole week, but it’s easiest option.
Fried Rice Leftovers.jpeg

2) Peanut Butter and….

Ensure that no one in your office space is allergic to peanuts before doing this, but I have really come around to peanut butter as a lunch food. Yes, a lot of people will do the standard peanut butter sandwich but I’m not a huge fan. I will however eat peanut butter and bananas, peanut butter and apples, peanut butter and crackers, peanut butter and carrots, the list goes on. It’s actually incredibly filling, it’s easy to transport, you can eat it quickly, and it’s not a messy meal if that comes into play. A banana dipped in peanut butter is usually what I eat for breakfast or after the gym at lunch, but I have paired it with some crackers for lunch. Economical, and you just have to remember to bring something to dip in it (if you have a little storage space, you could leave a small jar at work).
Peanut butter and veggies

3) The Snack Lunch

If I’m not in the mood for something heavy, oftentimes I will pull together a lunch of snacks, and it’s one of the fastest lunches to grab in the morning. I will take a bit of yogurt, some crackers, cheese, a baggie of veggies, and banana or an apple. The nice thing is that this allows you to finish up the small amounts of things that you have left, and it also easily allows you to hit all of the food groups. Now, if you need a heavy or dense meal to feel full, this might not work, but for most, this will actually do the trick! (I also love doing this in the summer when it is quite warm out, it seems to suit the hot weather well.) If you are used to a heavier lunch, I would recommend trying this a few times- it takes a little bit to get used to, but is a great option.
Snack lunch

4) Soup PLUS

Okay, I don’t think that having a can of soup on hand is any sort of brilliant answer to lunch- I think that a lot of us can make that thought process. If I can, I will use chicken stock, veggies, and chicken to make my own soup but sometimes you don’t have the time or ingredients ready to do that. I like to keep a can of Campbell’s Chunky Soup on hand, and make extra veggies to throw in to make it a bit healthier. We have quite cold winters here, and sometimes you just want something warm and filling to help you along the day. Even with boiling the veggies to throw in, you are looking at about 7 minutes total, which you could easily do while making your coffee/tea and getting ready to leave.
soup and veggies

5) Oatmeal

Now, I know what you are going to say- “Historian, that is a breakfast food.” Well, breakfast for lunch OR dinner is delicious. I like to buy plain and flavoured packets of oatmeal, and eat two or three for lunch- all you need is a bowl, a spoon, and boiling water- oatmeal is a great source of iron and Vitamin B-6, and if you add some milk, you are getting calcium. What I love about oatmeal is that the packets take up very little room in my desk, but I always know that I have a meal there if I need it, and it’s about $1.25 for the whole meal. Note: when shopping for oatmeal, ensure that the brand and flavour that you are buying isn’t filled with sugar. Mixing a plain and a flavoured packet is a good way to tackle this!
Oatmeal
What are your creative and fast options for lunch on the go? Please leave your ideas in the comments! 
Until tomorrow,
The Historian
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20 thoughts on “5 Easy and Fast Lunches, Make It Monday”

  • I LOVE making my own version of Starbucks’ protein boxes (similar to your snack lunch) with some meat, cheese, peanut butter and something to go with it and some nuts. I also LOVE making different salads and experimenting with different toppings.

  • I often have left-overs for lunch. I work from home, and I hate to see food going to waste, so it’s a good way to make sure that things get used up. Sometimes when I took my lunch in to work I used to make a big pot of home-made soup on a Sunday. Other times I made a batch of pasta. I often took in fruit for snacks, and you can get a plastic banana guard that is in the shape of a banana that stops your banana getting squashed!

    • Oooo I didn’t know about the banana guard- I need one!! I’ve gotten much better at planning meals that have leftovers for lunch but don’t require a lot of extra things to have that much, if that makes sense. My taco pasta salad can go really far, as well as my shepherd’s pie!!

  • I used to love having porridge for lunch at uni! It was great. I agree with you that lunches are difficult. I always used to have sandwiches for lunch but now the thought of a sandwich for lunch is not at all appealing, maybe it’s because it’s a bit cold at the moment.

    • That’s my problem- in the winter here with it being so cold, I don’t like to have salads or sandwiches, which are my go-to in the spring and summer. I also find that I get bored after about 2-3 days of the same thing, so I need variety!!

  • Ha! I think we like similar options.
    I try to make extra dinner so I have enough left for the following day BUT quite often I’ll forget to bring it with me to work. (Argh!)
    I also had a pot of peanut butter in my draw. 😉

    • That’s exactly why I finally wrote it up- I was doing pb on toast for lunch and I finally snapped. You can only eat so much of the same thing before you just lose it. At a point, I would rather not eat than eat the same thing!

  • I hate having to make lunches to take to work with me. Thankfully, now that I’m a nanny, I don’t have to do that. I have lunch at home and then I just eat dinner with the kids when I’m at work. It’s so nice not having to worry about it. But when I was a teacher, I liked doing dips – hummus or something, plus a pepperoni stick/cheese/crackers type snacks. Teacher’s don’t get a lot of time to eat so it’s best to have the small little snacks available when you have 5 minutes and have to go to the bathroom at the other end of the school haha

  • That’s great advice! I would add hard-boiled eggs to your list. I usually prepare a few on Sunday and will eat them during the first part of the week. They are so easy to prepare and they keep you really full (protein + fat).

    • I usually only eat eggs scrambled but I’m going to ad that to the list for my next post!! I know some departments at my workplace won’t let you eat eggs at lunch- have you ever found that to be a problem??

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