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Liven Up Your Lunch

July 29, 2011
tags: ,

Hello and happy Friday. The week seems to have zoomed by which is surprising seeing as I’ve actually been in the office every day this week. Having said that I’m definitely ready for the weekend. Don’t forget that you only have the rest of today to enter my GIVEAWAY! The winner will be announced tomorrow.

Today I want to talk about lunch. Everyone knows that breakfast is my favourite meal of the day, but I also look forward to my lunches. In general though I think the midday meal is neglected. I look around me at work and see so many sad looking ham or cheese sandwiches on drab white bread – I can’t think of anything worse. The people who aren’t eating the most depressing food on earth are tempted by the canteen. My office has a traditional northern canteen with pie, mash and chips, fish and chips, beans and chips, gravy and chips, and chips and more chips on the menu. To be fair to the canteen, there is also a salad bar that I do frequent occasionally, but it is very underused. In fact it was the lure of the canteen in my old job that contributed to my weight gain.

It’s so easy to get in a lunch rut. How many people do you know that eat the same thing every_single_day for lunch? That’s fine, but it’s not for me – I need variety and fun! A long time ago when I was dieting I used to have a dry toasted bagel every day … yawn.

I now have a solution for nearly every lunch scenario and I can’t wait to tuck in every day. Seriously – I have to stop myself from eating lunch at 10.30am, it’s so darn good!

Lunch at work

I follow simple rules when I prepare lunch for work – always have some carbs, protein, fats and veggies.

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This one is lettuce, cucumber, radish and sweetcorn topped with hummus and served with a Food Doctor pitta bread.

I often prepare a grain or some pasta the night before to include in my lunch.

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Quinoa, cucumber, red pepper, sweetcorn and feta cheese.

Lunch when there’s nothing in the fridge or you’re feeling lazy

Once a week or so I wake up in the morning and I’m either too lazy to prepare lunch or there’s nothing in the house. Then I usually head into town and pick up some lunch. Marks and Spencer, Boots, Pret a Manger and Eat have some tasty and healthy lunch options. I also love to visit delis to get a gourmet sandwich or a salad bowl.

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Lunch when you’re at home

I’m very rarely at home for my lunch unfortunately, but when I am I follow the same basic rules as when I’m preparing lunch for work.

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Wholewheat bagel with goats cheese and grated beetroot, served with a side salad.

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Absolutely delicious salad with goats cheese and pitta bread.

Lunch when you’re going out for the day – take a picnic!

Picnics are fun to prepare, fun to eat and cheaper to going to a restaurant or cafe.

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This was an amazing salad of mixed leaves, walnuts, dates and feta cheese that I took with me to West Yorkshire Sculpture park. I failed to take any photos of the picnic in action because it was so windy … that’s why you’ve got to love picnics – the challenge of eating it!

Do you love lunch? What are your favourite lunch-time recipes?

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14 Comments leave one →
  1. ittybitsofbalance permalink
    July 29, 2011 3:17 pm

    I’m a lunch lover (actually, I’m a food lover in general) but these ideas are great!

    I have to pack my lunch for work pretty often, but sometimes I just feel so lazy and have no drive to do so! To maintain a healthy lifestyle I try my best to get over this and pack my lunches every day 🙂

  2. July 29, 2011 4:28 pm

    Lovely lunch ideas. Goats cheese is my favourite cheese. Most of my lunches are on the go so always on the look out for new ideas. Like the idea of a feta salad.recently I’ve been having goats cheese and a fig relish sandwich. Some ideas are houmous and falafels, peanut butter and jam. I also used to make a morocan chickpea tagine with cous cous which was nice cold.

  3. July 29, 2011 4:57 pm

    I usually have traditional salad or sandwich affairs. Have you heard of bento? http://justbento.com/ I’m going to be trying to apply those ideas to my lunches to liven them up in the future.

  4. July 29, 2011 4:59 pm

    I love a picnic lunch, and I love to take time to have lunch when I am at home. BUt at work I am one of those people who eat and work at the same time- I tend to hear my readers, do my marking, get ready for the afternoon lessons, then eat lunch while I do work at the computer! I think I easily get stuck in lunch ruts and I hardly ever change from what I have at work as it is something easy and quick.

  5. July 29, 2011 6:23 pm

    delicious salads! I like your new header!

  6. July 29, 2011 7:45 pm

    Lunch is generally my least favourite meal (relatively speaking: any excuse to eat is fine by me) but now that I’ve seen your ideas I really have no excuse for blending endless GMs for lunch.

    That hummus in the first pic looks amazing: was it home made or a particular brand?

    xxx

  7. July 29, 2011 8:25 pm

    Ooh your lunches look delicious! I love all your ideas, I need to start taking better food with me to work so I’m not starving by the end of the shift!

  8. Bronagh permalink
    July 29, 2011 9:40 pm

    Gosh I totally know what you mean about the depressing lunch habits of work colleagues! It’s either dull sandwhiches or greasy takeaway food/ready meals, urgh.

    For me lunch is always something to look forward to and I always make an effort to prepare something the night before that I know I’ll really want to eat. It doesn’t take long and it always perks up my day. You’ve got some lovely ideas in this post, exactly the kind of things I also take for my lunches 🙂

  9. July 30, 2011 12:45 am

    These look exactly like some of my lunches! I’m a huge fan of salads for lunch. I also frequently take leftovers….usually re-purposed as a salad ; )

  10. July 30, 2011 12:47 pm

    Lunch is my least favourite meal, often times I just can’t decide what to have, I have been known to just repeat my breakfasts and have oatmeal more often than not, but I am trying to break out of that rut and make lunches more exciting!

  11. July 31, 2011 3:14 pm

    I’m with you on picnics, they make the best lunch ever 🙂
    I always eat lunch at home and find it hard sometimes to see it as a real meal rather than just a series of snacks eaten from about 11-3 haha, so i’m thinking abiut starting to pack a lunchbox and just eating that – some of yours look so good!
    I love toasties for lunch, sometthing like halloumi and tofu with some salad on the side…lush!

  12. July 31, 2011 4:49 pm

    MMM those salads look so good!

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