We are all about making meals way easier, but that does not mean we have to discount deliciousness. After tapping into some little hacks to make breakfast way easier, it got us thinking, why not make lunch way easier, too? After all, lunch is the midday meal that can give us the brainpower and energy we need to crush the second half of our day, which means it is just as important as breakfast.
Unfortunately, many of us are way too busy to enjoy a lunchtime meal. We either shovel in a bland and boring salad while we sit at our desks and work through the afternoon or we snag small bites of snacks in between meetings as we rush from one conference room to the next. Neither of these options is ideal. By making a few small tweaks to lunchtime, we can enjoy a delicious and nutritious lunch without having to sacrifice too much of our time. Here are 15 little hacks to make lunch way easier.
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Already Prepared Meals
This one is a no-brainer, but there is nothing wrong with purchasing already prepared meals from the grocery store. There is a reason corner cafes, convenient shops, and grocery stores provide already prepared meals, especially for lunchtime — there is a need! Let’s not reinvent the wheel. Instead, let’s look for a more mindful meal option that fits our dietary preferences and lifestyle. Go ahead and let someone else make a meal for you so you can go on with your day. No meal planning is required! Just be sure to check your ingredient labels to make sure you are eating already prepared meals made with thoughtful ingredients.
A super simple way to make lunch way easier is as easy as making toast — literally. Select a grain-free bread then toss in the toaster until golden brown. Then, top with smashed avocado. Pair with diced tomatoes or a hard-boiled egg. Include a sprinkle of pink Himalayan salt or if you prefer a kick of heat, try crushed red pepper flakes for a punch of fiery flavor.
Breakfast for Lunch
Who says you can only enjoy breakfast in the morning? If you really like breakfast food, go ahead and repurpose any extras into a lunchtime meal. Some great go-to options include chia seed pudding, overnight oats, smoothies, smoothie bowls, and yogurt cups. Plus, it will pair perfectly with that afternoon cup of coffee you enjoy so much.
Burrito or Taco Bowls
Ditch the overpriced burritos and tacos and make your own DIY version instead. Once or twice a week, batch cook a few key ingredients like black beans, cauliflower rice, corn, pinto beans, and rice then have some diced and sliced toppings at the ready. Think of foods like bell peppers, black olives, jalapenos, lettuce, and tomatoes. If you prefer protein making an appearance in your burrito or taco bowl, meal prep beef, chicken, or pork. Top with a handful of shredded cheese and a dollop of sour cream or fresh salsa and enjoy lunch, south of the border style.
Like burrito bowls or taco bowls, grain bowls are another easy lunchtime option. During your weekly Sunday meal prep, cook off a batch of your favorite grains like quinoa. Then, when it is time to create a lunchtime culinary masterpiece, snag a scoop or two and add other favorite ingredients like avocado slices, red onions,and tomatoes, then top with some flat-leaf parsley. Someone pass us a spoon, please!
Firing up the grill for a weekend dinner with family and friends? Take some time to throw on some extra kebab. Create delicious combinations with fruit, protein sources and vegetables, then top with your favorite flavors using a homemade marinade or sauce and enjoy grilled lunches all week long.
Looking for a taste of nostalgia? Whip up a handcrafted sandwich. Many of us may have graduated from that classic peanut butter and jelly, and if not, that is okay. It is a classic for a reason! Level up your sandwich game with your new favorite flavors and foods. To make sandwich-making easier, set aside your sandwich fillings for the week so all you have to do is grab a slice or two of fresh bread. It is best to not make your lunchtime sandwich too far ahead of time because, let’s be real, no one likes slices of soggy bread. You can also opt for pita bread, tortilla wraps, or lose the bread altogether and use lettuce wraps for a crispy and fresh crunch.
Homemade Soups or Stews
Nothing tastes better than a batch of homemade soup. Go ahead and skip the store-bought canned soup and put that slow cooker to good use with a batch of soup. Whether you choose classic chicken noodle, minestrone, tomato or something else, a big batch of soup yields multiple meals all perfect for lunchtime. Pair with crackers or a slice of crusty bread, and you have a taste of home even if you are working at the office.
Homemade salads are a staple for many office lunches, but they can leave many of us reaching for a snack shortly after our last bite. Instead, always keep a stash of quality protein on hand to add as a salad topper. Some good go-to options include anchovies, black beans, chickpeas, hard-boiled eggs and packets of chicken or fish like salmon, shrimp, or tuna.
If you have a busy day, an easy and delicious way to make lunch way easier is by shaking it up with a homemade protein shake. Protein powder is a super simple way to stay satiated throughout the day, so snag a scoop of your favorite plant-based protein powder and shake up a protein shake for lunch.
A super simple way to make lunch way easier is by meal prepping salads for the entire week. Divide your favorite, fresh leafy greens into meal prep containers and then add chopped vegetables like diced tomatoes, shredded carrots, and sliced cucumbers. When you are ready to eat, top with crunchy croutons and a smattering of your favorite salad dressing then enjoy.
Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
Okay, so you may have seen this meal hack in our breakfast series, but it is only because sweet potatoes are so incredibly versatile. Swap out that soggy sandwich for a stuffed sweet potato instead. Simply roast a batch of sweet potatoes then top with your favorite lunchtime toppings. Try one of these other irresistible flavor combinations.