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FOOD

4 easy prep-and-pack lunchbox ideas

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Whether you are tired of the long lunch queues, or satisfy a lunch craving – there’s an easy solution: why not pack your own? Plus, it’s healthier for your wallet, too. Dive into these healthy and easily adaptable lunchbox inspirations to suit your taste and dietary needs.

Vegetarian Buddha Bowls

Inspiration

The name “Buddha Bowls” gives a clue to its well-balanced nature – a central Buddhist idea. These photogenic one-bowl meals are chock-full of your favourite superfoods, typically with a base of grains or greens topped with protein-rich goodies like chickpeas. There are no strict rules of what constitutes a Buddha Bowl, so get creative.

Directions:
1. Start with a base of healthy grains like quinoa and brown rice.
2. Add various sources of macronutrients: spinach and kale for fibre, chickpeas and tofu for protein, avocado and almonds for healthy fats.
3. Finish by drizzling your favourite dressing on top.

Customise it:
Remember to eat vegetables in different colours to maximise your vitamin intake. You can replace grains with roasted sweet potatoes for a filling yet low-fat meal, or sprinkle on chia seeds to boost brain power. Keep everything crisp by assembling your delicious bowl at lunch time.

Versatile Tortilla Wraps

Inspiration

Tortillas have been a staple food in Mexico for centuries, and today these round, thin flatbreads are popular the world over. Why? They are fast to fix, portable and can accommodate endless combinations of fillings.

Directions:
1. Start by warming the tortillas up in a toaster oven or pan.
2. Add a spread and your favourite fillings: aim for veggies, and some pulses.
3. Finish – roll it up! Cut in half to eat on the go.

Customise it:
For a boost of creativity, try oily fish such as salmon and tuna, which are rich in DHA, EPA and omega 3 fatty acids. Spice things up with chilli and chicken, or keep it light with a refreshing Greek salad wrap – with cucumber, tomatoes, feta cheese and olives – to avoid the afternoon slump.

Not Your Average Veggie Fried Rice

Inspiration

Rice is common in a Chinese meal, but if you find plain rice boring, liven it up with veggies and leftover meats for a balanced and flavourful lunch. Cook up the rice with your ingredients of choice, pop a serving of it in the fridge, and grab and go the next morning.

Directions:
1. Start with leftover rice or cook it fresh.
2. Add chopped veggies, meats and other ingredients of your choice. Stir into rice.
3. Finish by adding a dash of olive oil and preferred seasoning. Stir in evenly.

Customise it:
Cook rice in chicken broth instead of water for an additional touch of flavour. Swap white rice for brown for fibre and antioxidants. Crunchy celery boosts immunity to help you tackle long working hours. Sprinkle some water on to your rice before reheating so the rice stays fluffy – then tuck in!

Asian Noodle Salad

Inspiration

When you are craving something refreshing, cold noodles make for an ideal base for a just-filling-enough lunch. The trick here is to keep the noodles very cold, so make sure to put your creation into the fridge as soon as you arrive at the office so your lunch doesn’t become one gloppy mess.

Directions:
1. Start with a noodle base – Japanese soba, Korean dangmyeon or Chinese rice noodle, it’s entirely up to you.
2. Add an Asian twist: try crab meat, seaweed, edamame or fermented veggies such as kimchi.
3. Finish with a peanut, sesame or miso dressing. Toss to coat.

Customise it:
Try mixing olive oil with a dash of vinegar and chopped fresh herbs to create your own dressing. You can also swap crab out for shrimp, add slivers of carrots, shred up some cold chicken breast to tide you over until dinner, or add avocado for additional creaminess and nutrients. Top with toasted sesame seeds as a finale.


Looking for more lunch ideas? See where to find exotic comfort foods here.
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