Updated: Feb 7, 2022
What a rollercoaster the last two years have been. Another year of new health goals, holidays are just wrapping up, and you are getting ready to go back to work or study. Whether you are still using your house as your home base or heading into work or campus, you can still prepare your meals to save money.
I remember when I would only buy food out; yes, it was easy, but who has time to stand in a line waiting for an expensive tasteless lunch when you can prep on the Sunday or even the night before with easy and mouthwatering food.
I love going to the break room and opening up my lunch box or having the delicious smell wafting from the microwave as I pulled my meal out. Que the Meg Ryan moment "I'll have what she's having".
Preparation is vital for keeping healthy and saving money by not buying food from the local cafe, hello holiday fund. I like to make a few things on Sunday night for the week. If you are not a preparation person, you can make big batches of these recipes for dinner and have them as leftovers for the next day.
Preparation tool kit
Food Containers - Glass or Stainless steel over plastic. Even BPA free plastic can leach nasty chemicals into our food. My food container is a Warrier Box from The Source Bulk Foods, but you can use any other container at home; glass jars can work too.
Ice Pack- If you don't have a fridge to put your food in for the day, an ice pack will keep your food cool till lunchtime. I use an old milk carton, and it works a treat.
Lunch Bag- Cooler bags are great to keep everything together and won't leak if anything spills. There have been a few smoothie incidents where I didn't put the lid on properly; a lunch bag will make it easier to clean your bag with all your belongings.
Now let's look at a few lunch ideas.
Lunch #1 Fruit Salad & Peanut Satay with Buckwheat Sabo Noodles. This combo is great to eat cold. I have two half-hour breaks in my college in between classes, so having a fruit salad for morning tea and something filling like buckwheat noodle peanut satay for lunch will keep my mind focused all day. For the fruit salad, choose seasonal fruits, keeping the costs down. You can cut shapes with cookie cutters like these stars to make it fun. Fruits are a great morning tea choice because of the vitamins, water and fibre in those babies. I put together a little coconut yoghurt in the small container with almond slices and a drizzle of maple syrup, but you can add any seeds and nuts; I like to leave the yogurt as a 4 o'clock pick me up. I have made a separate blog post for the peanut satay to get the recipe. Click the highlighted lunch title. Buckwheat is an excellent source of fibre because it's gluten-free its lite on the stomach.
Lunch #2 Falafel Wrap & Choco Brownie Bliss Balls- The Middle East sure know what's up when it comes to flavour. My mum made falafels for me as a kid, and I have been hooked ever since.
If you ever go to Byron Bay, there is a Middle Eastern restaurant in the heart of town. A little hole in the wall restaurant that has the all-time best falafels right near the main beach. I
have put a baked falafel recipe in my ebook, or you can buy them store-bought. All you need is falafels, tomatoes, red onion, parsley, salad mix, avocado and hummus. I love the spinach and garlic flat bread which you can pick up from any supermarket.
For a sweet treat try my choco brownie bliss balls, they are perfectly sweet and indulgent, great for an afternoon pick me up.
Lunch #3 Veggie Sticks with Spicy Capsicum Hummus & Quinoa Fried Rice I don't think I've ever met a person that doesn't like hummus. It is creamy and tangy and rich in nutrients, protein and fibre. A gut-loving snack with a twist adding other vegetables can add more flavour and micronutrients to your diet.
Lunch #4 Apple and Macadamia Muffins & Mini Goodness Bowl Berries, Nuts and Muffins. Oh my! Who doesn't love a good bakery treat, and my Apple and Macadamia Muffins are sweet and healthy to keep that mind from wandering during classes? I have added a few blueberries and a side of nuts. I am a huge fan of nuts and seeds these days, and every nut has its way of helping the body. I chose walnuts for brain health, brazil nuts for my thyroids and almonds being the most popular tree nut, which has so many benefits to help lower blood pressure and kerb hunger. These are perfect to snack on throughout the day as a pick me up. For lunch, it's a mini goodness bowl (Buddha Bowl), Another excellent meal option to have hot or cold and full of all the dietary needs of fibre, protein and plant-based carbs. The best thing about these bowls is that you can make big batches of ingredients on a Sunday in airtight containers and mix up your bowls throughout the week to keep them interesting.
I hope this has given you some inspiration for your lunches; comment below with what recipes you