Daily morning grinds leave little time to pack a wholesome lunch to carry to work. Most of us either skip lunch or end up ordering in. There's a sea of delicious dishes showing on various food ordering apps that you can't turn your eyes away from. But are they all really healthy? We must know that lunch is as important a meal as any other, which fuels up the body for the rest of the day. This is that time of the day when you can load up your body with essential nutrients. A home-cooked meal, stacked with healthy ingredients and simple flavours is what you should be gorging on during your lunch break. We understand that prepping, preparing and packing a hefty lunch in the midst of rushed mornings can be a tough task. But, what if there are simple and healthy meals options that you can make in no time?
Here are some great make-ahead lunch ideas:
1. Mediterranean Watermelon Salad -
This bowlful of freshness is super-easy to make and will freshen you up to take on the day like a pro.
2 cups watermelon cubes
2 green/red/yellow bell peppers
1 Cup onion
1 Cup cucumber, bite-sized pieces
1 Cup tomatoes
2 tbsp. Pomegranate juice
1 Tbsp. mustard sauce
1 Tbsp. olive oil
A pinch of cumin powder
A pinch of oregano
1 cup parsley, chopped
2 lettuce leaves
Salt and pepper to taste
Step 1 - Add mustard sauce, cumin powder, oregano, salt & pepper to pomegranate juice and whisk well.
Step 2 - In another bowl, combine all the other ingredients
Step 3 - Pour the seasoned pomegranate juice over the salad mixture and season with cottage cheese.
Make-ahead tip - Chop the onions, tomatoes and parsley the night before, and store in air-tight containers.
Also Read: 11 Best Indian Lunch Recipes
This bowlful of freshness is super-easy to make and will freshen you up
2. Kale And Quinoa Bowl -
Kale and quinoa are known as powerhouses of fibres and proteins - the best energising foods that will level up your lunch game.
1 bunch of kale leaves, chopped
1 cup quinoa
2 tbsp of olive oil,
Half cup pomegranate seeds
Half cup cherry tomatoes, diced
A pinch of turmeric
Salt and black pepper to taste
Step 1- Cook quinoa as per the packaging directions. In a pan, heat 1 tbsp. olive oil, then add kale and water and cook for around 15 minutes till it wilts.
Step 2 - Add quinoa, tomatoes, and spices, and toss well to combine.
Step 3 - Remove from heat and add the rest of the olive oil, pomegranate seeds and lemon juice.
Make-ahead tip - Chop kale leaves and cherry tomatoes ahead of time.
3. Whole-Wheat Pasta With Broccoli
Broccoli is a great source of Vitamin C, which is a powerful antioxidant that shields the body from harmful free radicals.
2 cups pasta - fussily/penne/fettuccini
2 bunches of broccoli, cut into small florets
1 tablespoon oil of your choice
2 tbsp. peanut butter
2 tbsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
Half tbsp. rice vinegar
Salt to taste
Step 1 - Cook pasta according to the package directions.
Step 2- Heat oil in a wide bottom pan. Add broccoli and chilli flakes and 1 cup of water. Cook for 10 minutes, till the water has evaporated.
Step 3 - In a bowl, add broccoli, cooled pasta and other ingredients. Mix well.
Make-ahead tip: Cook pasta the previous day and store in the refrigerator.
Also Read: Best Ideas For Kids' Lunch Boxes
4. Brown Rice With Corns
This is an easy recipe but makes for a wholesome meal with the goodness of corns, coconut and other herbs.
250 gms. brown rice
100 gms. corn kernels
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. ginger garlic paste
Salt to taste
2 green chillies, sliced
Half tsp. cumin seeds
1 bay leaf
6 pods of cloves
2 tbsp coriander leaves, chopped
Juice of 2 lemons
Half green or red bell pepper, diced
1 tbsp. grated coconut
Step 1- Wash and soak rice in water for 15 minutes.
Step 2- Grind coconut, coriander leaves and green chilli to make a smooth paste.
Step 3 - Heat oil in a pan. Add bay leaf, onion, cumin seeds, cloves, ginger garlic paste and the coconut paste.
Step 4 - Saute for 2-3 minutes and add the corn kernels and bell pepper.
Step 5 - Drain the soaked rice and add it to the pan.
Step 6 - Add 2 cups of water, salt and red chilli powder as per your taste.
Step 7 - Once the rice is cooked, dress it with lime juice and coriander leaves.
Make-ahead tip - Preparing the coconut paste in advance will save some precious time in the morning.
These meals are not only healthy but also very tempting. Make a smart choice when it comes to nourishing yourself without compromising on good taste. Trust us, you will look forward to your lunch break with more gusto.
About Neha GroverLove for reading roused her writing instincts. Neha is guilty of having a deep-set fixation with anything caffeinated. When she is not pouring out her nest of thoughts onto the screen, you can see her reading while sipping on coffee.