5 lunch ideas for the weekday worker

I started working as a dietitian nearly two years ago.

And less than two years in the workforce I am already struggling to think of lunch options for every day of the week.

Some days I find myself staring at the array of food options from my workplace café and I am not always impressed with the creamy pasta options. Or the soggy salads that don’t cater to my picky dressing preferences.

So being the good list-writer that I am, I decided to put together a collection of my favourite quick, easy and exciting lunch options to help keep the working week interesting.

Here are my top 5 picks…


  1. Not your typical sandwich

Sandwiches don’t have to be boring and dreaded. After all, isn’t your lunch break the best part of your day? Make sandwiches exciting with leftover roast meats, vegetables, falafel. Use hummus, smashed avocado or even light cream cheese as your butter or sauce alternative.  Even a thin layer of plum or cranberry jam can be a nice addition to a turkey and salad sandwich. Sandwiches don’t have to be boring. And if you’re workplace have a sandwich press; a hot toastie can completely change your lunch.

Roast vegetable and goats cheese toastie anyone?

  1. Tasting platter

Why not go gourmet every now and then? Enjoy a homemade tasting platter for a range of flavours and foods. Pita bread, olives, cheese, vegetable sticks, dip, crackers, dried fruit, unsalted nuts. Even make some mini egg and veggie frittatas in a muffin tin on lazy Sunday and freeze – pull one out and pop on the tasting plate for a small serve of protein and vegetables in amongst your antipasto goodness.

  1. Salad jars

Glass jars aren’t only making a comeback for food photography purposes on instagram, but turns out they are also super practical.

The night before work, place all of your salad ingredients into a long, upright jar. Start by placing the wet ingredients such as salad dressing or lemon juice at the bottom of the jar, and stack your ingredients upward. Chickpeas or canned beans are great around the middle. Top the jar with those ingredients that are likely to go soggy quickly, for example the crisp lettuce and spinach leaves. When it comes time to serving up the next day at work, tip the contents of the jar out into a serving bowl. Chances are you don’t even need to toss the salad as the dressing drizzles down on the ingredients. Enjoy!

  1. Warm roast vegetable salad

Leftover vegetables from the Sunday roast? Step 1: Keep some single serve cup of 90 second microwaveable brown rice. Step 2: pack the vegetables in a container to take to work. Step 3: in a separate container place some fresh spinach leaves and a small serve of feta cheese. Step 4: at work, zap the roast vegetables in the microwave along with the microwaveable brown rice. Step 5: Throw everything into the same bowl, along with the fresh spinach leaves and crumbled feta cheese on top of the dish for a small hit of protein and calcium.

  1. Lazy leftovers

If you are lacking motivation to get creative with your lunches, just make more dinner the night before and pack leftovers! Portion out your lunch into a container when you are serving up your dinner meal with the family. This way no one will go back for seconds and accidentally eat your lunch. This is particularly great as the weather cools down and you want to enjoy a hot, sit down meal with your colleagues. The difference is, you prepared your meal so you know exactly what ingredients went into the dish. No hidden additions of extra butter, salt or cream, and prepped by yours truly.

When you make green curry and hope there are leftovers for the next day...

When you make green curry and hope there are leftovers for the next day…

Leftover baked salmon and veggies

Leftover baked salmon and veggies

Happy lunching!

– Jenna



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