These healthy lunch options for the office are very portable and quick to make. All of them may be prepared in advance to save time.

Soup

Quick and easy to make, there is really no reason to buy soup and it is a great way of using up meal leftovers, reducing waste and cost. Using bone broth will assist with post exercise repair due to its high mineral content and collagen. Even better, you can make in bulk and freeze, so there really is no argument for high sodium tinned or carton variety.

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For a healthy lunch in the office, the soup may be taken in a flask, or heated in the microwave once there. To add texture, sprinkle with some chopped leftover chicken or other meat. Including some protein will sustain energy and avoid the afternoon slump.

Vegetarians may choose to take a slice of leftover nut roast, handful of cooked beans, diced tofu or tempeh. Women vegetarians should be particularly wary not to rely heavily on poor sources of iron such as Quorn (only 0.5mg iron per 100g).

Healthy Lunch Options_2

Sunday lunch leftover

Ingredients:

– 1 clove chopped garlic
– 2 sticks celery diced
– 2 carrots diced
– 1 onion diced
– 2 cups of leftover cooked veggies
– 1 tbsp curry paste
– 1 tsp coconut oil
– 2 dessertspoons Nutritional Yeast Flakes (optional)
– 1pint fresh chicken stock (I only had fish stock available and it was fine)

http://www.nutritionali-healthy.com/#!How-to-make-nutritious-Bone-Broth/c22d5/1774F70F-06D0-47DD-94D5-0776F4207F96

Vegetarians may wish to use a good quality vegetarian bouillion for example ‘Marigold’.

– Heat a large saucepan and add the coconut oil (or rapeseed).
– Gently fry the onion, celery, carrots and garlic until soft.
– Add the curry paste and fry for 2 minutes.
– Add the veggies and stock, then bring to the boil. Turn off heat.
– Using a blender (very carefully to avoid scolding), blend to desired consistency.
– Add a little salt and pepper if needed.
– At the very end the nutritional yeast flakes (cooking will destroy the valuable B vitamins).

Beetroot soup

Anything this colour has to be good for you. I deliberately haven’t called it Borscht for fear my Polish neighbours will give me a telling off due to its lack of authenticity. I have added apple cider vinegar which is a definite no no. I should have soaked rye bread for a week to ferment the liquid…I just haven’t got the time, or the inclination.

I still have nightmares from the stinking pit of fresh sauerkraut I made some years back. I’ve used raw beetroot, as cooked beetroot packed in plastic increases our exposure to hormone disrupting chemicals. Soured cream has been swapped for healthier Greek yoghurt. Grating reduces cooking time.

Ingredients:

– 3 medium beetroot grated in the food processor
– 1 tsp coconut oil
– 1 onion grated
– 2 carrots grated
– 1 floury potato grated
– 1 pint beef stock

http://www.nutritionali-healthy.com/#!How-to-make-nutritious-Bone-Broth/c22d5/1774F70F-06D0-47DD-94D5-0776F4207F96

Vegetarians may wish to use a good quality vegetarian bouillion for example ‘Marigold’.

– Jug of water
– 1 bay leaf
– ½ can white beans
– 1 clove chopped garlic
– 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar (or to taste)
– Black pepper to taste
– Sea salt to taste
– Small handful chopped dill
– Unsweetened greek yoghurt

Heat oil in a large saucepan and add the carrots, onion and bay. Cook gently for about 10 minutes.

Add the beetroot and potato, plus the bone broth and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until tender. You may need to add water to the desired thickness.

Add the vinegar, black pepper and garlic. Bring back up to the boil, and then turn off the heat. The beans may also be added with the vinegar, or you may prefer to add them after the soup has been blended (for more texture).

Check seasoning and if necessary add salt. Remove bay leaf.

Carefully use a blender to the desired consistency.

As a topping to the soup, mix together 1 tablespoon yoghurt and small handful dill. This can be transported to work in a separate little pot or jar.

It’s a wrap!

The great thing about wraps and sandwiches are that they are so portable and versatile, hence why the sandwich bar is so popular. However, it is easy to slip into the habit of eating wheat with every meal…toast for breakfast…sandwich for lunch…pasta for dinner, apart from being boring, it is not a balanced diet!

It is a good idea to vary our diet to get the full range of nutrients and remember if you are eating ‘white’ you are missing out on the B vitamins needed for energy, the fibre for good bowel function and you may be more inclined to put on weight around the middle as the carbs will convert to glucose much quicker.

On another note, seaweed is a great source of minerals including iodine. We are becoming more deficient in this mineral as the use of iodized table salt declines. I’m not suggesting we increase our table salt, but including some seaweed a few times a week would be beneficial. The Japanese eat approximately 5g seaweed per day!

Mexican style nori rolls

This recipe is for 1 wrap, so quantities can be increased easily for more. I overcooked the quinoa (don’t look too closely J), but it still works. Boost the nutritional profile for your healthy lunch in the office by serving with red or orange vegetable sticks i.e. carrot, pepper, or some fruit.

Ingredients:

– 1 Sheet of Nori seaweed
– 2 eggs
– 1 spring onion chopped
– Finely chopped red or green chilli to taste (I used ½ chilli)
– Small handful chopped fresh coriander
– 1/2 avocado mashed with lemon juice
– 1 tablespoon cooked quinoa (or brown rice, amaranth etc)
– ½ tsp miso paste

Directions:

– Lay the nori sheet on a flat surface (chopping board).

– Spread mashed avocado over the surface of the nori sheet.

– Beat egg in a bowl and add spring onion and black pepper. Cook as you would an omelette, but do not fold over (i.e. keep flat, like a pancake).

– Place the omelette on top of the nori sheet.

– Spread the miso paste over the omelette as evenly as possible.

– Spread the quinoa mixture over the centre of the nori/egg sheet.

– Roll up like a sausage and wrap in foil, like a cracker.

– It is easier to cut into slices when it has been rolled for a few minutes (and the nori has softened).

Tempeh and spinach seeded pitta

Tempeh is staple source of protein in Indonesia. It is made from fermented soyabeans and has a completely different texture and taste to tofu, being firmer and stronger. The fermentation process destroys the Phytic acid, which means it is safe for people with thyroid disease and its rich in Isoflavones, helping with menopausal symptoms, particularly hot flashes.

This doesn’t need to be a stuffed pitta. Deconstruct it for a healthy lunch option at work, by using brown rice, quinoa or millet instead of pitta.

Ingredients:

– 1 tsp coconut oil
– 1 tsp smoked paprika
– 1 tablespoon miso paste
– 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
– 1 tsp honey
– Black pepper to taste
– Good handful raw washed spinach
– ½ avocado
– 1 tomato
– 1 spring onion
– 1 pack of tempeh
– Wholemeal/seeded Pitta bread

Cut tempeh lengthways, so it is thinner and may absorb more marinade

Mix together miso, vinegar, honey and black pepper.

Marinate the tempeh in the miso mix for 1 hour

Remove the tempeh from the marinade and sprinkle with smoked paprika

Fry gently in coconut oil on each side. Cut into smaller pieces (I like it quite small, but you may prefer slices)

Drizzle spinach with a little leftover marinade and mix.

Place some tempeh in a split pitta and fill with spinach, avocado and tomato

Salad bowl

Salads always make us feel virtuous, even when they are the calorie laden stuff of Caesar or The Harvester. They guarantee we get a great big dollop of veg in one sitting. If you haven’t introduced yourself to Nutritional yeast Flakes yet, then please do. They are a great source of B vitamins, zinc and probiotics and can be found in most major supermarkets now.

Raw salads are always recommended, as they are full of enzymes and nutrients. However, warm salads are still good and sometimes preferable in the winter months, when you want something more comforting for your healthy lunch option. If you are feeling hard done by due to the lack of meat so far, you can always add a breast of chicken, piece of salmon etc.

The basic concept…

Mix the following ingredients together in a bowl:

– ½ cup cooked beans or pulses (chickpea, butterbean, edamame, puy lentils etc)
– ½ cup cooked grains (couscous, barley, kasha (toasted buckwheat groats) etc)
– 1 cup salad or cooked veg (you could use leftover homemade salsa, or any combination of salad you like).

Dressing: (this makes more than you will need)

– 1 dessertspoon nut or seed butter (I used sesame seed paste, but you could use peanut or almond)
– ½ clove garlic
– 1 dessertspoon raw apple cider vinegar
– 2 dessertspoons nutritional yeast flakes
– Water to loosen the mix.

Healthy Lunch Options_3

Black bean and beetroot salad

Blackbeans are high in magnesium and beetroots are high in nitrates, both essential fodder for the athlete…failing that, you’ll be powered by methane.

Ingredients:

– ½ cup cooked black beans (used tinned if easier, but chose without added salt and sugar)
– ½ cup cooked brown basmati rice
– 1 cooked beetroot chopped
– Broccoli florets
– 1 dessertspoon Tahini paste
– 1 dessertspoon Apple cider vinegar
– ½ clove garlic chopped finely
– A few tablespoons water
– 2 dessertspoons Nutritional Yeast Flakes
– Black pepper to taste
– Himalayan salt to taste

Directions:

– In a bowl mix together the Tahini, vinegar, garlic and nutritional yeast flakes. It will turn quite thick, so add some water to loosen to the consistency of salad cream. Add a pinch black pepper. Check seasoning and add salt if necessary.

– In your lunch box mix together the beans, rice, beetroot and broccoli.

– Drizzle with a dessertspoonful of dressing and you’re ready to go.

Wishing you happy and healthy cooking xxx

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