1 of 6
A homemade lunch is an obvious health- and money-saver, and as creative culinarians, we ought to be leading the charge toward wholesome bagged lunches. But we, too, often need a few hours to hit our stride -- and the only thing less appealing than fixing lunch in the morning is eating the same leftovers five days in a row. Instead, try roasting a supersize batch of veggies on Sunday, bring one additional item each day, and reinvent lunch all week long.
A quick note: This guide is flexible. Pantry proteins like canned tuna and chickpeas can be stashed in your desk indefinitely; nuts should be stored in an airtight container and eaten in a few weeks or stored in the freezer; and semihard cheeses like cheddar, Swiss, Jack, or feta will keep a couple of weeks in your office fridge.
Come Monday, we’re ready to feast on the type of responsible food we’ve neglected all weekend. Bring a big bag of salad greens, and toss a few handfuls with your veggies (stash the rest in an airtight container for later). The oil and salt from roasting should add moisture and flavor, making dressing obsolete -- but if you’d like a drizzle of something, we’ve got a few ideas. You can also dress things up with the aforementioned nuts and cheese.
3 of 6
Ready to ease yourself back onto carbs? High-fiber whole grains will keep your belly full and your mind on the grind. Toss last night’s side of brown rice, barley, or quinoa with your vegetables -- add a handful of nuts and a drizzle of yesterday’s dressing if you so choose.
4 of 6
Just a spoonful of salsa helps the vegetables go down. Spice up the dreaded hump day with a taco-inspired twist -- salsa acts as a low-cal, high-flavor dressing, while tortilla chips add just enough salt and crunch to keep your spirits high. (We know we said one item per day, but come on -- these two are a package deal.)
Time to throw some flatbread into the mix, be it naan, tortilla, or pita. As your arsenal grows, your lunch becomes more customizable: Re-create Tuesday’s grain bowl as a hippie-style filling, microwave a quick quesadilla, or -- if you’re lucky enough to have a toaster oven -- load up tostada-style and go to town. You've even got salsa to top it off!
6 of 6
Friday’s an open catch-all for your leftover odds and ends. Tote along hummus or sauce to make flatbread pizzas (assuming you've access to cheese and heat), or BYO bread to load up a kitchen-sink sandwich. We won't judge if you use the money you’ve saved to take yourself out to lunch instead. Four out of five days is pretty darn good.
Swipe here for next slide
Popular in Healthy Recipes