15 Healthy DIY Lunch Ideas Great for Work!
Forget peanut butter and jelly—these healthy lunch ideas will brighten your workday, help you save your money and boost your energy level for the remainder of the day. You’ll be the talk of the office with your simple and creative summer lunches that lets you feel healthy while feeding your craving for something new!
Crab, Asparagus and Watercress Sandwich
300g asparagus spears
1 tbsp. olive oil
300g fresh crab meat (half white/half brown meat)
½ tsp. paprika
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
4 slices thick-cut granary bread
Heat a griddle pan to hot. Lightly brush the asparagus with olive oil and cook on the griddle, turning occasionally, for around 5 minutes or until tender.
Whilst the asparagus is cooking mix the crab meat with the mayonnaise and season to taste.
Butter the slices of bread and arrange the watercress on top of each piece, followed by a pile of the crab mixture lightly dusted with a pinch of paprika.
Top each slice of bread with the asparagus and serve immediately.
Tuna, Lime and Coriander Potato Jacket
4 medium size potatoes (175g-225g/6-8oz each)
1 handful fresh coriander, leaves picked, stalks chopped
2 x tins tuna in spring water
1 red pepper
Scrub the potatoes, then dry and prick each one several times with a sharp knife.
Microwave method (which we do not encourage) : Cook one potato (225g/8oz) for 6 mins on full power (800W), turn half way through cooking. Allow to stand for 1 – 2 mins before serving. If cooking more than one potato at a time you need to increase the cooking time accordingly.
Oven Method: Rub a few drops of olive oil into the potato skin, place the potatoes in a pre-heated oven at 200°C/400°F/gas 6 on a baking tray with salt sprinkled around the potato. Bake for 1¼ hours or until soft.
When potato is ready, open the tins of tuna, in a bowl mix with lime juice and fresh coriander. Serve the mix on top of the jacket.
Season with freshly ground black pepper.
Chicken Miso Soup
2 x 15g Japanese miso paste sachets (we used Clearspring)
1 chicken breast, skinned and sliced
1 clove garlic, crushed
½ tsp. grated ginger
8 shiitake mushrooms, sliced
Dash of soy sauce
¼ Savoy cabbage, finely shredded
Pour 600ml (1 pint) boiling water into a pan and whisk in the miso paste.
Add the rest of the ingredients, except the cabbage, and simmer for 10 mins.
Stir in the cabbage, cook for 3 mins and serve.
Mushroom and Bean Salad
200g frozen edamame (soya) beans
100g green beans, halved
150g pack button mushrooms, halved
1 small red onion, chopped
410g can mixed beans, drained
100g piece chorizo sausage, diced
1tbsp sun-dried tomato paste
Juice of 1 lemon
4 tbsp. olive oil
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Tuna can be added for a heartier lunch if feeling a bit hungrier than usual.
Couscous, Chickpea and Salmon Salad
75g (2oz) couscous
1tbsp olive oil
Zest and juice 1 lemon
3tbsp chopped fresh dill or 2tsp freeze-dried 50g cucumber, halved and sliced
½ green pepper, de-seeded and sliced
75g canned chick peas, drained
2 x 100g smoked salmon fillets, cooked lightly
1 130g bag herb salad mix
Put the kettle on to boil. Place the couscous in a heatproof bowl and stir in the olive oil, lemon zest and juice and dill. Season with salt and pepper then pour over 150ml boiling water from the kettle. Stir well, cover with an upturned plate and leave to stand for at least 10 mins or longer if preferred.
Remove the plate and stir the cucumber, pepper and chick peas into the couscous.
Heap in the base or at one end of plastic lunch box.
Break the salmon into large flakes and place on top or next to the couscous. Finally add the salad leaves and seal the container. Chill until required.
Spring Veggie Soup
1 liter hot vegetable or chicken stock
1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped
100g Chantenay or baby carrots, trimmed and halved length ways
1 stick celery, finely sliced
4 baby leeks, trimmed and chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely sliced
250g baby new potatoes, quartered
100g fresh or frozen peas
3-4 heads baby pak choi or spring greens
About 12 mint leaves
Bring the stock to the boil in a large pan. Add the onion, carrots, celery, leeks and garlic. Return to the boil, and then add the potatoes. Simmer for 12-15 mins, until just tender.
Add the peas, then put the pak choi on top, so it’s just below the level of the stock, and simmer for another 5 mins.
Spoon into bowls and garnish with the mint, roughly chopped.
185g can tuna, drained
15g canned black olives, halved
50g green beans
50g mixed salad leaves
1 hard boiled egg
2 x 400g cans of chickpeas, drained
2tsp ground cumin
2tbsp fresh coriander, chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 fresh green chili, seeded and finely chopped oil for frying
4 pitta breads, to serve
Better when hot and crispy, but great for lunch when brought cold. Bring all the ingredients separately so not to soak the pita and mix the flavors before eating.
Shrimp Cobb Salad
3 cups chopped hearts of romaine
5 grape or cherry tomatoes
1/4 cup sliced cucumber
1 hard-boiled egg, sliced (see Tip)
5 cooked peeled shrimp, (31-40 per pound)
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons light blue cheese dressing
Tuna, Cream Cheese and Mixed Bean Wraps
1 x 120g can John West No Drain Tuna Chunks with a little brine
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 bunch spring onions, thinly sliced
2 red chilies, seeded and chopped (depending on taste)
clove garlic, crushed
1 x 400g can mixed beans, drained and rinsed
4 tablespoons light cream cheese
2 flour tortillas
Heat the oil in a large frying pan; add the spring onions, chili and garlic.
Cook over a low to medium heat for 3 – 4 minutes.
Add the mixed beans and cook over the heat for 2 – 3 minutes or until piping hot.
Stir in the John West Tuna and cream cheese and stir gently until piping not.
Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Warm the tortillas in a frying pan, then fill and roll with the tuna and bean mixture.
Serve with salad leaf garnish.
Slimming Summer Bean Salad
200g shelled fresh broad beans
150g fine green beans, trimmed
150g stringless runner beans, sliced diagonally
200g shelled fresh garden peas
2 shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
Juice of 1 lemon
410g can butter beans, drained and rinsed
2 round shallots, peeled and finely chopped
Juice of ½ lemon
1 tsp. roasted cumin seeds
6 tbsp. fat free vinaigrette
1 large mild green chill, seeded and finely chopped
Garlic clove, peeled and crushed
Cook the broad beans in a saucepan of lightly salted boiling water for 4-5 minutes adding the green beans and runner beans after 3 minutes. Add the garden peas for the last 2 minutes, then drain and plunge into cold water. Drain again, then remove and discard the tough white skins of the broad beans. Set aside.
Meanwhile place the sliced shallots into a bowl with the lemon juice and set aside.
Make the dressing by putting the chopped shallot and the lemon juice into a large salad bowl. Leave for 10 minutes then whisk in the vinaigrette. Stir in the green chili, garlic and cumin seeds and season to taste. Add the beans and garden peas to the dressing and mix together.
Drain, rinse and dry the sliced shallots and use to top the salad, serve immediately
Share it with a co-worker, she’ll thank you later.
Smoked Salmon, Avocado and Brie on Rye
2 pieces of seeded rye bread
1tsp of butter, optional
50g smoked salmon
2 slices of ripe brie cheese
½ avocado, sliced
A squeeze of lemon
½ tsp. poppy seeds
Lay the two pieces of bread out on the kitchen surface and spread each with the butter. Lay on the smoked salmon and avocado, and then squeeze with lemon.
Top with Brie and then sprinkle with poppy seeds and a good grinding of black pepper.
Chunky English Garden Salad
2 small cos/romaine lettuces
8 radishes, halved
A few small mint leaves
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Cut the cucumber into 4, and then cut each length into 4 or 6 wedges.
Quarter each lettuce and arrange on a platter with the cucumber wedges, radish and torn mint leaves.
Drizzle with a good slug of olive oil and some lemon juice. Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper.
Turkey, Red Pepper and Watercress Sandwich
2 red peppers
1 x 150g pack of Turkey Rashers (Original or Smoked)
1 bunch watercress
2tbsp low fat mayonnaise
3tbsp low fat yogurt
1tsp Dijon mustard
4 small baguettes or rustic style rolls
1 small bag mixed leaves
Place the peppers under the grill and allow them to become blistered all over. Leave to cool for 15 mins.
Grill the Turkey Rashers for 1 min 30 secs on each side, and then cut each in half.
Trim the watercress and chop finely. Mix the mayonnaise, yogurt and mustard together until smooth, then stir in the watercress.
Peel the peppers and remove the seeds, cut into 1.25cm (1/2in) wide strips.
Cut open the rolls and spread the watercress mixture over each cut side of bread.
Cover the bottom pieces generously with leaves, add the pieces of turkey then top with pepper strips. Cover with the bread tops.
Hummus, Carrot and Cheese Sandwich
2 slices of bread
1 ½ tbsp. hummus
Half a carrot, grated
A handful of watercress
Organic cheese (optional and your choice of cheese)
Spread the hummus over the two slices of bread.
Grate the carrot and sprinkle over one slice of bread.
Place the handful of watercress on the other slice of bread. Add an organic cheese of your choice. Close the sandwich and enjoy!
Used to eating bread with your salad, replace it with something healthier like a whole wheat bread stick or a Melba toast instead.
Be sure to portion your food correctly as to not over eat. If counting calories or points is your daily routine, this can also be applied using these simple and healthy recipe ideas.
Make sure to properly pack your lunch in separate containers so not to mix with other ingredients. If you don’t already have a set of earth friendly disposable containers, then purchase some. It’s better to pack your lunches in glass containers instead of plastic or Styrofoam. Spend an extra minute at work washing it out before bringing it back home. You don’t want any smells lingering in your carry bag or an animal following you home.