As a child, everyone wanted to know what was in my lunchbox. It was never the normal vegemite sandwich and a piece of fruit. My lunchbox always had something exciting and adventurous in it. Things that to me were normal, but to the other kids it was like a lucky dip.
My Mum was amazing like that – we grew up tasting a plethora of food from all over the world. Our lunches were filled with things like nori, olives, Greek dolmates, Chickpea chips, Leftover bolognaise sauce in a sandwich (YUM!) or exotic fruits. These things may be a staple now, but back in the late 80s, early 90s – my lunchbox was considering weird.
Lunch used to be fun. Then I left home, and I became lazy. I’d either buy my lunch (which was usually full of hidden sodium and sugars) or I’d slap some vegemite on some bread and eat a piece of fruit. Lunch became uninspiring, difficult and unenjoyable.
Fast forward to now, and lunch time is one of my favourite parts of the day (and not just because it’s when my children have a nap and I get some Mama time!!).
I look forward to my lunches – they are full of goodness, nourish my body and fill me up.
It’s easier to slap some spread on some bread isn’t it? Or… *gasp* skip lunch all together? Perhaps… but I can tell you now, that with a tiny bit of organisation, your lunch can be a joy.
So what do I eat for lunch on a normal day? I’ll let the pictures do the talking…
Looks good doesn’t it! And not a piece of bread in sight!
Homer and Bart Simpson claim that “You Don’t Win Friends With Salad“… I beg to differ, boys!
Most days I have either a big salad or eggs.
FOR MY SALADS:
Base of either rocket, baby kale or spinach.
Then add lots of other vegetables – either roast vegetables (sweet potato, pumpkin, fennel, eggplant, carrot, broccoli) or raw salad vegetables (broccoli, carrots, celery, cucumber, tomatoes, fennel).
There is usually avocado on there.
And always some type of seed (either chia, pumpkin, sunflower or hemp – or ALL!)
I occasionally add a legume like chickpeas, kidney beans or butter beans
I sometimes add a hard boiled egg
I often add some marinated organic goat’s cheese
If I’m super hungry I’ll add some quinoa or brown rice to fill it all out a bit
I always drizzle with a little cold pressed extra virgin olive oil
How to I organise myself with it all? On a Monday morning, I either roast a whole lot of pumpkin or some sweet potato. Roasted sweet potato is so easy to do. You literally just put your whole sweet potato on a tray and bung it in the oven for about an hour. The skin acts as a steamer and when it’s done you just scoop out what you need to add to your salad, and the rest can go in the fridge for the next day.
The other thing I eat at least twice a week is eggs. I’ll have them either poached or lightly fried in some coconut oil and I’ll have that with some sautéed mushrooms and kale/spinach and avocado. Easy and delicious.
Other things I have for lunch:
A big green smoothie.
A salad wrap using Nori instead of a wrap.
Homemade quinoa nori rolls (I usually only have these if we’ve had them for dinner the night before).
I sometimes cook a big batch of these amazing Pumpkin & Kale Croquettes from the gorgeous Adele at Vegie Head, and have them for lunch a couple of times.
This winter soup from Lola Berry is a favourite in our home and I’ll make a big pot of it to have for lunches and dinners.
Leftovers from the previous night’s dinner (curry, stir fry etc).
Some times I really do just want to have some vegemite on gluten free toast, but I’ll add avocado and some spinach on the side to “health it up”.
Tips to get organised:
♥ At the start of the week, roast up some vegetables – pumpkin, sweet potato, eggplant, fennel, carrot etc. It takes about 10 minutes to cut them all up then pop them on a tray with a little coconut oil (and some garlic if you are a garlic fan like I am!) and put it in the oven for 45 minutes. Once it’s all cool, you can keep them in the fridge to use for the next 3-4 days. 10-15 minutes work to ensure you have healthy supplies for the week.
♥ Roast the sweet potato. It takes less than a minute to get it in the oven, and then you have that on hand to add to your salads for the week. Sweet Potato is a great one to add to your diet all year round. It is a complex carbohydrate which means it releases energy into your body slowly, so you’re feeling fuller for longer. They are also a natural anti-inflammatory (so perfect for those with a sensitive gut) and contain loads of Vitamin A and E.
♥ Leftovers are your friend. If you’re making something like a soup or a curry for dinner, make extra to have the next day.
♥ If you’re into smoothies, at the start of each week you could pop all your greens and berries into individual snap lock bags and pop them in the freezer so all your need to do is add your superfoods and liquid of choice.
♥ If you love eggs, hard boil up a few every few days. A hard boiled egg will last in the fridge for at least 2 days, so then you have them on hand as a snack or to add to a salad.
♥ If you work in an office, you can make your salads the night before to take to work (or that morning if you’re up early enough).
♥ Don’t over complicate it. If you are a bit overwhelmed by the thought of superfoods or weird names seeds, start with the basics. Just make sure it’s something you will enjoy. If it’s too hard, or you don’t enjoy it, you won’t do it.
♥ Don’t just eat lettuce and salad vegetables. They definitely serve their purpose, and have amazing health benefits, but to fill you up throughout the day and stop you snacking on processed nasties come 3pm, you really need a complex carbohydrate (something like sweet potato or brown rice) as well as a protein (legumes, nuts, seeds, cheeses, chicken, tuna etc).
♥ A lot of people struggle to make a good lunch because they say “I don’t have the time”. I think you do. Turn off the TV 10 minutes earlier, or spend 10 minutes less on social media. I am busy. We all are busy. But it doesn’t take long to whip up a delicious lunch. You do have the time. It takes a bit of extra planning, but you do have the time.
So that’s what I eat for lunch. Lots of flavour, lots of nourishment and I honestly never spend any more than 10 minutes making it.
Do you get uninspired by your lunch? Are you wanting to make some changes to the way you eat? Do you find it time consuming to make your lunch each day?
I’d love to hear from you, gorgeous! xx