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Lunch In A Rush: 8 Time-Saving Healthy Food Recipes

Lunch In A Rush: 8 Time-Saving Healthy Food Recipes

You are either always in the rush, or if you aren’t, there are days when you wish you had made lunch the day before. People who work a lot know the struggle of being sick of eating the same unhealthy food that makes you fat and unproductive, since you feel bloated all the time.

Moreover, if you are at home and have a lot of obligations, and there is no time to play some music and play MasterChef, then you have to come up with a healthy solution made out of the leftovers from your fridge. That almost never works out, and in order to avoid eating just buttered bread and drinking milk from the cartoon, let’s go through some healthy meals recipes you can make in no time.

1. Gingered tofu and green veggie stir fry

Gingered tofu

    Ingredients:

    • 2 tbsp olive oil
    • 3-4cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled and diced
    • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
    • 1 onion, peeled and chopped
    • 125g mushrooms
    • 300g broccoli, cut into florets
    • 125g chopped curly kale
    • 200g tofu, cubed
    • 1-2 tbsp soy sauce or stock
    • 2 tbsp sesame seeds, toasted

    Put ginger, onion and garlic, in a wok or large pan with heated oil and stir-fry for 3 minutes. Then add broccoli, tofu, kale, mushroom and soy sauce. Cover and cook for 7 minutes. After it’s done, just sprinkle it with sesame seeds, and your meal is done.

    So, it takes you only 10 minutes to make this delicious and nutritious meal, without much effort. You’ll need 5 minutes to peel and chop, but you can also prepare the vegetables the night before. So, when lunch time comes, you’ll just need to put everything in a wok and have your meal ready in ten minutes without any additional cooking.

    The meal is tasty even if you don’t use mushrooms, as well as if you put chicken instead of tofu. If you aren’t a fan of soy sauce, spice it up with chili. Everything this meal consists of is healthy, and you should practice eating these foods, especially because of the health benefits of tofu, which is naturally gluten-free, and provides you with protein, calcium and iron, while broccoli is perfect for detoxification.

    2. White Bean & Herb Hummus with Crudités

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    White Bean & Herb Hummus

      Ingredients:

      • 1/4 cup canned white beans, rinsed and drained
      • 1 tbsp chopped chives
      • 1 tbsp lemon juice
      • 2 tbsp olive oil
      • assorted raw vegetables, such as chopped broccoli florets, sliced green or red peppers, and baby carrots

      Take a small bowl and mix beans, oil, lemon juice and chives with a fork. When it becomes smooth, your meal is ready to be served. Add raw vegetables as suggested previously, and add some more if you like.

      For this meal, you need just 5 minutes to prepare everything without much effort. It’s healthy, simple and delicious. Definitely perfect for a quick lunch, as you’ll get all the needed energy and stay healthy at the same time.

      Don’t forget to add some of the vegetables you like or just have lying around in your kitchen. Chives go perfectly with these ingredients, and are perfect for your metabolism, as they provide you with lots of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. What many people don’t know is that chives need to be cut with a sharp knife and very gently, because the flavor will stay on the cutting board if you squash them with a dull blade.

      3. Spiced quinoa with almonds & feta

      Spiced quinoa

        Ingredients:

        • 1 tbsp olive oil
        • 1 tbsp ground coriander
        • ½ tbsp turmeric
        • 300g quinoa , rinsed
        • 50g toasted flaked almonds
        • 100g feta cheese, crumbled
        • handful parsley , roughly chopped
        • juice ½ lemon

        Boil 400ml water and add to it some vegetables of your choice. Take a large pan, put in the olive oil and all the spices. When it heats up, add quinoa, and when you hear popping, add boiling water and stir. When the water evaporates, let it cool down a bit, and add other ingredients. Mix with crumbled feta.

        You will need 10 minutes for preparation, and it’ll need to be cooked for 15 minutes. Quinoa is a great complete source of protein, as it contains all nine essential amino acids. Instead of feta, you can also use blue cheese. It takes a bit longer to make it, but it’s really worth, as it will keep you going throughout the day. Don’t doubt the nutritional power of quinoa, and if the long day is front of you, make sure you make this meal.

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        4. Porridge with blueberry compote

        Porridge with blueberry compote

          Ingredients:

          • 6 tbsp porridge oats
          • just under ½ x 200ml tub 0% fat Greek-style yogurt
          • ½ x 350g pack frozen blueberries
          • 1 tbsp honey (optional)

          Put 400ml water in a pan, preferably of the nonstick variety, and stir for a minute or two until it thickness, and then add yogurt. Don’t use everything, add a third of it. Put blueberries in another, also nonstick pan, and add 1tbsp water and 1tbsp honey. Pour porridge in a bowl, and pour the rest of the yogurt, and blueberries over. Depending on your taste decide how much yogurt and blueberries you’ll put.

          Quick, easy and tasty porridge with blueberry compote is perfect for a breakfast, but it can also be a brunch or even lunch, especially if you’ve already had brunch. It takes only 10 minutes to make – 5 minutes of preparation and 5 minutes of cooking.

          Porridge oats provide you with fiber, which helps you lower cholesterol. You don’t need probiotic drinks, if you eat porridge oats, as they provide you with more than enough fiber to keep your stomach running smoothly.

          5. Kale, Spinach & Pear Smoothie

          Kale, Spinach & Pear Smoothie

            Ingredients:

            • 1 heaping cup spinach leaves
            • 1 heaping cup chopped kale leaves
            • 1/2 pear
            • 1 frozen banana
            • 1 1/2 cups cold almond milk (or soy milk or orange juice)
            • 1 tablespoon honey

            Put kale, almond milk and spinach in a blender. Don’t forget to remove the leaves from kale, and blend until there are only small pieces of kale. Add a banana, honey and a pear. Keep blending until it’s smooth.

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            With just a bit of healthy fats from the almond milk, not too many calories and 5g fiber it is a great help if you have digestion problems, as it eliminates toxins with fiber. Also, spinach is great source of niacin, protein and zinc, as well as fiber. When you add powerful healthy bananas, you get one of the healthiest smoothies to keep you energized and healthy until dinner time. You may have doubts about the taste, but be sure that the taste of this green smoothie will blow you away.

            6. Open sandwiches – Crushed bean, artichoke & red onion

            Crushed bean, artichoke & red onion

              Ingredients:

              • 1 slice granary bread
              • 1 small can white bean
              • basil oil
              • artichoke heart, from a jar
              • sundried tomatoes, from a jar
              • few slices red onion

              Put a little oil and white (haricot) beans in a bowl and mash. Throw it on a slice of bread, previously toasted if you like, and put an artichoke, tomatoes and red onion on top. Feel free to top with basil oil.

              This sandwich is very quick and easy to make, and because it is very nutritious, it can be a perfect lunch in a rush. If you have just 5 minutes to eat, this sandwich will keep you healthy and energized. The haricot beans are rich in fiber, and as such help lower cholesterol. Moreover, they prevent rapid rising of blood sugar levels right after a meal. If you are a diabetic, and you have planned meals, when you are in a rush this sandwich will definitely be perfect for you. The combination of extremely healthy artichoke hearts, haricot beans and onions makes for one healthy and tasty lunch.

              7. Bold & beautiful coffee smoothie

              Bold & beautiful coffee smoothie

                Ingredients:

                • 1 frozen banana
                • 8g chia seeds
                • 125ml coconut water
                • 1 tsp ground almonds
                • 1 shot of espresso

                This smoothie is so simple. Just put all ingredients in a blender, and blend until it’s smooth. This smoothie recommended by Jamie Oliver is usually a great breakfast. But, if you had a light brunch, then this smoothie will be a perfect addition. The worst mistake is not to have a snack at lunchtime, because of a late breakfast or light brunch, as your body needs energy to keep you focused and productive. Also, the greatest reason is definitely your health.

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                The night before, put a banana in the freezer, as it is the most important ingredient of this smoothie. Except for that, this smoothie doesn’t require a long preparation. While coconut water keeps you hydrated, the health benefits of coffee shouldn’t be neglected either. Except for boosting your physical performance, coffee is rich in antioxidants, which is the reason it is included in many diets. Moreover, chia seeds provide you with omega 3 healthy acids and protein.

                8. Fresh Cranberry and Orange Smoothie

                Fresh Cranberry and Orange Smoothie

                  Ingredients:

                  • 1 cup almond milk
                  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
                  • 2/3 cup frozen cranberries
                  • 2 oranges, peeled, segmented, and seeded
                  • 2 tbsp maple syrup

                  Combine everything in a blender, and when it is smooth, serve it. As this smoothie is a replacement for your lunch, and is also recommended if you had something to eat a bit later in the morning, make sure you use full-fat Greek yogurt. You need some energy to keep you going until dinner, so don’t think that you will gain weight because of half a cup of yogurt.

                  However, if you are having this smoothie as a snack after a big meal, then use non-fat yogurt. As smoothies can negatively impact your teeth, particularly ones with highly acidic fruits like oranges, make sure to brush your teeth or at least rinse with water after you’ve had this quick meal. On the other hand, cranberries are always a plus, as they prevent germs from sticking to your teeth. Also, they are good for preventing urinary tract infections, and improving immune functions.

                  Lunch is an important meal, which needs to keep you fueled and focused, while making sure you stay healthy. Avoid junk food, as there are no health benefits and plenty of downsides. When it comes to smoothies, they can be a great replacement for a lunch, when you are in a rush, but make sure it doesn’t happen every day.

                  These meals will definitely help you get the needed vitamins, fiber, some iron and proteins, but still it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t spend at least one day in the kitchen preparing something more complex. If you had a light and early breakfast, it is not recommended to have a smoothie for lunch, but as you are in a rush, opt for gingered tofu or spiced quinoa. Bon appétit!

                  More by this author

                  Ivan Dimitrijevic

                  Ivan is the CEO and founder of a digital marketing company. He has years of experiences in team management, entrepreneurship and productivity.

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                  Last Updated on September 28, 2020

                  The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

                  The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

                  At the start of the year, if you had asked anyone if they could do their work from home, many would have said no. They would have cited the need for team meetings, a place to be able to sit down and get on with their work, the camaraderie of the office, and being able to meet customers and clients face to face.

                  Almost ten months later, most of us have learned that we can do our work from home and in many ways, we have discovered working from home is a lot better than doing our work in a busy, bustling office environment where we are inundated with distractions and noise.

                  One of the things the 2020 pandemic has reminded us is we humans are incredibly adaptable. It is one of the strengths of our kind. Yet we have been unknowingly practicing this for years. When we move house we go through enormous upheaval.

                  When we change jobs, we not only change our work environment but we also change the surrounding people. Humans are adaptable and this adaptability gives us strength.

                  So, what are the pros and cons of working from home? Below I will share some things I have discovered since I made the change to being predominantly a person who works from home.

                  Pro #1: A More Relaxed Start to the Day

                  This one I love. When I had to be at a place of work in the past, I would always set my alarm to give me just enough time to make coffee, take a shower, and change. Mornings always felt like a rush.

                  Now, I can wake up a little later, make coffee and instead of rushing to get out of the door at a specific time, I can spend ten minutes writing in my journal, reviewing my plan for the day, and start the day in a more relaxed frame of mind.

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                  When you start the day in a relaxed state, you begin more positively. You find you have more clarity and more focus and you are not wasting energy worrying about whether you will be late.

                  Pro #2: More Quiet, Focused Time = Increased Productivity

                  One of the biggest difficulties of working in an office is the noise and distractions. If a colleague or boss can see you sat at your desk, you are more approachable. It is easier for them to ask you questions or engage you in meaningless conversations.

                  Working from home allows you to shut the door and get on with an hour or two of quiet focused work. If you close down your Slack and Email, you avoid the risk of being disturbed and it is amazing how much work you can get done.

                  An experiment conducted in 2012 found that working from home increased a person’s productivity by 13%, and more recent studies also find significant increases in productivity.[1]

                  When our productivity increases, the amount of time we need to perform our work decreases, and this means we can spend more time on activities that can bring us closer to our family and friends as well as improve our mental health.

                  Pro #3: More Control Over Your Day

                  Without bosses and colleagues watching over us all day, we have a lot more control over what we do. While some work will inevitably be more urgent than others, we still get a lot more choice about what we work on.

                  We also get more control over where we work. I remember when working in an office, we were given a fixed workstation. Some of these workstations were pleasant with a lot of natural sunlight, but other areas were less pleasant. It was often the luck of the draw whether we find ourselves in a good place to work or not.

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                  By working from home we can choose what work to work on and whether we want to face a window or not. We can get up and move to another place, and we can move from room to room. And if you have a garden, on nice days you could spend a few hours working outside.

                  Pro #4: You Get to Choose Your Office Environment

                  While many companies will provide you with a laptop or other equipment to do your work, others will give you an allowance to purchase your equipment. But with furniture such as your chair and desk, you have a lot of freedom.

                  I have seen a lot of amazing home working spaces with wonderful sets up—better chairs, laptop stands that make working from a laptop much more ergonomic and therefore, better for your neck.

                  You can also choose your wall art and the little nick-nacks on your desk or table. With all this freedom, you can create a very personal and excellent working environment that is a pleasure to work in. When you are happy doing your work, you will inevitably do better work.

                  Con #1: We Move a Lot Less

                  When we commute to a place of work, there is movement involved. Many people commute using public transport, which means walking to the bus stop or train station. Then, there is the movement at lunchtime when we go out to buy our lunch. Working in a place of work requires us to move more.

                  Unfortunately, working from home naturally causes us to move less and this means we are not burning as many calories as we need to.

                  Moving is essential to our health and if you are working from home you need to become much more aware of your movement. To ensure you are moving enough, make sure you take your lunch breaks. Get up from your desk and move. Go outside, if you can, and take a walk. And, of course, refrain from regular trips to the refrigerator.

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                  Con #2: Less Human Interaction

                  One of the nicest things about bringing a group of people together to work is the camaraderie and relationships that are built over time. Working from home takes us away from that human interaction and for many, this can cause a feeling of loss.

                  Humans are a social species—we need to be with other people. Without that connection, we start to feel lonely and that can lead to mental health issues.

                  Zoom and Microsoft Teams meeting cannot replace that interaction. Often, the interactions we get at our workplaces are spontaneous. But with video calls, there is nothing spontaneous—most of these calls are prearranged and that’s not spontaneous.

                  This lack of spontaneous interaction can also reduce a team’s ability to develop creative solutions—there’s just something about a group of incredibly creative people coming together in a room to thrash out ideas together that lends itself to creativity.

                  While video calls can be useful, they don’t match the connection between a group of people working on a solution together.

                  Con #3: The Cost of Buying Home Office Equipment

                  Not all companies are going to provide you with a nice allowance to buy expensive home office equipment. 100% remote companies such as Doist (the creators of Todoist and Twist) provide a $2,000 allowance to all their staff every two years to buy office equipment. Others are not so generous.

                  This can prove to be expensive for many people to create their ideal work-from-home workspace. Many people must make do with what they already have, and that could mean unsuitable chairs that damage backs and necks.

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                  For a future that will likely involve more flexible working arrangements, companies will need to support their staff in ways that will add additional costs to an already reduced bottom line.

                  Con #4: Unique Distractions

                  Not all people have the benefit of being able to afford childcare for young children, and this means they need to balance working and taking care of their kids.

                  For many parents, being able to go to a workplace gives them time away from the noise and demands of a young family, so they could get on with their work. Working from home removes this and can make doing video calls almost impossible.

                  To overcome this, where possible, you need to set some boundaries. I know this is not always possible, but it is something you need to try. You should do whatever you can to make sure you have some boundaries between your work life and home life.

                  Final Thoughts

                  Working from home can be hugely beneficial for many people, but it can also bring serious challenges to others.

                  We are moving towards a new way of working. Therefore, companies need to look at both the pros and cons of working from home and be prepared to support their staff in making this transition. It will not be impossible, but a lot of thought will need to go into it.

                  More About Working From Home

                  Featured photo credit: Standsome Worklifestyle via unsplash.com

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