Six Easy Ways to Give Your Sad Desk Lunch a Healthy Makeover
Mid-week slump made even worse by lackluster lunches? Ditch the frozen entrees, prepackaged salads, and deli meat lurking in your office fridge or college dorm room. It’s time for a serious on-the-go meal upgrade. No stovetop or pots & pans required – all of these better-for-you bites can be whipped up in a microwave in minutes.
1. Swap Pizza Bagels for Pita Pizzas
These adorable (and absurdly delicious) rounds can be made with clean ingredients and an endless variety of toppings. Our fave combo? Sundried tomato, shredded mozzarella, and spinach. Pop it in the microwave until the cheese melts (~30 seconds) and devour.
2. F**k Frozen – Go Fresh
Grain bowls are a filling, nutritious, and decidedly tasty way to power through your afternoon. Next time you’re craving a bowl of goodness, stay away from the frozen food aisle and save a few dollars by combining fresh kale, sweet potatoes, instant rice, avocado, and your favorite dressing (this feta dill greek yogurt dressing from OPA is a healthy go-to) to make days and days worth of badass bowls. Toss 1½ cups shredded kale, 1 cup diced sweet potatoes (~½ in thick cubes), and ½ cup pre-cooked rice into a microwave-safe bowl. Cover and microwave for 4 mins. Let stand for 1 min, add sliced avocado and dressing to taste.
3. Opt for Avo Toast Instead of Cold Cuts
Contrary to what trendy brunch joints would have you believe, avocado toast is one of the cheaper ways to kickstart your mornings. Grab a loaf of crusty whole grain bread, some ripe avocados, and a few of your favorite toppings (‘scuse us while we steal all of the avo-inspo from this article by Cookie & Kate) for a hassle-free sammy full of healthy fats.
4. Say “Boy Bye” to Frozen Burritos and “Oh Haaay” to Breakfast Tacos
Combine ½ cup spinach, ⅓ cup shredded cheddar, ½ cup milk, 1 egg, and a pinch of salt & pepper in a microwavable mug. Mix to combine and heat (covered) for 3 mins. Portion cooked egg mixture onto several small tortillas (this cassava flour tortilla from Siete Foods will knock your socks off). Add a drizzle of your go-to hot sauce and fresh avocado to make your morning extra fancy.
5. Ditch Top Ramen for a Beautiful DIY Noodle Bowl
Ahh ramen – the king of last minute meals. Up your noodz game by adding fresh sliced mushrooms, dried seaweed (we’re partial to these wasabi-coated sheets from SeaSnax), shredded chicken, & perfectly boiled eggs from Peckish. For a healthier take, track down Pressery Ramen Kits, which are completely organic, MSG-free, and come with fresh, nourishing broth (no need to add water.) For even fancier at-home ramen, check out our list of foolproof noodle bowl toppings.
6. Trade Ice Cream for Banana “Nice” Cream
Wallets love this frozen ‘nanner dessert alternative almost as much as tastebuds do. Blend frozen bananas with a dash of milk (nut, dairy, or otherwise) and sprinkle with cacao nibs, coconut flakes, or chopped nuts for a guilt-free sweet treat. Looking to change it up? Bookmark this list of banana nice cream variations by Chocolate Covered Katie.
Have more healthy hacks for on-the-go eaters? Be sure to include them in the comments below!