For many, lunch is one of the more challenging meals of the day when it comes to nourishment.

Without forward planning or preparation, you may find yourself falling back on something ‘quick and easy’ on the go. But preparing lunches ahead of time doesn’t have to be an ordeal. And you don’t have to repeat the same boring salad day after day.

Here are top three lunch hacks to help you maintain a nourishing way of eating through your work day while keeping your taste buds happy.

1. Leftovers

Get creative with your leftovers and transform them into brand new meals. For example, if you’ve cooked too much rice, add some egg, vegetables and toss in a wok or saucepan to turn it into a high vegetable fried rice.

In her latest book Simplicious Flow, Sarah Wilson suggests using a sandwich press to heat or cook a number of different meals—even a piece of rump steak. Think beyond two slices of bread and get creative with your office sandwich press! Many warm meals can be enjoyed cold if you don’t have the ability to heat food at your workplace.

2. Use seaweed wraps instead
of bread

Sushi can be a nourishing option, especially if you make your own. Store bought sushi may contain sugar and/or preservatives, as well as relying heavily on rice as the predominant filling.

When you make your own sushi, you have complete control over all the ingredients and their quantities. Use brown or black rice instead of white rice, a hearty amount of avocado as a source of whole food fat and loads of vegetables. Making sushi is not as hard as you think. In fact, you can even just take the ingredients all separate and roll them as you eat. Better yet, try the sushi bowl recipe we’ve included and avoid wrapping altogether. This is one of my favourite lunches.

3. Amp up the nourishment of the old staple, avo on crackers

A staple go to lunch for many is avocado on toast or crackers. It’s quick, easy and who doesn’t like avocado? Although this lunch already provides quite a bit of nourishment thanks to the 19 different nutrients in avocado, you can take it a step further.

Try finely chopping kale and mixing it through mashed avocado seasoned with lemon and salt. It’s delicious! You can also add other leafy greens, spring onion and/or capsicum if kale isn’t your thing.

Keep some boiled eggs in the fridge too, so you can add some good quality protein to this combo or plan ahead to make sure there is some left over home-cooked cold meat from dinner the night before.

 

Dragon Bowl

Ingredients

1 cup cooked brown rice

¼ cup arame, soaked in 1 cup water for 5 minutes, then drained and set aside

220g sweet potatoes, sliced into rounds and steamed

6 broccoli florets, steamed

½ bunch silverbeet leaves, steamed and roughly chopped

¼ green cabbage, thinly sliced

2 handfuls mixed greens of your choice

½ cucumber, thinly sliced

1 roma tomato, cubed

¼ cup coriander, roughly chopped

1 tablespoon sesame seeds

1 cup sunflower sprouts or living sprouts

salt and pepper

Dressing

½ cup Tahini

2 tablespoons fresh ginger, finely chopped

2 tablespoons tamari

3 tablespoons olive oil

juice of 1 lemon

¼ teaspoon pepper

¼ teaspoon salt

½ cup filtered water

Method

1. Make the dressing first. Place all the ingredients in a high-speed blender and process until well combined.

2. Divide the salad vegetables and herbs between two serving bowls, keeping them as separate as possible. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper.

3. Fill two shot glasses with the dressing and arrange each one to sit off-centre in each bowl. Sprinkle with the sesame seeds and sprouts and eat with chopsticks.

Serves 1-2 | 20 minutes

Nutritional information

Adding arame to your food is a wonderful way to boost its mineral content.

Arame is rich in essential nutrients, including calcium, iron, zinc, manganese, vitamins A and K, and of course iodine. It is typically harvested during the springtime, when ocean nutrient levels are at their highest.

As arame is the mildest-tasting of all sea vegetables, it’s the perfect introduction to the flavour of seaweed, particularly for children.

 

Greenleaf salad wrap with Raw Hummus and Sprout Salad

Ingredients

4 large cos lettuce leaves

8 tablespoons raw hummus

1 cup baby spinach

1 cup live sprouts, such as broccoli or alfalfa

1 small carrot, peeled and grated

1 small beetroot, peeled and grated

1 large ripe tomato, thinly sliced

1 avocado, sliced

salt and ground black pepper

cooked skinless chicken breast, optional

Method

1. Take 4 large lettuce leaves and remove the tough stem of each leaf.

2. Put 2 leaves on each plate, placed on top of each other so the stem ends are on opposite sides.

3. Spread half the hummus down the centre of each set of leaves.

4. Arrange the baby spinach on top of the hummus.

5. Layer the sprouts, carrot and beetroot over the hummus on each set of leaves, then top with the sliced tomato and avocado and season with salt and pepper.

6. Add the sliced chicken breast at this point if you are going to use it.

7. Roll the wraps, starting at one of the stem ends and rolling the wrap up lengthwise.

Serves 1-2 | 15 minutes

Nutritional information

Who needs bread when you can have your sandwich wrapped in nutrient-dense cos lettuce leaves? One of the real powerhouses of nutrition are the live sprouts, an excellent source of minerals, amino acids and phytochemicals. Add living sprouts to as many meals as you can.