Need A Work Place Lunchbox Makeover?

02 May 14:00 by Angela Clipperton


Let’s face it, we aren’t perfect. We are busy and always rushing around. At the end of the day, the last thing you want to do is think about tomorrow’s lunch plan. Time to get cracking, folks. If we give it our best shot and end up with something healthy one day, cheap and simple the second and not so good crazy carb-loaded food on Friday then we’re still in front!  Here are some fabulous ideas to get you started on your workplace lunch box makeover!

Eat what you love – love what you eat!

[whipper-sandwich-idea] If you hate sandwiches, even a great one is not going to make you happy. Write down 10 things you love to eat, then work out how to make them lunchbox-friendly.  This way you will be excited about lunch and not stray down the street for something gnarly that will only slow you down for the rest of the day.

Doggy bag lunch

Cook more than you need tonight for dinner and you’re effectively cooking tomorrow’s lunch at the same time. So Sunday’s roast chicken becomes Monday’s chicken Nicoise salad.  Tuesday’s veggie stir-fry becomes Wednesday’s rice noodle salad and so on.


Chefs have their prepared ingredients ready to go, without actually assembling the final dish until it is ordered. This is called ”mise-en-place”.  So prepare your deconstructed salad in a ziplock and prepare the salad dressing in a separate little pot. Take all your separate fills to work and prepare it on the spot to avoid the awesome dead salad soggy factor.  Oh yes, add an egg!  Everything tastes better with an egg.

Food First aid survival kit at work.

Get all your colleagues to chip in and have a stash of supplies in the kitchen that may help perk up a tired old lunch without you having to go out for take away.   Tomato sauce, sea salt, cracked pepper, soy sauce, chilli sauce, pickles, extra virgin olive oil and good mustard are enough to wake up even the most tired taste buds.   If you have parsley, fresh chillies or some lemons at home, then bring them in to share at work.

Mason jar Trend Alert

[mason-jar-instant-ramen-zoodles-4] I saw a fabulous idea the other day on Pinterest.  Layer yoghurt, banana and passionfruit and granola in a lidded jar for breakfast on the run. Or, make your own ramen noodles in a mason jar to heat up at work, or layer all your favourite lunchtime foods like, cold meats, cheese, tomatoes, lettuce, egg slice pickles and chutney in a jar and tip it on to a plate for an instant feast – add a bagel and you are set to go!  

Eat from a plate

You don’t actually have to eat out of a bag or a plastic box? Take time to eat and enjoy your lunch; you deserve it. Eat slowly, chew well, and stay off the computer; and your digestive system will thank you for it.

Fabulous tips for a workplace lunchbox overhaul

  • Cook some couscous, then toss with smoked salmon, cherry tomatoes, coriander, flaked almonds and a lemon-harissa vinaigrette
  • Toss cooked rice vermicelli noodles with rare roast beef, diced tomato and peanuts, basil and mint, and take a jar of sweet chilli sauce, soy and lime juice to dress it with.
  • Add red kidney beans, with diced tomato, avocado, feta cheese and shredded iceberg lettuce, then pile into crisp taco shells or soft tortilla wraps at lunchtime. Top with store-bought Mexican chilli salsa.
  • Make a frittata or quiche with leftover roast potato or tubular pasta, pumpkin, spinach and peas, and serve with tomato chutney or onion jam.
  • Toss  canned tuna, white beans, red onions, capers and black olives together in a mason jar – pour out and eat.
  • Use iceberg lettuce leaves as cups for anything filling that you may like (chunks of BBQ chicken, with hot mustard pickles, caramelised onions and blue cheese.