Health News

These Work Lunches Are So Good, Your Weird Coworker May Steal Them

Twenty-six percent of workers said they’ve gained more than ten pounds at their current job, a 2018 survey found. One reason: going out for lunch.

It’s totally understandable. Work offers enough stress. Why add to the load by trying to puzzle out what to pack for lunch? And then, on the days you actually remember to schlep in a sad sandwich or salad, your weird coworker snatches it up from the office fridge. Or at least you suspect it’s your weird coworker because, MAN, is that dude weird.

So, instead, you go out to eat and turn over control to whatever fast-casual spot is around the office. There, you stress-eat a massive burger or burrito, only to return to your job in need of a severe desk nap.

Avoid all this. Avoid the stress. Avoid the post-lunch drag. Avoid the needless calories spent on forgettable food. It’s time to reinvent the brown bag and reclaim the midday meal. Make these recipes. Enjoy lunch again.

Still can’t help you with the coworker though.

Bear-Sized PB & J

Problem: You can’t eat ham and cheese again. Solution: Promote a childhood favorite.

What You’ll Need:

2 high-protein freezer waffles (such as Kodiak)
2 Tbsp crunchy peanut butter
1/3 cup mixed strawberries and blackberries, chopped
2 Tbsp high-protein granola (such as Nature Valley)

How to Make It:

Toast the waffles according to package directions. While they’re warm, spread the peanut butter over one waffle. Top with the berries, granola, and other waffle. Let cool before wrapping in foil. Smush before eating. Makes 1 sandwich

Nutrition per serving: 682 calories, 27g protein, 54g carbs (10g fiber), 41g fat

Chicken Farro Salad

Mike Garten

If salads just don’t fill you up, swap the greens for grains. They have more flavor, carry a strong dose of gut-filling fiber, and don’t turn slimy like mixed greens do.

What You’ll Need:
3 (8 oz) pouches microwavable farro, quinoa, or brown rice
1/2 cup bottled sesame dressing
1 cup halved green seedless grapes
1 cup small-diced seedless cucumber
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 Tbsp chopped fresh dill
1 lb grilled boneless skinless chicken breast strips

How to Make It:
In 4 storage containers, divide the grain, dressing, grapes, cucumber, parsley, and dill and toss to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Top with the chicken. Can be served hot, at room temperature, or cold. Will hold in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week. Makes 3 lunches

Per serving: 415 calories, 22g protein, 77g carbs (7g fiber) 3g fat

Meatballs and Peppers

Mike Garten

Maybe you frequently find yourself at a pizza buffet for lunch? Oops. Instead, take the flavors of pizza and increase the protein with this easy make-and-take recipe.

What You’ll Need:
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 onion, sliced
1 red pepper, sliced
1 green pepper, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp Italian seasoning
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 lb cooked Italian-style meatballs (such as Al Fresco or Aidells)
Crusty Italian bread, for serving

How to Make It:

In a large skillet over medium-high, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the onion, peppers, garlic, Italian seasoning, a large pinch of salt, and a few grinds of pepper. Cook, stirring, until the onions are translucent and the peppers are soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and cook until it darkens, about 3 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and 1/2 cup water and gently nestle the meatballs in the sauce. Cover and cook till the meatballs are cooked through, about 10 minutes. Dole out into 4 containers and eat with a chunk of bread. The meatballs and peppers will hold in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. Makes 4 lunches

Per serving: 342 calories, 23g protein, 30g carbs (4g fiber), 13g fat

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