I make my my own lunch everyday, and I couldn’t have it any other way for several reasons: I know exactly what’s in it – and since I can be a bit of a control freak, it works out quite well; it’s much cheaper than eating out; and I produce less waste. I find it also quite satisfying! That being said, when my fridge is empty I do buy my lunch somewhere around the office and it’s really not the end of the world.
I generally have salads – but don’t get me wrong, not a two-leaves-of-lettuce-and-a-tomato salad, I mean a proper salad with at least 4 different types of veggies, some seeds, cereal and/or legumes. I hardly ever have animal proteins in there, but the combination of cereal and legumes makes up for it.
It’s true that it requires a bit of prep’ but it’s all a question of getting organised. I’m sure that even the busiest moms or dads could also manage to make their own lunch at least 2 to 3 times a week.
I actually get most things ready on Sunday (and again on Wednesday if necessary). Here is how it goes:
- I steam a first batch of vegetables: (Romanesco) broccoli, cauliflower, beans, carrots, etc. I like them crunchy, so I don’t cook them for too long. The advantage of steaming food is that you can do other things at the same time! On a nutrition point of view, you keep (almost) all the nutrients and vitamins, you don’t use butter nor oil, and you don’t alter the ingredients.
- I also cook some cereal (whole grain pasta, quinoa, millet, etc.) and some legumes (lentils, chickpeas, kidney beans, etc.) which I can keep in the fridge for about 3 days. If you don’t have much time, you can buy them in a jar or in a can. I also eat legumes in shape of pasta, it gives a different texture and also the impression that I’m actually having pasta! (see picture below and article ‘Let your eyes fool your stomach‘)
- In the evening- or early morning – on weekdays I grab a container*; chuck a handful of steamed veggies and legumes in; chop some raw veggies (avocado, tomato, cucumber, radish, bell pepper, beetroot – you name it); add some herbs, quinoa (or whatever else I cooked) and seeds. And it’s done!
You can be as creative as you want and make a different salad everyday, that’s the beauty of it!
* Using my own containers is also part of my less-waste project. We actually realised today at wok that buying a salad to-go or a sandwich everyday in a shop represents a lot of plastic.