It’s a well-known fact that functioning well enough at 7am to prepare food is for the superhuman. That being said, although extra effort is required, the benefits of preparing your own food outweigh the drawbacks. First of all, they’re healthier and more cost-effective. Second, eating heavy takeout can leave you slumped over your desk and reduce productivity, while a healthier home cooked meal allow you to portion control so you won’t be scrambling for a post-lunch nap. You can try and build a habit of preparing home cooked lunch by keeping these five tips in mind:
Keep your fridge well-stocked. The key to a hassle-free packed lunch is meal-prepping. That way, you can cook large batches over the weekend and dish it out over the weekday as opposed to cooking every morning. Prepare more than one tupperware to portion the meal so that all you need to do in the morning is pop that sucker in your bag and head out to start the day.
Easy to make. Unless you want to impress your coworkers, your lunch doesn’t need to be overachieving. There is an abundance of delicious yet easy recipes that are not time consuming. An easy recipe will leave you feeling proud and productive instead of overwhelmed and tired. Your coworkers will be impressed enough when they see you bring home cooked packed lunch every day.
Cost-effective. Choose recipes with affordable and easy-to-find ingredients. Unless you’re using expensive ingredients for multiple dishes, buying them for one particular dish often isn’t worth it.
Convenient. Your lunch should not only be easy to make, it should also be easy to eat. Especially if you like eating at your desk – no one wants remnants of food stuck in their keyboard. If you don’t have airtight containers, avoid making soupy dishes. If you can’t be bothered to clean up spillage on your desk, avoid making dishes that fall apart easily, like a burrito for instance.
Exciting. This is essential in meal-prepping. Prepare a dish you don’t mind eating a couple of times in a row. It should be something you like and is not too heavy. Heavier dishes like creamy pastas can get tiring to eat daily, so make sure you prep something that’s lighter yet always exciting to eat.
Still don’t know what to make? Don’t sweat because we got your back! These are the types of dishes that can be prepared in bulk, easy to make, filling, packed with energy-boosting nutrients and will also prevent you from breaking the bank:
- One pot pasta primavera
- Twenty minute cherry tomato basil angel hair pasta
- Five ingredient pasta salad
Salad can be a pain to prep. All the vegetable washing and chopping can be tedious, but you can save a lot of time and energy if you do it all at once. Prepare bulk amounts of salad and keep them in an airtight container to keep them fresh all week long (store dressing separately to avoid vegetables turning soggy).
Anything that’s not a pasta or salad
Get creative with your lunch! These recipes can be prepared in bulk and they are also cheap, easy, and exciting.
- Rice Bowl with fried egg and avocado
- Crunchy peanut butter wraps
- Healthy burrito bowl
- Ten minute veggie fried rice
This article originally appeared on our sister website, the Beijinger. Read more articles by this author here.