When I first started my work placement, last July, the task of preparing meals to take to work every day was pretty difficult. Not only did I not have the funds to buy something every day but I also wanted to be as organised as I could, whilst keeping my meals as healthy as possible. With it being my first full time job, I didn’t know the kinds of things that my colleagues would be bringing in or how easy it would be to prepare my meals in advance. I work around 20 miles away from where I live so getting up at 6:30am is the norm for me on a weekday. If I can avoid getting up any earlier than that, then I will, meaning I have to prepare a lot of my meals the night before.
At first I started off by taking sandwiches with a packet of crisps and some fruit but I very quickly became bored of that so I wanted meals which were a little more fulfilling but were better for me so here are a few meal ideas that I have been alternating between recently:
Brown Rice mixed with Tuna and mixed Vegetables. This is a really easy one to prepare as I cook a big pot of brown rice the night before, mix in the tuna and then split it up into about 4 portion sizes. I leave one in the fridge for the next day and the other 3 in the freezer, for other days which saves me a job preparing it over the course of the week. This veg I get from Tesco and it’s basically frozen veg, organised into 4 separate bags. I usually take 1 bag a day with me and heat it up in the microwave and have it with whatever I have prepared the night before.
Roast Chicken, Sweet Potato and Quinoa. This is pretty much the leftovers meal. It may seem like a pretty random bunch but it’s the perfect meal to take with you for your lunch on Mondays as you can use whatever you had for your tea the night before and just take in whatever you had leftover! The quinoa is the only thing I prepared separately and that was just to add a bit of variation.
Brown Pasta with Mixed Vegetables, Bacon and Green Pesto. This has become one of my favourite things to take to work with me. It’s filling and offers lots of different flavours and textures which complement each other and stop me getting bored so easily! I genuinely always look forward to eating this at dinner time and I try to make sure to use brown pasta rather than white, just so I’m getting those extra nutrients.
Mixed Salad with Chicken Breast. This is one of the only things I make which can’t be frozen, due to all of the fresh ingredients. Now that it’s coming up to Summer, I’ve been craving fresh salads with a hint of cider vinegar as a dressing. I make sure to add plenty of chicken so I don’t get hungry throughout the day as plain salad on it’s own just doesn’t satisfy me. I tend to add things like peppers, avocado, iceberg lettuce, cucumber, red onion and spring onion to ensure there are plenty of different flavours.
Roast Chicken and Vegetables. This is one of the things I tend to take most often as it’s so easy to prepare and I can make a few batches to freeze and use over the week as it suits me. I literally just defrost a couple of chicken breasts and roast them in the oven for about 40 minutes with a little chicken seasoning for flavour and I don’t need to do anything else to it then. Then the mixed vegetables is just one of the freezer bags from Tesco which is microwavable.
I hope this post helps anyone who is struggling to think of healthy meals to take to work, especially if you’re going into your first full time job. If there are certain things you don’t like then, all of these meals can be changed to suit you and your dietary needs.
Thanks for reading!