So long, sad desk lunch. Working from home means that I have access to a full kitchen, so my lunch options aren’t limited any longer to quick sandwiches or a Tupperware full of leftovers. Now, I can make a lunch I actually want to eat. If you, like me, are in need of some inspiration when it comes to midday meals, look no further. Here are five healthy-ish, flavor-packed WFH lunch recipes that I make on repeat. They are quick to make (most come together in less than 20 minutes!), light enough to keep you from napping, and packed with protein to keep you going strong until 5 p.m.
Smashed Avocado Toast with Halloumi and Soft-Boiled Egg
1 large egg
2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
1-2 oz halloumi cheese, cut into 1/4-inch slices
1 thick slice sourdough bread
1/2 medium avocado, smashed with a fork
1/2 tsp sunflower seeds
1 Tbsp alfalfa sprouts
Salt and pepper
To make the soft-boiled egg, bring a small pot of water to a boil over high heat. Carefully add the egg and boil for
7 minutes. Remove the egg with a slotted spoon and place in a bowl of ice water. Set aside.
To prepare the halloumi, heat olive oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Place sliced halloumi in the skillet and cook 1-2 minutes per side, or until golden brown. Remove from heat and set aside.
Place bread in the toaster and toast to desired doneness.
Peel the cooked egg and slice in half.
To assemble the toast, spread smashed avocado on toasted bread and layer with halloumi, alfalfa sprouts, sunflower seeds, and halved egg. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Lunch Nachos with Quick Curtido (Salvadoran-Style Slaw)
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/4 tsp honey
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
1 cup coleslaw mix
4 oz tortilla chips
1/2 cup canned refried beans
4 oz pepper jack cheese, grated
Chopped avocado and sour cream (for serving)
Preheat oven to 400°F.
To make the curtido, whisk together apple cider vinegar, honey, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Add coleslaw mix and toss to combine. Set aside.
Spread half of the tortilla chips on a rimmed baking sheet. Dollop half of the beans over top, then sprinkle with half of the cheese. Repeat layers one more time. Bake until cheese is melted, 10-12 minutes.
Top the nachos with the curtido. Garnish with avocado and sour cream and eat.
Chicken Pitas with Yogurt-Tahini Sauce
3/4 cup plain whole milk Greek yogurt
1/4 cup tahini
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound ground chicken
1 Tbsp baharat (or garam masala)
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
Preheat oven to 375°F.
To make the yogurt-tahini sauce, combine yogurt, tahini, and lemon juice in a medium bowl and stir until smooth. Set aside.
Place pitas on a baking sheet and bake for 6-8 minutes or until completely warmed.
While pitas are baking, heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add chicken and season with baharat, salt, and pepper. Cook, breaking up with a wooden spoon or spatula and stirring occasionally, 5-7 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.
Cut pitas in half and open them to form pockets. Fill pita halves with ground chicken and drizzle with yogurt-tahini sauce. Serve warm.
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 (20-oz) package fresh cheese tortellini
1 (15-oz) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 (7-oz) jar sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained and chopped
1 (7-oz) jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
3 oz fresh baby spinach (about 3 packed cups)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
To make the salad dressing, whisk together olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt, and pepper in a small bowl until combined. Set aside.
Cook the tortellini according to package directions. Drain and transfer to a large serving bowl.
Add cannellini beans, sun-dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, baby spinach, and dressing to tortellini and toss until evenly combined.
Garnish with parmesan cheese and pine nuts and serve.
Gado Gado-Inspired Salad with Rice Noodles
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
1 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
1 Tbsp maple syrup
1/2 tsp Sriracha
5 Tbsp hot water
5 oz rice noodles
2 tsp refined coconut oil
4 oz tempeh, cut into bite-size cubes
2 small carrots, thinly sliced into half-moons
1/2 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1/2 cup bean sprouts
1/4 cup cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped
Make peanut sauce by adding peanut butter, soy sauce, lime juice, maple syrup, and Sriracha to a small mixing bowl and whisking to combine. Add water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until sauce reaches a pourable consistency. Set aside.
Cook rice noodles according to package instructions. Rinse under cold water and drain. Set aside.
In a medium pan, heat coconut oil over medium-high heat. Add tempeh and cook 7-8 minutes or until browned on all sides. Remove from heat and set aside.
To assemble, toss rice noodles, peanut sauce, tempeh, carrots, bell pepper, and bean sprouts in a large bowl until combined. Garnish with cilantro and serve.
Photographer: Paul Quitoriano
Stylist: Mary Rupp
Art Direction: Sarah Ceniceros