We get it, preparing your own lunch every day for work can seem like a monotonous task. But with some simple tips (and delicious pork), the ideas come easier than ever. Soon, you'll be the talk of the office with your easy but satisfying homemade lunches. Even better, Hatfield® will share some of our most helpful tips to keep in mind while preparing your daily work lunch.
Why you should bring lunch to work
While you may have fallen into the old habit of buying takeout for lunch, there are many reasons why you should consider bringing your own lunch from home to work. Here are some of the top reasons to make your own midday meal.
Going out for lunch every day can stack up in a major way, leaving your bank account sweating at the end of the month. The cost of eating out, on average, is usually around $11 for every meal. Would you pay that much for any subscription service? That's almost $3000 per year! It may be time to start packing your own lunch and saving a stack of cash in the process.
There are also health benefits to packing your lunchbox instead of ordering out. Creating your own meal gives you more control over what kind of food you are consuming. It's very easy to accidentally overconsume calories, with the average calorie count of a fast food meal being 836 calories. Even if you aren't a fan of counting calories, fast food probably doesn't make you feel very good after lunch. You can make yourself a balanced lunch at home, something that is full of nutrition.
Beat decision fatigue
When you're at work, you're making a lot of choices, which can feel overwhelming. This is what's known as decision fatigue. According to Washington State University, "decision fatigue is mental exhaustion resulting from the sheer number of decisions a person must make daily, leading to difficulty making—or making good—decisions." From deadlines to emails and other decisions, you can already be tired by the time it comes to lunch. Making your own lunch eliminates one more choice that you have to pick between.
Making your own easy lunch can bring you a sense of satisfaction and enjoyment. Taking the time to meal prep your at-work lunch can result in a more delicious break than buying lunch. Many people aren't sure what to make for their lunches, but we have some great ideas to help get you started.
8 healthy lunch ideas for work you won't regret
One of the best things about making your own healthy lunch is exploring different recipes and discovering which options work best for you. Look for something that's not only healthy and yummy but will be easy to make in a batch. In addition, the lunch should be simple to transport and store in a cold bag or refrigerator. Let's take a look at some of our favorite recipes that use nutritious and versatile pork protein.
Reimagine your leftovers
Pork is an excellent choice of protein to build a great dinner all-around, and even better if there are leftovers, making it perfect for an easy lunch idea. For example, Hatfield's popular Recipe Essentials Ground Pork can be used to make a variety of delicious dinners and can double as a simple way to prepare lunches as well.
With a few extra ingredients, you can take your boring leftovers to the next level. Just take a look at this burrito bowl that uses leftover Hot Chorizo Tacos. When preparing something ahead of time, wait to combine the protein and the lettuce until you eat so that nothing gets soggy.
Leftover pork roast is a busy working person's dream come true. Pulled pork for dinner one night can mean a pulled pork sandwich the next day that leaves Jennifer in HR jealous of your simple, from-home lunch. You can also use the leftover pork tenderloin to make a delicious Cuban sandwich that will definitely beat out anything you could buy in a drive-through.
Transform a simple sandwich
The sandwich has long been a classic lunch staple, but the same old peanut butter and jelly sandwich can get boring after a while. Luckily, pork is here to save the day and reintroduce you to the concept in a deliciously new way.
Just take one look at our Italian Sausage Flatbread with Mascarpone Cheese, which takes the lunch idea of a pork and cheese sandwich to the next level. Despite the fact that the lunch recipe takes mere minutes to complete, the result is a rich combination of ham, brie and apple that will have you asking why you haven't tried this before.
Another great option is the extremely popular Grilled Sausage Tuscan Sandwich, which is a great lunchtime option that uses leftover sausage. Because this lunch requires some grilling, it can be helpful to make this ahead of time in the evening when you have 30 minutes to spare.
While the mention of the cold lunch idea salad may cause your taste buds to cringe, that's only because you haven't tried any of our pork-centric options. Here are two choices that are satisfying, delicious and simple to make:
- Cobb Salad: This is a great way to get your daily greens in and, with the help of 1 package of Hatfield® Extra Thick Cut Cherrywood Smoked Bacon, the flavor will surprise you.
- Tortilla Taco Salad: Similar to a taco bowl, the salad works well as a lunch option because it transports easily and stays fresh overnight. Be sure to keep your dressing separate until right before eating on your break.
For more amazing recipes for lunch, dinner and breakfast, check out our recipe page. And if you're ready to start making flavorful meals in minutes, head to your local store to find the right pork product for your next lunch.
A few considerations to keep in mind
There are a few secrets to enjoying a consistently good and nutritious healthy lunch idea to get you through your work day. We've touched on it a couple of times, but some ingredients should not be combined until right before you dig in. For example, keep salad dressing separate from your salad to avoid a wet and soggy meal.
This is simple enough to do, especially if you get lunch-specific containers to keep the food in separate sections. You can even find salad containers that have a storage spot for the dressing, which makes transportation easier. Along these lines, find a lunchbox that fits your lifestyle. If you often find that your lunches end up smashed along the ride to work, consider getting a box with a hard side. If your workspace doesn't have a refrigerator, get a bag that keeps things cold for longer.
Another helpful tip is to avoid smelly food. You don't want to stink up the office with anything like egg salad or tuna every day. Luckily pork based lunches are clean, healthy and work well for communal dining as well. Make sure that your coworkers are not allergic to peanuts and ask if they have any sort of severe allergy. This way, you can avoid exposing anyone to a dangerous situation.
If you find some recipes that work for you, these can be your go-to lunches for a couple of weeks. We know how busy life gets, between work and life outside of the office, but knowing that you have something tasty packed in your lunchbox can be one less thing to worry about.
Meal prepping is your best friend. Take some time to prepare your weekday lunches on a weekend. Instead of trying to throw something together the night before after a long day of work, stock up your fridge with five days' worth of midday meals. Now, you can focus on crushing it at work and relax when you get home — without worrying about what you'll eat the next day.
Upgrade your lunchtime with help from Hatfield®
On your new journey to bring your own lunch from home, Hatfield® is your best partner for success. With so many amazing pork products to choose from, it's easier than ever to make an even better work lunch experience. It's time to stop ordering out and elevate your homemade lunches with ease. You'll be the topic of conversation between your coworkers, and little will they know that you spend less than 30 minutes on each meal.
Our meats are perfect for the busy working individual. Hatfield® pork has options that prioritize ease-of-use. For example, look for our pre-marinated and flavorful pork meats. Here are just a few examples:
- Maple Brown Sugar Bacon
- Garlic Mustard Pork Loin Filet
- Recipe Essentials Sweet Italian Ground Sausage
We have so many more options that take the guesswork out of preparing your weekly lunches. You know the protein will be delicious and the rest of the meal will follow suit. Get started today by finding Hatfield® Pork Products near you.