Working from home has never been more relevant than in today’s mass toilet-paper-buying, grocery-store-shelf-clearing climate as seen in most countries seriously stricken by the global COVID-19 pandemic.
In light of this unprecedented worldwide catastrophe, plenty of companies have already given the green light for their workforce to undertake their duties remotely, if the nature of the work permits, of course. All in a desperate attempt to stave off (or at least slow down) the spread of the virus.
Indeed, working from home is one of a multitude of ways to solve this conundrum. But working remotely does also afford plenty of benefits for the employees — chief among them are increased productivity, flexible schedule, working in a comfortable environment, zero commuting, saving time and money, etc. Also, working from home gives one the unique advantage of having full access to your fridge 24/7!
However, you should definitely skip the easy-to-reach albeit unhealthy snacks when you’re working from home. We know it can be tempting to miss lunch and instead munch on some junk food, especially when you’re in the midst of a sudden burst of productivity. But nothing truly beats healthy, nutritious, homemade food.
If prying yourself away from your work desk and cooking a meal during the workday is next to impossible for you, there are other ways to get your hands on a wholesome meal. The key is meal prepping, y’all.
Plan ahead. Cook and prepare your work week lunches in a batch ahead of time or on the weekends so you only need to reheat it (or even have it chilled) during lunch on weekdays. With the right recipes, it really doesn’t have to take ages to prep your meals.
Here are seven healthy and delicious recipes that are easy to throw together for when you work from home.
Seven Healthy and Delicious Meals That Are Easy To Prep!
1. BBQ Chicken Salad
Chicken salad is THE go-to recipe when you don’t have a lot of time to prep your meal for the week. It’s a really simple recipe. You take a bowl, chuck in a bunch of fresh veggies, add in some chicken, croutons, and also a salad dressing of your choice. Voila! An easy, healthy, and tasty meal made within a fraction of the time it’ll take you to say, order a large pizza.
But for a twist on the classic veggie dish, BBQ chicken salad is definitely the way to go. Throwing in some beans, crushed chips, and a drizzle of savoury BBQ sauce also gives this salad an additional kick in texture and taste. Plus, the chicken even tastes good leftover for the next couple of days, provided you’ve properly kept it refrigerated.
For a vegan option, you may substitute chicken with grilled tofu.
2. Quinoa Salad
While we’re still on the salad train, this next dish is filled to the brim with a mix of healthy veggies and quinoa — a veritable superfood high in fibre and high-quality (vegetarian) protein. This quinoa salad is the perfect fit if you’re looking for a hearty vegetarian meal with a plant-based protein replacement.
This particular recipe is pretty much straightforward. You’ll need a bunch of fresh colourful vegetables, along with a dash of a homemade dressing mix. Best of all, it can be made in advance, which makes it a great meal prep option. Just don’t dress the salad until you’re ready to eat.
3. Spicy Tuna Sandwiches
Sandwiches are the king of convenience. It is a dish that’s easy to prepare yet provides all the necessary nutrients to keep you going. And only a few ingredients are needed to complete a quick sandwich filling mix in less than 15 minutes.
As for protein, this sandwich recipe uses tuna as it is a good source of the nutrient, as well as being rich in essential fatty acids. To add a little bit of heat (and an additional protein boost) in there, the recipe leverages the use of spicy beans — something not many Asian recipes incorporate.
All that’s left is to then pick the bread of your choice. We’d, of course, recommend whole grain as it’s the healthier option.
Optional: Top your sandwich with a few slices of juicy tomato, avocado, and even bacon strips to bring this everyday sandwich up the next level.
4. Shrimp And Broccoli Stir-Fry With Rice
Let’s get back to the basics.
Stir-fry is a staple in most Chinese households for a good reason. It’s affordable, healthy, and easy to make! And like any other traditional Chinese stir-fry dish, the blend of flavours that come from this recipe pairs wonderfully with some good old white rice.
This easy shrimp and broccoli stir-fry recipe only needs eight ingredients and will be ready for your awaiting tummy in less than 20 minutes. But the best part is that it’s also low in calories so you won’t have to worry about your expanding waistline.
As for meal prepping, you could even make it in batches to store in your fridge (for up to two days). Just pop it in the microwave before you eat and you’re good to go.
5. One-Pot Pesto Pasta Salad
One-pot meals are all the rage these days. If you’re looking for a simple dish that can be made in under 30 minutes, we’ve got just the thing for you.
This one-pot pesto pasta meal uses only four ingredients to create something warm and comforting with minimal prep and even fewer dishes to boot! For something more homemade, you could give making your own pesto a try. But for our case, we’d definitely suggest buying a ready-made bottle of the sauce from the store — it’s much easier this way.
Want some protein with your meal? You’re free to add any amount of sides to your pot of pasta to your heart’s desires. We’d suggest cherry tomatoes, olives, and chicken/bacon slices for an even more fulfilling meal.
This dish can be served hot or cold. The leftovers also make for a great chilled pasta salad that you may instantly have for lunch on the days you’re working from home.
6. Peanut Butter Overnight Oats
If you’re looking for a meal that doesn’t require any cooking whatsoever, then perhaps overnight oats in a mason jar are exactly what you need. Overnight oats can be prepped up to two or three days in advance for a quick afternoon snack.
Typically eaten as a breakfast or brunch meal, you could easily repurpose a jar of overnight oats for a fibre-packed lunch meal full of vitamins and nutrients. Overnight oats as its name suggests, are rolled oats soaked in a liquid (milk, in this case) over a long period of time, usually overnight.
But oats, while healthy, are bland in taste. Thus, it comes as no surprise that plenty of overnight oat recipes incorporate a variety of naturally sweetened ingredients like fruits and nuts to boost the flavour.
Here we’ll introduce a peanut butter, protein-packed version of the convenient snack perfect after an intense workout or after a massive spurt of productive work.
7. Blueberry-Orange Parfait
Who says dessert can’t be healthy? Parfaits don’t necessarily have to be confined to the realm of desserts, they can also make for filling lunches — if you add the right ingredients.
This easy snack (for a serving of four) comprising fresh fruits comes together in a few minutes and can be made in advance. Just make sure to keep it covered and refrigerated. If you’re looking for a larger portion, you could also add on almonds, granola, and even more variations of fruits.
All images from Shutterstock.