Living in the Netherlands can quickly trap you into the eternal loop of having just sandwiches and mainly bread-based meals for lunch. How European of me, eh?
Especially considering our schedules nowadays (uni-students holler at me!), resorting to the easiest option – a simple old sandwich – can be quite tempting. Oh, all the possible condiments that go with bread is endless. Cheese, peanut butter, jelly, ham, bacon, everything basically. And not to mention the amount of granola bars I’ve had for lunch. “Granola” wink wink, infused with so much sugar and artificial ingredients I might as well be eating a candy bar.
On that note, I’m here to help you out, if you’re also like me and is stuck in the bread-rut.
First thing is the beautiful world of salads. Okay, I know that summer is over and salads have left the building. Trust me! Salads can be oh, so good, even in these colder months especially if you’re stuck in small spaces like classrooms or cubicles where the air just tends to get stuffy. And this salad was oh so mighty and delicious!
A nice refreshing quinoa salad is not only healthy but also gluten-free!
- rocket salad and a melange (or any other kind of lettuce)
- cherry tomatoes
- chopped almonds
- chopped apples
- cheese (I used cumin cheese)
- boiled egg
- cooked quinoa (seasoned with dried parsley, salt and pepper)
- coriander for garnish
For the dressing: (or just use some extra virgin olive oil to drizzle!)
- olive oil
- balsamic vinegar
- chili flakes
Combine all these ingredients to have a yummy and filling gluten-free salad!
Pair this salad with a fresh fruit and/or vegetable smoothie or fresh juice and your lunch is done!
Try to stay away from unhealthy packed snacks like crips/chips or chocolate chip cookies as satisfying as that sounds. The other day, I bought some smoked cheddar popcorn and thought to myself, why can’t I have this with my lunch all the time? as I guiltily downed the entire bag.
Fortunately for me, nowadays, there’s a healthier option for almost everything out there! Just like for popcorn! Here’s a healthier option available on the market! For GLUTEN-FREE POPCORN CLICK HERE!
Also, feel free to alter the ingredients to any other nuts like walnuts or cashews instead of almonds. The apples can be easily switched with grapes! And the cheese can be left out, of course! Or switched for feta cheese. Salads are so versatile, so feel free to add basically anything not-fried and full of carbs in order to keep it healthy!
This salad is so easy to put together and requires minimum preparation time. The only thing that would potentially take time is the quinoa!
Best thing about salads other than how easy it is to put it together, is how easy it is to travel with! Add all the contents into an air-tight container and voila! Don’t forget to have the dressing in another little container to prevent your salad from getting soggy.
Another easy and simple lunch idea is a hummus, cheese and veggie wrap!
Cheese? and hummus? I say yes! But not too much cheese, that’s never actually good for you no matter how much I’d like to believe otherwise.
Hummus, cherry tomatoes, lettuce or rocket salad, shredded carrots, cucumber, boiled egg, and cheese! Sounds simple, doesn’t it?
If you’re looking for a hummus recipe, I’ve got one for you! Just click here.
- Grab a tortilla wrap – whole wheat is always better! – I heated mine up a little because it’d been in the fridge for a while. I also had quite a big wrap, but a smaller one would be fine, too. Go for two small wraps in that case!
- Spread about 3-4 tsp of hummus all over the wrap
- Spread a little bit cheese over the hummus, I added some cumin cheese – LOVE!
- Lay some sliced tomatoes, carrots, and cucumber in the middle of the wrap
- Slice up the boiled egg and place it over the vegetables
- Sprinkle some rocket or lettuce over the veggies and egg
- For a different flavour, I sprinkled some freshly chopped coriander – mainly because I’ve got too much of it in my fridge at the moment and I love coriander!
Pair this wrap with a nice and crunchy apple and a fruit juice or some warm green tea (replace that coffee, ’cause we all know it’s sucking all that water out of you!)
In these pictures, I’ve laid them out on my cutting board, but it’s easy to wrap up in some foil and stick in your bag!
Do you have any tips for packing a healthy lunch? What’s your go-to lunch box? I’d love to know in the comments below!
Thanks for reading!