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Ask the Expert Archive

I looking for healthy quuick dishes I can make to take to work for lunch and dinner. I never eat at home cause I am always at work

Preparing quick and healthy meals to take to work for lunch and dinner can seem daunting, but it’s easier than you might think, especially once you get started.  Some initial planning to identify what you need to keep on hand is a good first step.  There are a wide range of items in the grocery store that can help make it easier.  For instance, there are a variety of different breads that can help you to create interesting sandwiches – whole wheat pita bread, tortillas for wraps, whole grain rolls to name a few.  Pre-packaged greens, pre-cut vegetables that are either packaged or from the salad bar can add interest as well as nutrition to the sandwich, or they can be brought to make a salad.  Consider adding cut-up fruits to the sandwich or salad for variety, or just bringing them along as a side item.  Pre-cut apple slices, canned pineapple, dried fruits are examples of options that are quick and easy.     

 If you have a microwave available to you at work, you have the option of reheating things such as soups and stews, pasta dishes and casseroles that are prepared in advance. Cooking in a crockpot or preparing them on days off can save time when preparing lunch and dinner for a workday.  When eating at home, prepare extra that can be used as leftovers to take to work.     

 Here are some employee favorites to get you started.  Check back frequently for other quick and healthy ideas in our recipe section and suggestions from moms.

 Sandwiches and other cold items:

Hummus in pita bread with salad

Tuna with vegetables and lowfat Italian or Balsamic vinaigrette

Wrap with low-fat refried bean spread or whole kidney beans and vegetables and salsa

Wrap with grated lowfat cheese and vegetables and honey mustard dressing

Peanut butter sandwich on whole wheat bread with banana or apple

Hummus with baby carrots

Cottage cheese and fruit

cottage cheese and tomatoes

Yogurt and fruit with a few slivered almonds

small white beans (just rinse a can of them) and cherry tomatoes, salt and pepper to taste

 Favorite sides or snacks:

Baby carrots

Grape tomatoes

Cut-up veggies from salad bar

Pre-cut apples

Whole fruit

Individual servings of fruit cups

Raisins or other dried fruits

Pre-packaged greens for a salad

Trail mix (mixture of nuts, dried fruit, cereal)

Tomato juice

 Hot dishes to microwave:

Baked potato with broccoli and low fat cheese

baked potato with cottage cheese and chives

Chili (make it more hearty by adding more vegetables such as corn, carrots, or zucchini)

Frozen vegetables with Parmesan cheese

Canned soups with extra frozen vegetables added

Veggie pizza

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The Expert: Wendy Reinhardt Kapsak, MS, RDN, is the President and CEO of the Produce for Better Health (PBH) Foundation. At PBH, she guides the Foundation’s efforts to advance the overall effort of increasing fruit and vegetable consumption.
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