Stuck on Lunch Ideas? Try This Easy to Make Recipes

You’ll have lunch coming out of your ears

Chicken Dishes (Image Source: goodtoknow), crowdink.com, crowdink.com.au, crowd iink, crowdink
Chicken Dishes (Image Source: goodtoknow)

You’d be hard pressed to find a workplace that didn’t allow their employees to have a lunch break, or even just a break in general.

But often, trying to decide what you want for lunch can be a tricky decision. Should you go out for lunch or bring one with you? And even when you’ve made that decision, you still have to choose WHAT you’ll have for lunch. A salad? A wrap? Soup? A muesli bar of some kind?

Well, fortunately, and hopefully, this list of lunch ideas will take the weight of your decision off your shoulders for a while, as many of them you can make last for a few days.

Here’s just a few of the options it suggests, and personally, I love number one.

1 Chicken Burrito Bowls

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Chicken Burrito Bowl

Serves 4–6


INGREDIENTS

  • 2–3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 3 bell peppers, any color, sliced
  • 1 large red onion, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon taco seasoning
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 jar salsa
  • 3 cups cooked brown rice, divided
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can corn
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 lime, sliced into wedges
  • Fresh cilantro to garnish

PREPARATION

  • Preheat oven to 400˚F/200˚C.
  • Line a baking sheet with foil.
  • Place the chicken, peppers, and onions on the baking sheet and drizzle with oil.
  • Sprinkle the taco seasoning evenly over both sides of the chicken breasts.
  • Salt and pepper the peppers and onions, tossing to coat.
  • Top each chicken breast with a generous pour of salsa.
  • Bake in a preheated oven for 25 minutes.
  • Rest chicken for 10 minutes, before slicing into strips.

Add a base of brown rice to 4 food storage containers. Top each with a scoop of black beans, corn, additional salsa, cheddar cheese, cooked peppers and onions, and sliced chicken. Garnish with fresh cilantro and a lime wedge.

Store in the refrigerator (and enjoy any extras immediately). Can be kept refrigerated for up to 4 days.

  1. Red Bean and Green Grain Taco Bowl
crowdink.com, crowdink.com.au, crowdink, crowd ink, Red Bean and Green Grain Taco Bowl (Image Source: BuzzFeed)
Red Bean and Green Grain Taco Bowl (Image Source: BuzzFeed)

Serves 2 to 3

Grains

  • 2 fresh poblano chile peppers, seeded and roughly chopped
  • 1 cup cilantro leaves (picked from 1 bunch)
  • 3/4 medium white onion, roughly chopped (I save the last 1/4 to finely mince as a topping)
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3 cups water or broth (amount needed for wheat berries, adjust if needed)
  • 1 cup uncooked wheatberries
  • Salt to taste

Beans

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 to 1 finely chopped chipotle from a can, a rehydrated and finely chopped dried chipotle or in a pinch, chipotle powder to taste
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup water or broth
  • 1 3/4 cups cooked small red beans (from a 15-ounce can, or cooked from about 1/4 pound dried)
  • Kosher or coarse salt to taste

Fixings

Minced white onion or picked red onions, lime wedges, hot sauce, pickled jalapenos, sour cream or Mexican crema, sliced avocado, pico de galo, crumbled or shredded cheese or some crumbled tortilla chips if you’re having trouble convincing your child to try it

Make green grains:

In a blender or food processor, combine poblanos, cilantro, onion and garlic with a splash of cooking broth or water and puree until smooth. In a medium saucepan, combine wheat berries, remaining cooking water or broth, 3/4 of green puree and salt to taste over high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce to a very low simmer and cover, cooking for 1 hour, or until grains are chewy-tender. Add remaining green puree and cook for 5 minutes more.

Meanwhile, make red beans:

In a smaller saucepan, heat olive oil over medium. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds, just until sizzling. Add chipotle, cumin, oregano and tomato paste and cook together for 1 minute. Add water or broth, beans and salt to taste and bring to a gentle simmer. Cook for 10 minutes on low.

Assemble and eat:

For each bowl, I like about 2/3 grains and 1/3 beans, but you can go half-half as well. Top with desired fixings, don’t hold back. (The sour cream was particularly awesome here, in our opinion, although decidedly un-vegan.) Repeat as needed.

3 Salmon Souvlaki Bowls

crowdink.com, crowdink.com.au, crowdink, crowd ink, Salmon Souvlaki Bowls (Image Source BuzzFeed)
Salmon Souvlaki Bowls (Image Source BuzzFeed)
  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 15 minutes
  • Total time: 30 minutes
  • Serves 4

Ingredients

  • Salmon Souvlaki
  • 1 pound fresh salmon cut into 4 pieces
  • 6 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika or regular paprika
  • 1 tablespoon fresh dill
  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano
  • 2 cloves garlic minced or grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper

Bowls

  • 1 cup dry pearl couscous or farro
  • 2 red peppers quartered
  • 1 inch zucchini cut into 1/4 rounds
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes halved
  • 2 Persian cucumbers sliced
  • 1/2 cup kalamata olives
  • 4-8 ounces feta cheese crumbled
  • 1 recipe [Tzatziki | https://www.halfbakedharvest.com/greek-lamb-souvlaki-plates-with-avocado-tzatziki/]
  • juice from 1 lemon

4 Teriyaki Grilled Chicken and Veggie Rice Bowls

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Teriyaki Grilled Chicken and-Veggie Rice Bowls

Serves 4

Ingredients

Teriyaki sauce

  • 1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 Tbsp packed light-brown sugar
  • 3 Tbsp honey
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced (1 Tbsp)
  • 1 Tbsp minced ginger
  • 1 Tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp cornstarch

    Chicken, veggies and rice

  • 3 1/2 Tbsp olive oil, divided, plus more for brushing grill
  • 1 1/2 lbs bonless skinless chicken breasts
  • Ground black pepper
  • 1 medium zucchini, diced into half moons and quartered (1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 1/2 cups matchstick carrots
  • 2 1/2 cups small diced broccoli florets
  • 1 1/2 – 2 cups white or brown rice, cooked according to directions on package (I prefer short grain brown rice)
  • Sesame seeds, optional

Directions

For the teriyaki sauce:

In a small saucepan whisk together low-sodium soy sauce, 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp of the water, the brown sugar, honey, garlic, ginger and rice vinegar. Bring mixture to a light boil over medium-high heat. Whisk together cornstarch with remaining 2 Tbsp water, then add to sauce mixture in saucepan. Reduce heat slightly and allow to boil 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, set aside.

For the chicken:

Brush both sides of chicken with 1 1/2 Tbsp of the olive oil and season pepper (you won’t need salt since the teriyaki sauce is plenty salty). Preheat a grill over medium-high heat (to about 425 – 450 degrees). Brush grill grates lightly with oil then grill chicken until center registers 160 – 165 degrees on an instant read thermometer, about 4 minutes per side. Remove and let rest 5 minutes then dice into cubes.

For the veggies:

Heat remaining 2 Tbsp olive oil in a saute pan over medium-high heat. Add zucchini, broccoli and carrots and saute 4 – 5 minutes until crisp tender.

To assemble bowls:

Layer rice into 4 bowls then top each with 1/4 of the chicken and 1/4 of the veggies. Drizzle desired amount of teriyaki sauce over tops (you’ll have extra left over – use it for chicken or salmon the next day), sprinkle with sesame seeds. Serve warm.

5 Honey Chipotle Chicken Bowls

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Honey Chipotle Chicken Bowls

Serves: 2-4

Cooking time: 2+ hours to marinate, 30 minutes to make

Ingredients:

Honey chipotle chicken

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons adobo sauce, from a can of chipotles in adobo
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon honey mustard
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced

Salad

  • 6 cups spring greens
  • 1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 cup torn fresh cilantro
  • 4 green onions, sliced
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon honey

Lime quinoa

  • 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken or vegetable stock, or even water
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 lime, juiced and zest freshly grated
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

Directions:

1 Add the chicken breasts to a baking dish or ziplock bag and season with salt and pepper. In a bowl, whisk together the olive oil, adobo, honey, mustards, cilantro and garlic. Pour the marinade over the chicken, covering it evenly. Place it in the fridge and marinate for at least 2 hours, or even overnight.

2 When you’re ready to make the meal, heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add a tiny bit of olive oil and add the chicken, then cover the skillet and cook until the chicken is deeply browned on both sides and cooked in the center, about 6 minutes per side.

3 To make the salads, add the greens in a large bowl and toss them with a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Add the chicken on top along with the quinoa, the tomatoes, cilantro, green onions and avocado. Drizzle the bowl with the lime juice, olive oil and honey. Serve!

Lime quinoa

Add the quinoa and stock (or water) to a saucepan over high heat and bring it to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and cover the pot. Cook for about 15 minutes, or until all the liquid is absorbed. Stir in the coconut oil (you can swap butter), lime juice, zest, salt and pepper.

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Rowena Nagy is a graduate of The University of Tasmania and has over three years of experience as a writer and journalist and brings that knowledge and skill to all tasks she approaches. She has also worked in radio, co-hosting and co-producing a news and current affairs program during her Bachelor of Arts Degree and received a second-class lower division score for her Honours thesis on celebrity, media, and privacy. Rowena aims to gain experience in all areas of media and has high career aspirations.