The 2 biggest myths about home made lunches

bok choy & mustard salad2bok choy & mustard salad3

bok choy & mustard salad4bok choy & mustard salad5

When I was working as a wine maker, bringing lunch from home wasn’t something that only happened from time to time. It was an every day thing. A matter of survival.

You see, most wineries are in remote locations. There usually isn’t a sandwich shop around the corner that you can just duck out to. And even if there was, during vintage the days are long and intense – often around the 16 hour mark. So there isn’t really time for doing much more than eating and getting back to work.

We all know that a home made lunch tends to be more nutritious, less expensive and better tasting than grabbing lunch from the work canteen or local cafe. But sometimes I think there are a few myths we tell ourselves about taking lunch that hold us back from having a really fun and enjoyable lunch experience.

So what are the 2 biggest home made lunch myths?

Myth No. 1. You need to be super organised to have home made lunches.
Repeat after me, ‘I don’t need to be super organised to have a home made lunch’. All you need is time to go out at lunch (or on your way to work) and buy a few ingredients to make you lunch when you get back to the office. No forward thinking required. See below for more tips on this strategy.

Myth No. 2. You need loads of time in the mornings to prepare home made lunches
Time in the mornings is precious. There are 2 super easy solutions here. Either pack lunch the night before or make it at work.

3 myth-busting tips for home made lunches

1. make extra at dinner
I know it’s not a new concept but it’s really a brilliant way of getting yourself into the home made lunch habit. If you’re already going to the trouble of cooking, it hardly takes any extra effort or planning to double your recipe and then pack into lunch boxes as you’re serving up. Then you can pop them in the fridge or freezer, ready to grab as you dash out the door.

2. learn to make lunch at work
This is perfect for people who aren’t into planning ahead. Just run out and pick up a few things from the local supermarket or deli then come back to the office and pull together your quick and tasty lunch in the work kitchenette area.

If you’re looking for ideas to get you started, see my post on 3 uber-simple lunches you can make at work in less time than it takes to go out and buy something.

3. try a bit of lunch customisation.

This is a compromise step where you maybe grab some BBQ chicken or fried fish from your local takeaway, but rather than just adding a side of chips, you duck into your local supermarket and grab a lemon and some washed salad leaves to add a healthy ‘customisation’ to your lunch.

Are you looking for more quick, healthy lunch ideas?

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The latest class at the Stonesoup Virtual Cookery School is all about helping you develop and improve your healthy lunch habit.

Doors are NOW CLOSED.

To join the waiting list go to:
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bok choy & mustard salad
bok choy & mustard salad
serves 2

If you haven’t ever had bok choy raw in salads, you’re in for a real treat. The texture is just so good. Fresh and crunchy, you can just feel it doing you good as you eat.

I’ve included canned tuna here because I love it. But it really isn’t essential. See the variations below if tuna isn’t your thing.

2 tablespoons dijon mustard
1 tablespoon rice or sherry vinegar
1 bunch baby bok choy, well washed
1 can tuna in oil, drained

1. Combine mustard, vinegar and 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil in a bowl.

2. Finely slice bok choy, crosswise into bite sized pieces. Toss in the dressing.

3. Divide between 2 bowls or lunch boxes and top with the tuna.

VARIATIONS
different veg – replace bok choy with shaved cabbage.

no rice / sherry vinegar? – use lemon juice or white wine vinegar.

carnivore – replace tuna with shredded cooked chicken or crispy pieces of bacon.

vegetarian – replace tuna with sliced hard boiled eggs

vegan – replace tuna with a generous handful of almonds or brazil nuts.

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video version of the recipe

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want more stonesoup?

Then have a look at my almost daily blog, The Stonesoup Diaries. Recent articles include:
:: What is Mr Wilkinson’s favourite vegetable?
:: The secret to an amazing cheeseburger
:: The ‘formula’ for dinner magic

Cheers
Jules x

ps. Struggle with weekly meal planning?
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Then you should check out the ’2-Minute Meal Plan System’:
www.thestonesoupshop.com/2mmp/

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{ 5 comments }

Rosemary Evergreen June 12, 2012 at 10:34 pm

The other myth about packed lunches is that they are somehow inferior to eating out, when a thoughtfully-packed lunch is actually fresher and tastier than the food available at most restaurants.

I often pack salads for lunch. A salad can take 30 minutes to assemble, or it can take about 3 minutes – if the ingredients are already prepped in the refrigerator. I use the latter method and since adopting this, we eat a lot more fresh vegetables.

Diandra June 12, 2012 at 11:28 pm

Preparing office food for the BF and me takes about 20min in the morning. He gets a sandwich, some dinner leftovers, a handful of pistacchios, an apple, some cheese, a cereal bar and some chocolate. I get some fruit, some cut-up vegetables and a sandwich. And if we’re lucky, I still have some baked goodies in the freezer to add. It’s healthier, cheaper and makes sure we get just what we want.

Alina June 13, 2012 at 2:10 am

I personally think bringing your own lunch actually save time. The time you spend going out to get the food… That said, sometimes it’s just fun to go and eat what someone else has prepared :).

olive October 14, 2012 at 2:46 pm

Hi Jules!

I tried the bak choy salad recipe with the greatest apprehension as, being Asian, I’ve never had bak choy raw. I don’t even really fancy it when its cooked! But I took the leap, tried it out, and waddaya know. I have been hooked on it since day 1!

The mustard + olive oil combination is awesome on shaved cabbage too and I sprinkle italian herbs on it if I want a change from black pepper. Mixing in some sweet potato mash makes the whole salad even more substantial too. :)

jules November 5, 2012 at 3:24 pm

Oh yay Olive!
So glad I’ve got you into bok choy :)
And thank for the suggestions

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