Lunch Ideas-- ROUND ONE!

Here's what I had for lunch today!

Fruit salad: Chopped mangoes, green grapes, blueberries & kiwis

Pasta: Chicken, bell peppers, asparagus & broccoli in a light cream sauce

Lunch. I look forward to it more than anything while I'm at work. It's important for me to fuel up at lunch or else I'll fall deep into Zombieland. Over the past few years, I've taken photos with my camera phone of my lunch at work. Yes, I am weird. Don't worry, my coworkers think so too. There's PLENTY of days where my lunch is not photo-worthy. But every now and then there's something fun, different and new in my rotation. I've decided to share some of them with you.

Most of the lunches below are leftovers of something I made the night before, or something I had in my freezer. Some of the lunches are just random things from my fridge- especially the salads. I like to bring a big bag of ingredients to work (the fridge at work is big) and assemble my food in the kitchen. The act of making my lunch is also a good break from number crunching. My point is, please don't limit yourself. As long as you have a microwave & fridge, you don't have to have boring lunches at work. If you have a toaster or a toaster oven, you are soo golden.  We used to make french bread pizzas in the toaster oven at my old job. Talk about FUN. Anyways I hope these photos give you some inspiration for your boring old lunches. And yes, I am a dork. I freely admit it. A dork who loves food, camera phones and lunch!  Brace yourself!

Let's get inspired!

Here's a greek salad with tabbouleh, red peppers & chicken. There's my favorite mechanical pencil and pen in the picture too!

Here's a little salad with red onion, mixed greens, carrots, feta, cucumber & some toast!

My fuel for the afternoon of Financial Summary entries.

Here's leftover Thai Basil chicken over rice with avocado and sliced red peppers on top!

Here's a nice little Italian dressed salad with cannelini beans and shaved Parmesan.

I warmed up some creamy Trader Joe's Red Pepper Tomato soup in a mug, and toasted some bread to go with it!

This day, I brought a freezer burrito to work with some sliced red bell peppers & cucumbers. I heated up some Trader Joe's Tomato Soup to help fill me up.

Here's some leftover Thai veggie green curry on top of rice!

Here's an Asian slaw I fixed at work. There's cucumbers, cabbage, sesame seeds, carrots, onions & apples with a bottled sesame dressing. I had a few Ak Mak crackers and some Laughing Cow spreadable cheese on the side. Weird combo. But it made my tummy stopped growling.

Leftover homemade Garlic Naan, sliced apples & Spiced Indian Chickpeas. Yummy!!

Veggies & dip. Aged cheddar with crackers! Super simple.

Leftover Creamy Mac & Cheese with a nice little green salad. See my panda & owl collection? I love them.

Here's some cucumbers with a splash of rice wine vinegar. I made a smashed potato with butter in the microwave. I heated up some Tomato soup and cut up some apple slices. I think I ate this when I was pregnant so don't judge my randomness. The point is, you can bring a potato to work and make something delicious out of it! All you need is a microwave and a potato.

Here's some leftover Carnival Slaw, sliced apples and some potato bolani (I got from the store)

Here's a sandwich I made at work. What's in it? Avocado, garlic hummus, micro greens and shredded carrots served on toasted multigrain bread. I like my Diet Dr. Pepper. It tastes just like the real thing!

Here's a little salad I threw together. It has avocado, cucumber, penne, pine nuts, lettuce & sun dried tomatoes in it. I poured a little bit of Italian dressing on top. Makeshift pasta salad time!

This is a favorite of mine! Vegan mexican fried rice. There's soyrizo, cilantro, black beans, bell peppers, corn & avocado in it.

I know this isn't the most appetizing lunch, but it sure was tasty! Turkey meatloaf sandwich with a pepper & string bean salad.

I threw in a stick of string cheese for good measure.

A little leftover Mushroom Spinach Tart paired with an arugula feta salad for lunch! (working from home!)

Here's some leftover Tex Mex Enchiladas. Carrot, celery & dip!

Here's some toasted naan and a salad with yellow bell pepper, cucumber, and red onion!

Drink your water. It's important!

Here's more of that Red Pepper Tomato Soup from Tj's that I love. I topped it with some cheddar.

Served it with some toast & cucumber rods.

Here's a tuna salad with avocado in a bowl concoction- served with toasted bread. Make your own sandwich, lunch!

This picture doesn't do it justice! Sausage, rice, arugula, pepper, feta & avocado salad.

It was a leftover dinner made into a salad for lunch!

This is my "OMG I ate a sinful dinner last night"- lunch. String cheese, grapes, veggies & dips and a few Oatmeal Raisin Cookies cuz I always need something small & sweet at 3pm.

Here's some Vegetable Minestrone I brought from my freezer. I make a batch of soup with the leftover veggies in my fridge once a week and stock up my freezer for this very occasion.

And here's that Asian Mango Slaw I made. SOOO good the next day. Especially with avocado & baked tofu.

My post-it note agreed!

So there! Don't give me any excuses. Stop bringing boring lunches to work! I'm gonna call HR on you!

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  • June 16, 2010

    i want to eat everything you eat. yum!

  • Jessica Craig
    June 16, 2010

    you eat so well. i would love to have any and all of these in front of me RIGHT NOW! also, "cucumber rods," too funny. xo

    • June 17, 2010

      hee hee! i'm glad you like rods!

  • June 16, 2010

    I return to full-time work in two weeks' time and I've been thinking about my lunches - thank you so much for the pictorial inspiration!

  • Donna
    June 16, 2010

    Your lunch ideas are great, but I am equally amused by the shots of your shoes. They gave me a chuckle -- and I like the glittery flats! A random compliment, I know. And I love those bolanis too. So good.

  • June 16, 2010

    How fun! I always make my own food at work too. Usually pretty much the same old salad everyday, which looks good, but might make for a bit of a boring photo series ;-) Btw I think I enjoyed looking at your shoes as much as the food!

  • June 17, 2010

    Great ideas! I love that your shoes are in the shots - so cute ; ))

  • June 17, 2010

    What a yummy menu! I love posts like these that give me a choice. Amazing.

  • June 17, 2010

    love the lunches & peekaboo shoes. :P sometimes eating out can taste the same after a while & $$

  • June 17, 2010

    Great post! I always get bored with my at work lunches after I've been working from home for awhile - leftovers just aren't as good as the freedom to cook something for lunch. I guess I just need to plan ahead a little better (especially for healthy snacks, being pregnant).

    • June 17, 2010

      congrats on being pregnant! I always armed myself with trail mix or nuts/apples in my purse. You never know when you are gonna need something to eat when you are pregnant... Thank god for that. I was stuck in the worst traffic once and I'm glad I thought ahead! :)

  • amanda
    June 17, 2010

    OH, what a fun post! I eat very similar lunches, and always get the Lean Cuisine and takeout people coming over and saying "ohh, what's that?!" with an odd look on their face. It makes me feel like I'm weird one every time they do it, but this is proof I'm not alone! ...and I LOVE those ak-mak crackers (w/sesame)! I just discovered them myself and they are awesome.

    • June 17, 2010

      they are pretty good, huh? There's like no calories in them (which I love). It's good to be different and take care of yourself. Every now and then I pop in a Lean Cuisine when I'm stressed for time. If you put it in a bowl, it won't make you feel as bad :)

  • June 17, 2010

    I documented my lunch with photo today, inspired by this post!
    Some gorgeous ideas here, I am trying to get away from usual sandwiches.

  • Hillary
    June 17, 2010

    Loved this post! I have to ask... what kind of dip do you buy/make for your veggies? I am always looking for some new ideas!

    • June 17, 2010

      For awhile, I used the Ranch packet and mixed it with greek yogurt or sour cream. Now I use a store bought salad dressing and mix it in greek yogurt. Hope this helps!

  • Marci
    June 17, 2010

    Tracy - you are the best! Thanks for some great ideas...I'm always looking for healthy lunch options. BTW, you have great taste in shoes, too! Love those toes peeking into the pics. :-)

    • June 17, 2010

      haha! thank you! I loooove my shooz!

  • Angela
    June 17, 2010

    This might be my favorite post I've ever read here and I love them all. These are SO creative and look SO good! I have the ingredients to do the salad with cucumber and feta, I think I'm going to go and make that for dinner. Thank you for sharing this - very inspirational!

    • June 17, 2010

      watch out angela, it's addictive! For the past few years I've been throwing feta in EVERYTHING! :)

  • June 17, 2010

    Ummmmmmm, helllllo so how much do I LOVE this post? And it was the post that kept on giving.....SO MANY AMAZING OPTIONS!!!!

    You need to make this a book.
    I love it.
    I'm inspired!

  • June 18, 2010

    Love this post and love your cute little shoes in the pics as well!!!

    Thanks for sharing some great lunch ideas!!!

  • June 21, 2010

    i love all the pics. it's nice to see what you keep on your desk! yay cucumber rice vinegar! love ewe.

  • leticia
    July 20, 2010

    If we were to eat as well as you do here, we would all be dynamic. I felt energized just but looking and reading about your healthy concoctions.

  • August 31, 2010

    I love all these suggestions! And the photos are great too. I just started a blog exclusively on this topic, and I think I might be borrowing some of these ideas soon! Thanks for sharing :)

    • August 31, 2010

      Thanks Diana!!! You have a lot of good ideas too! Can't wait to look through your site!

  • monica
    September 17, 2010

    beautiful pics, everything looks delicious, and oh so healthy. Very inspiring.

  • Rafa
    October 3, 2010

    I like your looks good too :-p

  • helen
    October 6, 2010

    Please, please please post a recipe for the vegan fried rice.. looks amazing!!

    • October 6, 2010

      I am going to soon!! Look out for it! :)

  • helen
    October 14, 2010

    I will, thank you!!! I bought some after seeing it on here, and its soooo good. Put some on a pizza with roasted green chiles and even my husband liked it :-))

  • Eileen
    November 5, 2010

    I LOVE those red shoes that make an appearance in a few pictures! Where are they from?

    • November 7, 2010

      Thanks Eileen! I snatched them up at Payless awhile back! Less that $15 bucks! LOVE THEM. :)

  • January 14, 2011

    It all looks so good - I am mentioning this post in my weekly link round-up!

    Though I may be a little crazy cos I stared at some of the pictures thinking, are those teeny tiny feet? Is she standing on her desk? Till I realised that clearly my depth perception is wonky and actually you have normal sized feet and are standing on the floor in front of the desk!

    Blue Skies,
    Charlotte xo

    • January 16, 2011

      heehee. You aren't the first person to say that! I'm trying to figure out how you see it (since I know the trick!)

  • July 8, 2011

    Wow! everything there looked so delicious. It's definitely inspirational to eat better lol. Great post :)

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