Having been a teacher for 10 years myself, I understand the struggle of eating on the run (often literally).
You’re governed by bell times, often occupied with playground duty, dance rehearsals, sports coaching, parent meetings, choir rehearsals, disciplining students, marking work, writing reports, planning the next lesson….. the list goes on.
It can be a rare thing for a teacher to have the privilege of sitting down to enjoy a nourishing lunch.
The busy school day isn’t going to pause for you to eat a gourmet 3 course feast!
So bearing this in mind, I quickly learnt that preparation is the key to lunch success.
I would usually turn up to school on a Monday morning with grocery bags full of supplies to get me through the week. Or if time was on my side, I’d prepare everything at home the night before.
I actually find that cooking extra food at dinner time and relying on leftovers also works to your advantage.
If you make food prep one of the priorities in your daily routine, you’ll never be disorganised (or hungry) again!
Here are some of my favourite (and easy to prepare) lunchtime meals:
Rice Paper Rolls
There are no rules here! Simply pre-cut your favourite veggies into sticks, add some fresh herbs, rice noodles and meat/fish of choice (I love raw salmon or poached chicken).
Either pre-make your rolls the night before, or take supplies into the staffroom and ‘roll away’ with rice paper sheets and some warm water. It takes no time at all!
I love combining carrot, capsicum, cucumber, baby spinach, avocado, salmon sashimi, rice noodles, red onion and coriander. I recommend using Tamari or fresh lime juice as dipping sauce.
*Note: If pre-making rolls, allow rice paper to cool before placing in a container, to avoid them sticking together.
Baked Vegetable Salad
It’s so easy to bake a big batch of vegetables on a Sunday night and keep a supply in the staffroom fridge to add to your salads throughout the week.
The combinations are endless here!
Simply cut your veggies of choice, place them on a lined baking tray, add some olive/coconut oil, sprinkle on some mixed herbs/spices/dukkah and bake for about 30-40mins, or until tender.
My ‘go-to’ combo is eggplant, capsicum, garlic, red onion, sweet potato, zucchini and pumpkin, with olive oil and dukkah.
Simply enjoy your baked veggies as they are, add rice or quinoa, or turn them into a gourmet looking salad.
Some combinations I love are:
Baked Sweet potato
Lemon & Olive oil dressing
If you’d like to go down the path of putting your lunch together at work each day, here are some supplies I’d recommend, along with some tasty (quick and healthy) meal combinations to throw together in the staffroom and get you through the working week.
I purchase my fresh produce and sourdough at the local farmers market each Saturday.
Suggested Shopping List:
– Sourdough bread (preferably spelt/rye)
– Baby spinach leaves
– Feta/goats cheese
– Fresh lemon/lime
– Pumpkin seeds
– Smoked salmon/salmon sashimi
– Brown rice/quinoa (use puffed quinoa to avoid pre-cooking at home)
– Chicken breast (pre-poach at home)
Day 1 – Salad with chicken, diced/cherry tomato, diced cucumber, feta, avocado, pumpkin seeds and lemon/lime juice
Day 2 – Fresh sourdough with avocado, salmon and lemon/lime juice
Day 3 – Warm salad with brown rice/quinoa, chicken, baby spinach, avocado, feta and lemon juice
Day 4 – Salad with salmon, cucumber, tomato, baby spinach, avocado, pumpkin seeds and lemon/lime juice
Day 5 – Toasted sourdough with avocado, tomato, feta and lemon juice
Follow me to stay up to date with my latest tips and recipes.