5 ideas for healthy working lunches

Make your midday meal healthy and nutritious

If you have a busy day at work, finding something satisfying yet nutritious to keep mid-afternoon hunger pangs at bay can be a minefield. And don't even get started on how much cash you can spend over a year on shop-bought sandwiches. Happily, making your own lunch can be quick and easy, especially if you follow these recipe suggestions. 

We've partnered with 220 Triathlon magazine to bring you a selection of recipes selected to support the cyclist or athlete in training — and they taste damn good too! All the recipes are easy to follow and take you through step-by-step how to create everything from tasty lunches to quick and easy smoothies. 

With these recipes, you won't need to do a special shop for obscure ingredients because each dish is designed to be whipped up using a combination of store-cupboard staples and meal leftovers. In other words, they'll provide you with a good, nutritional meal that's low in fat and with no added salt – they'll also help you save money (so you've got more to spend on other essentials, such as new bike bits…).

1. Smoked mackerel, potato and beetroot with natural yoghurt and horseradish dressing

It looks good and tastes great
It looks good and tastes great

Combining rich and satisfying mackerel (an excellent source of omega 3), with earthy antioxidant-rich beetroot, this dish has plenty of protein and carbohydrate to keep you satisfied. We love the yoghurt and horseradish dressing, which is light and low fat, but has a warming zing. 

2. Chicken, bulgar wheat and spinach with grain mustard and orange dressing

Filling enough to keep you fuelled all afternoon
Filling enough to keep you fuelled all afternoon

Bulgar wheat is a great option for a packed lunch. Easy to make, you can store it dry and make up batches as and when you need it. This recipe is a great way to use up leftover chicken and the iron-rich spinach provides plenty of tasty earthiness, while the light orange dressing adds freshness and vitamin C. 

3. Tuna, pasta, red pepper and soy bean with Dijon mustard dressing 

Tuna pasta salad with a twist
Tuna pasta salad with a twist

A healthy homemade version of the ubiquitous tuna pasta salad. This version ditches the calorie-heavy mayonnaise in favour of a light and tasty Dijon mustard dressing, and adds vitamin-rich red peppers and soy beans.

4. Chicken, noodle and crisp vegetables with an orange and soy dressing

Crunchy vegetables and a sprinkling of sesame seeds for texture and nuttiness
Crunchy vegetables and a sprinkling of sesame seeds for texture and nuttiness

Tired of the same-old same-old? The crisp raw vegetables in this noodle dish add a wonderful texture, but also packs in the nutrients, with salty soy and zesty orange livening up the flavour. 

6. Butter bean, tomato and feta with sundried-tomato dressing (vegetarian)

Creamy butterbeans and feta cheese work well with rich sundried tomato
Creamy butterbeans and feta cheese work well with rich sundried tomato

Evoke memories of sun-kissed summers and al fresco dining while you eat your lunch, err… 'al desko'. The butter beans in this vegetarian lunch provide the protein, while creamy feta and rich and flavoursome sundried tomatoes bring those Mediterranean flavours. 

Check out our other tasty recipes and get yourself fuelled for cycling from sunrise to sunset:

Aoife Glass

Women's Cycling Editor
A mountain biker at heart, also drawn to the open road. Likes big long adventures in the mountains. Usually to be found in the Mendip Hills or the Somerset Levels in the UK. Passionate about women's cycling at all levels.
  • Discipline: Mountain, road
  • Preferred Terrain: Rocky, rough and a long way from anywhere.
  • Current Bikes: Liv Avail Advanced Pro 2015, Juliana Furtado 2013, Canyon Roadlite AL
  • Dream Bike: Juliana Roubion, Liv Avail Advanced SL
  • Beer of Choice: Red wine for the win!
  • Location: Weston Super Mare, Somerset, UK

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