Not Sad Desk Lunches

Lunch Time and Snack

Best parts about working in an office setting full time? Lunch time and snacks, of course! A lot of DC employees tend to grab lunch on the go, or head to the closest fast food place for a break and some sustenance.  I like to pack!  Saves me money and calories.  I love coming up with fun lunches that aren't just sandwiches and will give me a boost to get through the rest of the afternoon.  Check out some of my favorites below.

Lemon Garlic Chicken

I like to make a big batch of protein for the week to use in my lunches and dinners. Slow cooking or roasting meat is easy, flavorful and low maintenance - so you can do something else while the heat does all the work for you.  One of my favorite ways to cook chicken is with lemon, garlic, fresh herbs and white wine.  I use boneless skinless (flavorless) breasts for this recipe, so you want to make sure you infuse lots of flavor!


What You Need:

2 lbs. Chicken Breasts, boneless/skinless
Spices, your choice
2 cloves Garlic, smashed
Fresh Herbs
2 cups White Wine
1 Lemon, sliced

Hangry Timer: 5 mins prep, 30 mins cook time.

What To Do With It:

Season the chicken generously with your favorite spices - I used Penzeys Vindaloo and Trinidad spices for this batch.

Sear the chicken on both sides in a dutch oven or heavy bottom pot over medium-high heat to create a nice crust.

Pour in a cup or two of any white wine you have leftover (or chicken broth/stock), add some smashed garlic cloves, a few lemon halves, a nice pinch of Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, and any fresh herbs you have - I used rosemary.

Pop the lid on your pot, reduce the heat to low and cook for 25-30 minutes.  Your chicken will be pull apart tender and super flavorful.  I always keep mine in a tupperware with all the sauce and aromatics (lemon, herbs, garlic, etc.) and use as I need it in lunches and dinners.  Keep reading for some of the lunch variations I used it in.


Green Quinoa Bowl

Hangry Timer: 20 minutes

This power bowl is fresh, filling and delicious.  I make a big batch of it on Sunday and have it for lunches all week.  I add some variety by adding different dressings such as Sriracha, tahini lemon, balsamic vinaigrette, Asian sesame, etc.  You can also eat it cold, or warm it up if it's a chilly afternoon. 


What You Need:

1 cup Quinoa, prepared according to the package
1 Tbsp. Coconut Oil
1/2 Yellow Onion, diced
1 Zucchini, quartered and chopped
1 cup Edamame, frozen and shelled
2 cups Kale, stemmed


Some dressing options I use are*:

Sriracha - one squirt is all ya need! 

Tahini Lemon - 1/4 cup of Tahini, 1/4 Lemon Juice, 1 tsp. Honey, Salt and Sriracha to taste.

Asian Sesame - Rice Wine Vinegar, Toasted Sesame Oil, Soy Sauce, Sriracha, Sesame Seeds. 

Cucumber Yogurt - Greek Yogurt, Diced Cucumber, Lemon Juice, Dill, Salt & Pepper.  

Just play with different amounts of the ingredients you like, put them in a jar and give them a shake!  Taste and add more of the ingredients you want to taste more prominently, and remember dressings should be very bold to stand up to your salads.

What To Do With It:

Sauté onion in coconut oil over medium high heat until translucent.  Add the zucchini and edamame and cook until vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes.  Add some salt and pepper and stir in the kale at the end, until wilted slightly. 

Add the veggies, quinoa and chicken to a bowl for lunch and top with your favorite dressing, sesame seeds and anything else you like!

Sweet And Crunchy Asian Chicken Salad

I love this salad.  It's quick, easy, spicy, sweet and crunchy.  AND you can use the lemon chicken that we talked about up top!


What You Need:

1/2 bag Arugula
1/2 bag Coleslaw Mix (cabbage, carrots shredded)
2 Scallions, chopped
Black Olives
1/4 cup Cilantro, chopped
1/2 cup Lemon Garlic Chicken (recipe above)
Safeway Salad Toppers, Asian Blend (or anything like it)
Trader Joe's Sesame Soy Ginger Vinaigrette 

What To Do With It:

Mix everything together and top with salad toppers and dressing to serve.



Some of my other favorites are my Farro Salad, Tuna Salad Sandwich and Caramelized Onion Chicken Salad.  What are your favorites?  Don't forget to #hangrydistrict in your posts if you have questions, or want to show me what you've been cooking up for lunch time and snacks!

Pack your #notsaddesklunch today!

Average Lunch Costs: $13/week
Feeds: 2

*Hangry District Tip: Bring your dressings for your salads in a separate container so the salads stay crisp and fresh!