If you’re back at the office, you may be avoiding high-touch areas like the staff kitchen, especially as many workplaces are closing them altogether. Packing a lunch that requires neither heat nor refrigeration can be a challenge, but we’re here to help. In addition to stocking your own mini-pantry at your work space, try out one or all of these nutritionally dense lunches that will be safe out of the fridge all morning. The best part? These three quick and easy dishes are ideal for taking on summer picnics, too.
1. Self-chilling yogurt parfaits
Frozen fruit acts as this yogurt parfait’s own mini ice pack, keeping it cool for a few hours outside of the fridge. Using plain Greek yogurt provides lots of protein without a lot of added sugar, but if plain yogurt just isn’t your thing, try mixing about half and half plain yogurt with flavoured (like vanilla or coconut). You’ll still get great taste, but only half the added sugar.
• ¾ - 1 cup plain Greek yogurt (or a half-and-half mix of plain and flavoured yogurt)
• ¾ cup frozen mixed berries (or any fruit you like)
• Optional toppings: hemp hearts, slivered almonds, pumpkin seeds, bran buds
1. Spoon yogurt into a small storage container, then top with frozen fruit.
2. Keep all of your other toppings separate until serving so they don’t become soggy.
Pro tip: Most washed whole fruit and pre-chopped veggies will hold up just fine out of the fridge for a few hours, so they can (and should!) always be a part of a meal.
2. Nut butter and banana roll-ups
An old-school lunch favourite gets a creative upgrade that holds up better through your commute, thanks to keeping the banana whole until lunch time. It can be kept at room temperature for a few hours.
• Whole grain wrap
• 2 tablespoons of natural unsweetened nut or seed butter with honey if desired
• Ripe but firm banana
• Drizzle of honey (optional)
1. Spread the nut or seed butter on the whole grain wrap and drizzle with honey if desired
2. Peel the banana and roll the wrap around it
3. Transport the wrap whole, and slice into bite-sized pieces just before eating to prevent the banana from becoming mushy
3. Marinated white beans
Beans are the perfect protein option when there is no fridge available, since meat, fish and eggs are really off the table. This marinated white bean mix is delicious, satisfying and versatile — enjoy it as a salad on its own, on pre-toasted bread or whole grain crackers, or alongside olives, pita chips and raw veggies.
• 1/3 cup olive oil
• Finely-grated zest of 1 medium lemon
• Juice of 1 medium lemon
• 1 medium shallot, diced (about 1/4 cup)
• 1 clove garlic, grated or minced
• ½ teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
• Freshly ground black pepper
• 2 (15-ounce) cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
• 1/3 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
• ¼ cup chopped fresh oregano leaves
1. Place the olive oil, lemon zest and juice, shallot, garlic, salt and few generous grinds of black pepper in a large bowl and whisk to combine.
2. Add the white beans, parsley, and oregano and toss to combine. Taste and season with more salt and pepper as needed.
3. Cover and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes before serving, or overnight, to marry flavours. Bring to room temperature before serving.
Recipe adapted from: https://www.thekitchn.com/marinated-white-beans-259044