Five student-friendly lunch box ideas
Workload, commuting, budgeting - there's a lot to think about at university without wondering about what to have for lunch on top of everything! If you're like me, it feels like a daily struggle to come up with ideas. I either end up cobbling together a random selection of food or spending a fortune on take aways.
I started searching and putting together a Pinterest board with recipes that were relatively quick and easy to create. To help motivate me with this, I bought myself this lunch box which you can see in all my images throughout this article.
So here is a week of tried and tested packed lunch ideas that can be prepared the night before and just pulled out of the fridge in the morning!
For all of my lunch options, I like to have a range of different components - I find I get bored just eating a pot of something. For this lunch, I cooked up some pasta and made a basic tomato pasta sauce with canned tomatoes and added in kidney beans, some fresh spinach and seasoning (for this pasta I added salt, pepper, paprika and chilli flakes - but obviously totally up to you!) Tip: sometimes I make a double portion, then have half for my dinner and the other half as a pasta salad. Alongside my mains, I created a mini “salad” consisting of spinach and walnuts with a lemon juice dressing. Every day I like to include some sort of fruit (grapes today), and a snack bar.
This lunch is a new addition thanks to TikTok/ Pinterest - the rice paper spring rolls. Although they did take me a bit of practice, once you get there, they are so quick and simple. For the filling of the roll, you can use whatever you fancy - sometimes I find it easier to just buy a packet of pre-cut stir fry veggies. Alternatively, if I have time, I quite like strips of pepper, carrot, cucumber and avocado. Although the rolls can be eaten plain, I personally like a bit of soy sauce. As well as the rolls, today I added grapes, a couple of chocolate digestives and some crispy M&Ms. Yum!
This lunch I think is one of the quickest I find to prepare. I cut up a pitta bread or two into strips as well as pepper (I also use carrot and cucumber if I have any in.) Then I use one of the sections of my box to put hummus in for dipping. I also love tomatoes and olives and I think they work well with this tapas style lunch. I always need a sweet treat to give me a little boost through the afternoon.
For this lunch, I created a rice and quinoa salad and added sun-dried tomatoes, walnuts, avocado and seasoning (salt, pepper, chilli flakes, cumin.) Although I cooked the rice and quinoa myself, I know there are packet options available in supermarkets for as little as £1 - this is a really speedy option if you don't have time! You can add whatever ingredients you fancy to the salad - I tend to use things that I already have in. Aside from the rice I added a small side of Spinach which I actually quite like to mix into the main rice salad. Then I added some blueberries and mini Percy Pigs.
Sometimes you just can't beat a classic sandwich! For this sandwich, I have included some slices of edam cheese, olives, lettuce, and hummus. Tip: I am not a fan of sliced bread and find that fresh baguettes go hard super quickly. Therefore, I would recommend 'bread in a bag'. They stay preserved longer and can be frozen then simply baked in the oven. Alongside my sandwich l have included an apple, mango, walnuts and a couple chunks of dark chocolate. Also, I found fruit winders again the other day which I used to love at primary school so that has been a nice bit of nostalgia having those again!
So, there we have it- five packed lunch ideas! If you want some more meal ideas, you can have a look at some of our recipes here.
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