I've never been one to get that excited over lunch at work. Once I started working full-time I fell into the trap of sustaining myself on sandwiches everyday to the point where I now have a strong aversion to the idea of eating anything that remotely looks like a sandwich.

The quality of food available at or near my work can be a bit hit and miss and because my job is quite intensive, I have gotten into the bad habit of feeling guilty when I take too long for lunch. So now, like many others I imagine, I tend to eat at my desk.

I used to have a terrible habit of eating whatever was convenient: crisps, chocolate, pasties, whatever was quick and to hand. Thankfully I am now much more proactive about ensuring I eat as much fresh food as I can and I like to know exactly what is in my food. Because of this I prefer to make my own lunches, however, it can be difficult to come up with exciting ideas that can be made quickly; as I spend a large part of my day commuting (on a good day it's a four hour round trip) I have barely any time free during the week, so it's important that my lunches can be made in 20 minutes or less in the evening, to be thrown in the fridge ready for the next day. It’s even better if I can make something in advance for the next two days. (Though I do wish I had the time to make a true bento lunch for my bento boxes). 
Which means that I don't really have super exciting lunches, but I do eat healthily and find that instead of the constant snacking I used to do, my lunches can take me through the day without that washed out feeling creeping up as 5pm approaches.



So I thought I would share my typical working week’s lunch with you:

Monday


Tuna Salad: Canned tuna, red peppers, cucumber, red onion, watercress and mayonnaise.
Carrot sticks

Tuesday

Potato salad: new potatoes, spinach, red onion, cherry tomatoes
Strawberries and kiwi fruit slices 

Mustard, honey and lemon vinaigrette ingredients:
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice

Wednesday


Red pesto pasta salad with spinach, red peppers and cherry tomatoes.
Trusty carrot sticks and brazil nuts

Thursday

Couscous salad: coucous, beetroot, spinach, cherry tomatoes, red pepper with mustard, honey and lemon vinaigrette
Grapes and kiwi fruit

Friday


By Friday I am normally running out of food (and energy) so I usually combine all the fresh vegetables I have left together for a fresh vegetable salad with the mustard, honey and lemon vinaigrette.

I would like to experiment more with my work lunches and have started to delve into Bento Boxes: Japanese Meals on the Go (which has sat neglected on my book shelf for the past two years). What do you make for your own work lunches? Do you make yours in the evening before or in the morning? I’d love to hear your own bento box recipe recommendations.