Back in the day, when 9 to 5 was part of my life, lunches were hard.

Isn’t it just easier to eat out?

Well for me that wasn’t the dilemma, I didn’t really like eating out for lunch. It was expensive and I’d rather spend that money on a sweet pair of boots or jeans, a new 800 count Egyptian cotton duvet, or maybe that new blouse I’ve been eyeing up with the peekaboo back…


Oops. Day dreaming. I’m back.

Anywho, spending 10 to 20 dollars on a lunch is just not that appealing. Anything less expensive, in my experience, just tastes disgusting and is really not that good for you.

Less appealing still is a sandwich, packed the night before, now soggy from the lettuce and tomato.

I like good food. A boring sandwich is not going to cut it. If I get to work and I’m faced with a nasty soggy sandwich, those restaurants are going to get my money. Guaranteed.

My love of boots and jeans, linens and cute multi-colored pixie cuts (that cost a fortune to up keep, by the way) led me to be creative.  I set out to make beautiful and tasty lunches that wouldn’t break the bank. Wouldn’t you like to get to work with a lunch that would rival any restaurant and leave you fitting into those skinny jeans you’ve been eyeing up?

You may be doubting me…

But yes, my lunches did in fact look this good (minus the photography props of course).

Jealous? You don’t have to be. You could do this too in less than 5 minutes.

10 Five Minute Whole Food Lunches You Need To Make

Zucchini Basil Salad with Pine Nuts and Pecorino is a great salad that can be made the night before, dressing and all. In fact the zucchini is better once the dressing has been on it for awhile. Keep your basil bright, your Pecorino (or Parmesan) dry and you nuts crispy by packing them in a separate container until ready to serve.

Grilled Peach & Lentil Parsley Salad is easy to make and the peaches are just as delightful served cold. The parsley and the lentils hold up great to the dressing even when dressed the night before or you can pack the dressing separate.

3 Minute Lentil and Bocconcini Salad with a Balsamic Vinaigrette

Savoy Cabbage and Grapefruit Salad with a Ginger Lime Vinaigrette. This salad is almost too easy that you might be thinking it’s not possible for this to be that great. You’ll not only be amazed at the simplicity, but how delicious simple can be. Need protein? Add nuts, grilled chicken or fish.

Beet and Pear Slaw and Avocado Tortillas with Dill Creme Fraiche will not only make your tummy happy but your coworkers jealous. Use the microwave to heat up your tortillas and slice the avocado once you’re ready to eat to prevent browning and retain freshness. To save on containers, you can even mix the dill creme fraiche in with the Beet and Pear (or apple) Slaw.

5 minute Avocado Gazpacho: I love this recipe because it’s literally so fast you could make this in the morning before you head out the door. Pour it into a jar, drizzle with olive oil and place in the fridge at work until lunch time.

Refresh yourself with Watermelon Gazpacho A different take on a 5 minute soup. Refreshing, a little spicy and completely satisfying.

Not Another Waldorf Salad Blue cheese, walnuts, apples and celery…I can’t think of a more delightful lunch. Simply slice the apple at work to prevent browning and add some fresh ground pepper and you’ll have a few jealous eyes on your plate.

Asian Purple Cabbage Salad with a Creamy Cilantro Dressing (DF) This salad is great because it actually tastes better once the dressing has been on it for awhile and there’s no wilting or soggy salad to be had. Add the mint before eating to retain the best flavor.

5 Minute Zucchini Salad with Feta, Mint and Parsley Vinaigrette I love this salad because I feel like I’m eating pasta. A mandoline makes a super fast job of making spaghetti style strands. Alternately, sliced zucchini is just as tasty and you won’t need a mandoline.

What are some of your favorite 5 minute lunch ideas?

Leave a comment and/or a link below.

I’m sharing this with Mangia Monday, Monday Mania, My Meatless Monday, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday, and Fat Tuesday, Whole Foods Wednesday, Cast Party Wednesday, Allergy Free Wednesday, Real Food Wednesday, Simple Lives Thursday, Full Plate Thursday, Freaky Friday, and Foodie Friday.