4 Delicious Desk Lunches That Don’t Involve Bread

by | Jul 5, 2017 | Recipes

By Daniella Isaacs; Photography by Nato Welton, Pixabay

Lunch just went next-level…

Even if you aren’t cutting carbs, or don’t suffer from a wheat allergy or intolerance, sandwiches day after day after day have a way of getting boring. Plus: They don’t exactly lend themselves to a healthy detox diet. So… whether you’re looking to slim down and tone up in time for summer, or you just wanna have some fun with your lunch, these five options tick all the boxes…


Soba noodle and steak stir-fry


— 300g buckwheat soba noodles
— 1 tbsp sesame oil
— 2 spring onions
— 2cm fresh ginger, grated
— 1 large red chilli, deseeded and chopped
— 2 cloves garlic
— 1 tbsp coconut oil
— 2 carrots, grated/spiralised
— 1 cucumber, spiralised
— 1 large red pepper, chopped
— 1/2 red cabbage, chopped
— 2 portobello mushrooms, chopped
— 350g organic minute steak, sliced
— 40g cashews

For the dressing:

— 2 tbsp almond butter
— 2 tbsp tamari (or wheat-free soy sauce)
— Juice 1/2 lime
— 1/2 tsp ground ginger
— 1 tsp stevia (or coconut sugar)
— 1 tsp sesame oil


1/ Cook the noodles according to the packet instructions; drain and rinse with cold water. Set aside and drizzle with sesame oil to stop them sticking.
2/ Dry-toast the cashews in a wok.
3/ Fry the onion, ginger, chilli and garlic in the coconut oil; add the rest of the veg. Keep it crunchy. Add the steak and noodles. Cook to your liking.
4/ Whisk the dressing ingredients together, pour over the stir-fry, and scatter over the cashews nuts.

Serves 4: 2 847kJ, 7g sat fat, 13g sugar

Time: 15 minutes

READ MORE: 10 Power Breakfasts Every Active Girl Needs In Her Life

fritters like these make for great healthy desk lunches

Black bean fritters with lime, avocado and sesame dip


— 2 eggs
— 1 tbsp chia seeds
— 60g peas (ideally fresh podded)
— 170g black beans
— 3 heaped tbsp buckwheat flour
— 3 tbsp chopped parsley
— 1 lime, zested and cut into wedges, to serve
— 2 tsp tamari
— 3 tbsp coconut oil
— ½ onion, chopped
— 1 clove garlic, crushed

For the dip:

— 1/2 avocado, mashed
— Juice 1 lime
— 1 tbsp tahini
— 1 tsp sesame oil
— 2 tbsp water
— 1 tsp tamari (or wheat-free soy sauce)
— ¼ tsp stevia (or coconut sugar)


1/ Start by beating the eggs in a bowl. Then add the chia seeds and soak for five minutes. Add the peas, beans, flour, chopped parsley, lime zest, tamari and season. Mix well.
2/ Melt one teaspoon of coconut oil in a frying pan and sauté the onion and garlic for five minutes until soft. Once you’re done, throw it into the bowl with the bean mix. It’s almost fry time.
3/ Heat one teaspoon (at a time) of coconut oil in a frying pan and fry one tablespoon of mixture for five minutes, flipping the patties halfway through, until golden on both sides. Repeat until you’ve used all the mixture.
4/ Make the dip by whisking the ingredients together in a small bowl. Serve the fritters with some lime wedges, if you like, and the dip on the side.

Serves 4: 1 266kJ, 10g sat fat, 1.9g sugar

Time: 25 minutes

READ MORE: 4 Ramen Sauces Recipes That’ll Totally Pimp Your 2-Minute Noodles

kale wraps make great healthy desk lunches

Chicken and avo cabbage wraps


— 8 cabbage leaves
— 8 tbsp hummus
— 4 tomatoes, sliced
— 1 avocado, chopped
— 2 cooked skinless organic chicken breasts, sliced
— Juice 1 lemon
— Handful parsley, chopped


1/ Spread out two cabbage leaves (one on top of the other) and smear 1 tbsp of hummus down the centre.
2/ Next up, sprinkle one chopped tomato, a quarter of the chopped avocado and half chicken breast on the cabbage leaf.
3/ Squeeze over the lemon juice, sprinkle with parsley and season before rolling up firmly. Repeat with the remaining ingredients.

Serves 4: Per serving: 1 082kJ, 1.2g sat fat, 8g sugar

Time: 10 minutes

READ MORE: 3 Comforting Soups That’ll Boost Your Immune System

kale makes a great salad for healthy desk lunches

Kale and hemp salad


— 3 tbsp sunflower seeds
— 2 carrots, cut into chunks
— 2 parsnips, cut into chunks
— 2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
— 270g kale, shredded
— 4 tbsp hemp seeds
— 1 avocado, chopped

For the dressing:

— 2 tbsp agave syrup or coconut blossom nectar
— 3 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
— 5 tsp tamari (or wheat-free soy sauce)
— 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
— 4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil


1/ Heat oven to 180°C. Toast the sunflower seeds for 10 minutes. Set aside. Then place carrots and parsnips on a baking tray with coconut oil, season and roast for 30 mins.
2/ In the meantime, make the dressing by whisking all the ingredients together and massaging the mix into the kale. Season and set aside for 15 minutes.
3/ All that’s left to do is to mix the kale with the seeds and avocado and lay the roasted carrots and parsnips on top. If you’re craving extra protein and want to mix things up, add a portion of chicken or salmon to the mix.

Serves 4: 1 877kJ, 9.6g sat fat, 9.6g sugar

Time: 35 minutes

These are the 3 most popular salads on Pinterest that can help you lose weight. Plus: The 5-day anti-cellulite meal plan you’d be crazy not to try!

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