When it comes time to choose a menu for a business or team lunch, there is enormous pressure to try and please everyone. Before giving in to the temptation of the same old roast chicken, platters of sandwiches with the crusts cut off, or sad, cold buffets, remember that healthy dishes are very popular. They burst with originality and put a good dash of colour on plates. So to quiet the colleague for whom kale and quinoa are synonymous with seasonal depression, here are five types of healthy lunch box ideas which are anything but boring.
- Include Quebec on Your Plate – The Boreal Box
Does putting Quebec in the centre of your table sound appealing? Inspired by Scandinavian initiatives, local cuisine is in full swing, with local products gaining in popularity and quality. Smoked salmon from the Gaspé Peninsula or our own homemade variety, duck confit, cheeses from the Charlevoix region, green asparagus, and wild mushrooms are a few examples. There is no lack of local, healthy, tasty and unique food. Choosing local also has the added benefit of supporting our own artisans and their expertise.
- Celebrating Vegetables – The Vegetable Box
When words “meal” and “vegetarian” are combined, it doesn’t excite everyone’s taste buds. However, vegetarianism has evolved significantly over the past few years and has even carved out a place for itself in contemporary gastronomy. It’s not surprising that Yotam Ottolenghi, the great English chef, dedicated an entire cookbook, Plenty, to vegetarian cooking. Try rice crêpes with avocado, carrots and sweet potatoes, roasted eggplant tian, delicate tarts of wild mushrooms and candied chestnuts, pretzel burgers with grilled halloumi cheese, or maki sushi with tofu teriyaki, pickles and wasabi. Can’t wait for lunchtime! The possibilities are infinite and will satisfy even the most discerning palates.
- Eat With Your Hands – The Fingerfood Box
Simple, ecological, and fun and easy to eat, lunch you can eat with your hands is another enjoyable option. You can offer many choices based on a theme. For example, grilled vegetables and halloumi cheese, mini bagels and gravlax salmon, small bundles of Serrano ham, dried apricot and Manchego cheese, the classic Quebec guédille – a mini hot dog bun – but stuffed with Nordic shrimp salad, chocolate bars with pistachios and cranberries, maple cabbage, and canelé pastries with raspberries and fresh fruit. Add a few sauces in the centre of the table, and lunch truly becomes an occasion for sharing ideas and culinary tastes!
- Taste Everything – The Compartmentalized Box
The Bento Box is an ancient Japanese tradition where your meal is presented in a box with several compartments. Each compartment has different textures, techniques, colours and flavours of food. It’s a cute yet distinguished way to taste a little bit of everything, without having to line up at the buffet and go through all the food! Not in the mood for Asian cuisine? No problem! We use the same technique Indian style (tandoori chicken, vegetable curry, naan, dhal and raita) or Mexican (guacamole, fish tacos, salsa and grilled pineapple).
- Healthy Products Camouflaged or Reworked – The Chameleon Box
When turnips turn into poutine, tempeh becomes pulled pork, polenta is used for fries and shiitake mushrooms for meatballs, the meal is like a chameleon. Not only will it get people talking, it’s surprisingly delicious. A completely guilt-free lunch that is also cheerful and comforting – even for the biggest skeptics!
Inspired by both the healthy lifestyle movement and refusing to sacrifice taste for healthy food, these ideas for meals-in-a-box satisfy all appetites. Whether it’s vegetarian, locavore, exotic, fast food or finger food, a lunch box can do it all!
Like this blog? Check out some more ideas: