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Quick And Easy Lunches For Work

Updated on October 24, 2016
Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty collects recipes from past generations among ethnic groups, the 13 Original Colonies, the American Civil War & the 19th century.

Make your own tortillas or purchase ready-made for the recipe below.
Make your own tortillas or purchase ready-made for the recipe below.

History of Lunchtime At Work

In the early 1920s, when Upton Sinclair wrote such descriptive works as The Jungle, about the atrocities of the factory work place, many workers did not receive a lunch break at all. In modern fast food establishments, the same is sometimes true!

Meanwhile, workers in parts of the old Soviet Union toiled 7 days a week without any days off or a single vacation, as reported by my native Russian teacher, my Ukrainian uncle-in-law, and USSR workforce journals of the 1980s. The Iron Curtain Era workers until the 1980s likely received no lunch breaks.

These workers were not required by law to have any rest breaks or food breaks at that time. Franz Kafka wrote The Metamorphosis novella around this time, describing the toll that Industrialized Society wrought on the family and the individual. In this story, a hectic worker turns into an insect to be squashed.

Work was everything. Some people died from working every day in such societies and were abandoned by society at large and even by their families. This custom is much like that of a few Indigenous cultures that have left the elderly and the widows standing under a tree to die, the rest of the community moving on to new places.

Proper nutrition is more of a focus in daily lives and in the workplace today.

Time For Lunch?

Generally, full-time employees usually receive a lunch break between 15 - 45 minutes long, and sometimes as much as 60 minutes. Some receive no break, but this is unhealthy.

For example, until formal complaints were filed, one agency in my county was requiring employees to work nine hours per day without any breaks or eating (45 hours per week, no breaks), with pay for only 40 hours. That company eventually went out of business, because workers became unproductive or ill and many employees quit.

In the middle of the 20th century, labor laws were enacted to protect and ensure that certain groups, such as women and teens, were guaranteed rest breaks and lunch breaks.

For example, in our Ohio state laws, a fast food worker under 18 years of age must receive a 30-minute break within a 5-hour work shift, or be clocked out for the day at 5.0 hours. Your own local state, and federal labor laws are available online for you to review.

Some employers give workers 30 minutes for lunch if there is an onsite cafeteria or vending machines available, and 45 minutes to an hour if they must leave the premises to find food.

Some employers do not allow employees to eat at their desks, while some government agencies allow employees to eat at their desks as well as to get paid for that time - overtime!

All this goes into the conclusion that lunch times differ in length around the country. If you have lunch time available, what are you going to eat?

An Easy Lunch - Vegetables And Cheese On Whole Grain Bread

Arrange the ingredients on healthy breads.
Arrange the ingredients on healthy breads. | Source

An Easy Lunch for Work: Hummus Wrap Sandwiches

Ingredients and Instructions:

  • 2 cups of Hummus, plain or flavored
  • 6 ounces Spinach, washed, stems removed. Your favorite Lettuce, or Chinese Cabbage, can be substituted.
  • 2 medium sized Tomatoes, sliced to 1/4-inch size
  • 2 cups Shredded Carrots
  • 4 ounces Fresh Mushrooms, sliced to 1/4-inch size
  • 2 cups Alfalfa or Bean Sprouts, or similar
  • 1 cup Raisins, Sunflower Seeds, or other Nuts
  • 2 large Flour Tortillas (10-inch or larger)


  1. Place one Flour Tortilla on a clean bread board or cutting board.
  2. Spread 1 cup of the Hummus evenly onto the Tortilla, but leave ½ inch bare Tortilla around the half circle farthest away from you.
  3. Neatly place Spinach, Lettuce, or Chinese Cabbage across spread Hummus.
  4. Layer the other ingredients in the middle of the Tortilla. Do not overfill. You can always use an extra Tortilla.
  5. Roll the edge of the Tortilla that is closest to you slowly toward the other side.
  6. Cut the rolled Sandwich in half for two servings, or cut it to 1-inch slices and serve with mustard, low-fat dressings, or any condiment of your choice.

Other Ideas

½ of a Wrap Sandwich and a cup of your favorite rice dish makes a filling meal for Lunch at Work.

Other vegetables may be substituted in this sandwich, and those who enjoy meat and cheeses may add or substitute those as well. These are delicious!


2 - 3 Wraps (4 - 6 servings or more)

New Sandwiches for Easy Lunches

Nori Sandwiches. Pictured: Egg and Cooked Tuna.
Nori Sandwiches. Pictured: Egg and Cooked Tuna.

Easy Lunch Sandwiches With Nori

Nori Sandwiches are beginning to appear more frequently on the market, making a pleasant alternative to other kinds of sandwiches. They include a variety of traditional and modern ingredients and are quite good. You might learn to make these yourself, using vegetable ingredients or cooked meats, such as the cooked tuna in the pictured sandwich half above.

An alternative to the Nori Sandwich is on in which you can pick up some well-made sushi at the local supermarket. If you have a refrigerator at work or a small lunch cooler that will keep the sushi chilled, then your lunch will be safe from much bacteria buildup.

Whole Foods markets especially carry a range of sushi from sustainable sources and other take-out foods for lunch and they have recycling bins for their costumers and the community for the lunch wrappings and general recyclables. The bins are near one of the entrance doors.

How to Make an Easy Green Wrap Sandwich

© 2008 Patty Inglish


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    • Journey * profile image

      Nyesha Pagnou MPH 3 years ago from USA

      It sure does (plus it's almost lunch time for me now:)) & these recipe ideas are not just indulgent but healthy which is great!

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 3 years ago from North America

      Thanks a million! - And I hope the Hub makes you hungry to want to try some of the ideas!

    • Journey * profile image

      Nyesha Pagnou MPH 3 years ago from USA

      Thanks very much for the tips & it is very interesting/ informative that you start off the discussion with some reflection on historical labor laws & lunch breaks.

    • MelChi profile image

      Melanie Chisnall 5 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      Nori sandwiches! Now that sounds interesting. Great article, thanks!

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 6 years ago from North America

      Did you even try it? A cup of hummus works fine with a large flour tortilla and is delicious! If the tortillas are smaller, make three or four and feed more people :)

    • profile image

      Penny 6 years ago

      A CUP of hummus on one tortilla? I'm not even sure that's physically possible!

    • jennytwchung profile image

      jennytwchung 6 years ago from HONG KONG

      Very helpful. will try some of the recipes out

    • writer83 profile image

      writer83 7 years ago from Cyber Space

      I am not really into Hummus Wrap but i will give it a try. It looks delicious! Just wondering about the taste now :)

    • namster profile image

      namster 7 years ago from san francisco, ca

      Here's a really easy suggestion: stuffed peppers! Stuff your peppers with whatever you like, top with cheese and melt to seal. I like to put rice, vegetables, chicken sausage, and top with melted cheddar.

    • loveofnight profile image

      loveofnight 7 years ago from Baltimore, Maryland

      i love getting my sushi from the whole food store, and thank you for a few new twist for well

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 9 years ago from North America

      There're not for everyone's taste, of course. What do you like to eat, friend?

    • profile image

      Lola 9 years ago

      All the things dont really look that appeling to me

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 9 years ago from North America

      Hey, maybe so. Makes sense. I wonder what the Automat was like; I';ve only seen films of partial views of one. One big vending machine I guess.

    • Marye Audet profile image

      Marye Audet 9 years ago from Lancaster, Texas


      Do you think the "Automat" lunched that became popular when women began working outside the home in the WWII added to the problem?

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 9 years ago from North America

      haha - Fun, Facts and Food. That would be a good name for a diner with a newsstand in the lobby. :)

    • compu-smart profile image

      Compu-Smart 9 years ago from London UK

      Hi Patty, thanks for another educational read and a tummy rumbling hub!!


    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 9 years ago from North America

      Marye, I thought about that picture, but if fortunately does not show blood and guts and wriggly things. :) Fast Food Nation I have read twice. Yucko!

      IMO, the old fast food empire of the 1950s paved the way toward the temporary employment phenomenon and its lack of health benefits. That's fine for short term work, but for 13 years I worked two and three temp jobs (60+ hours a week, no benefits) at once during an economic downturn in America. It was not fun usually. At least Lunch can be fun at work!

    • Marye Audet profile image

      Marye Audet 9 years ago from Lancaster, Texas

      awesome hub...and you have guts even putting a picture of the cover of The Jungle on a page with food...EWWW!!!! Onlyt ing worse is fast food nation!

      Great job.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 9 years ago from North America

      I stopped eating white bread in high school because it tasted like past to me. Actually my favorite is pumpernickel. Sorry you can no longer eat bread at all. I hope you do not have withdrawal symptoms.

    • MrMarmalade profile image

      MrMarmalade 9 years ago from Sydney

      I love bread.

      Val has taken forty years to ween me off white bread. to multigrain

      now the Doctor has put me off permanently on bread

      great hub though.

      Thank you

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 9 years ago from North America

      Kat07, I lost your comment somehow, but I hope you really like these sandwiches! Thanks for liking the hub.

       Zsuzsy :) - The ones in the pictures used black nori seaweed and sticky rice and a filling. They're not in all markets yet, but are very good. I don't see why we can't make our own and have fun with it.  Small nori sandwich carts on the streets - YES! That would be ideal.

    • Zsuzsy Bee profile image

      Zsuzsy Bee 9 years ago from Ontario/Canada

      Nori sandwiches? Are they made with kelp & sticky rice? I've never heard of these!

      great HUB regards Zsuzsy