What makes the perfect in-office lunch? It’s a question for the ages. We’re always looking for useful lunch ideas that don’t require dragging bags of groceries to the office or turning our kitchen or desks into a huge mess. As much as we love UberEats, prepping healthy meals right in our own space is the best way to keep ourselves well fed and energized through long afternoons. This summer, we finally came up with the perfect solution and our whole team is in on it. It all started with a slow cooker…

Between green smoothies, acai bowls, and our continual trips to Pressed Juicery Freeze for cheater lunches (we can’t stop!), we’ve been making batches of these easily adaptable buddha bowls and it’s the best idea we’ve ever hatched for our office’s half-kitchen!

The slow cooker does all the work (we’ve been using a giant programmable non-toxic, ceramic model by Bella). We get it cracking first thing in the morning, press a button or two and let the machine do its thing while we do ours. Come lunch time, we have a fresh batch of quinoa to build bowls with and all we need to do is tote in a few plants and proteins!

The best part of making the giant quinoa batch is that each team member can make a bowl of their choosing. Sometimes we gather a big box of ingredients from the Whole Foods salad bar, other times we all bring in leftovers. The key is that it works for everyone’s diets, tastes and timelines.

Here are a few basic guidelines to get you going with our new favorite lunch hack, including a simple formula to get you started and few perfect dressing recipes to bring everything together…

Build-Your-Own Quinoa Buddha Bowl


carrots, shredded
beets, shredded
cucmbers, sliced
broccoli, steamed
squash, roasted
cauliflower, roasted
kale, sautéed

black beans
garbanzo beans

pumpkin seeds
fresh herbs
dried spices


2 Tbsp white miso
2 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 tsp raw honey
1 Tbsp fresh ginger, roughly chopped
1 clove garlic
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp water, as needed

Lemon + Tahini:
1/4 cup tahini
1 Tbsp maple syrup
1/2 lemon, juiced
2 Tbsp water, as needed
1 pinch salt

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic
salt and pepper, to taste


Prepare a dressing by combining all the ingredients together in a blender.

To assemble, fill a bowl with the desired amount of quinoa. Arrange your favorite toppings and drizzle on some dressing (or just season with salt and pepper). Enjoy warm or at room temp!

How To Make Quinoa In A Slow Cooker


1 1/2 cups quinoa
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
3 cups stock or water


Rinse the quinoa under cool, running water for 60 seconds (or until the runoff is no longer cloudy). Strain out any excess water and transfer the quinoa to a slow cooker. Add the olive oil, salt and cooking liquid*. Mix to combine.

Cook the quinoa on high for 3 hours. When it’s ready, open the slow cooker carefully (the steam is very hot) and use a fork to “fluff” the quinoa. Transfer it to a large bowl to cool. Fluff once more and serve!

*Note: We like to use 2 cups stock and 1 cup water. Feel free to use a different ratio, or another water-based cooking liquid entirely (as long as it totals 3 cups!) as an easy way to add subtle flavor to basic quinoa.

What’s your favorite office lunch? let us know in the comments below!
Bottom banner image
From our friends