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Quick and Easy Lunches for Work

Patty collects recipes and gadgets from the past and is particularly interested in early American history and all Indigenous Peoples.

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.

An Easy Lunch for Work: Hummus Wrap Sandwiches


  • 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.
Scroll to Continue

Other Ideas

Enjoy half 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)

Four Easy, Healthy Sandwich Wraps

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.

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.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2008 Patty Inglish MS


Nyesha Pagnou MPH from USA on August 14, 2014:

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 (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on August 14, 2014:

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

Nyesha Pagnou MPH from USA on August 14, 2014:

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.

Melanie Chisnall from Cape Town, South Africa on May 18, 2012:

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

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on November 09, 2011:

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 :)

Penny on November 09, 2011:

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

jennytwchung from HONG KONG on December 21, 2010:

Very helpful. will try some of the recipes out

writer83 from Cyber Space on November 24, 2010:

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

namster from san francisco, ca on August 03, 2010:

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 Anderson from Baltimore, Maryland on April 02, 2010:

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

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on October 27, 2008:

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

Lola on October 27, 2008:

All the things dont really look that appeling to me

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on February 04, 2008:

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 on February 04, 2008:


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 (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on February 04, 2008:

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

Tony Sky from London UK on February 04, 2008:

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


Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on February 04, 2008:

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 on February 04, 2008:

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 (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on February 03, 2008:

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 from Sydney on February 03, 2008:

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 (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on February 03, 2008:

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 from Ontario/Canada on February 03, 2008:

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

great HUB regards Zsuzsy

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