While meal-prepped chicken and rice or last night's healthy pasta dish sound like great packed lunches in theory, they're considerably less appealing when you don't have an easy way to heat them up. Hot lunches are sort of ruled out if you don't have an office microwave. (Or, if you're the type who just doesn't feel like waiting around for that "ding" in the middle of a busy workday—no judgment.)
But the cold-lunch alternative doesn't have to mean unoriginal sandwiches, sad desk salads, or caving and eating out. Chilled lunches can be just as tasty, and sometimes more sophisticated, refreshing, and filling, than dishes you need to reheat.
Take these 15 no-microwave lunch ideas, for example. They all pack in 15 grams of protein or more, which is what registered dietitians recommend at every meal to keep you fueled. Just as important, they're so delicious that you'll forget that your lunch options were narrowed down in the first place.
Even if you do have a perfectly fine microwave to fall back on, these creative, no-heat recipes are cooler than your average brown bag lunch (literally and figuratively).
This story originally appeared on Self.
More from Self: