So this year, I have made a resolution to bring something homemade and delicious for lunch at least three times a week. And after falling down a worm hole of food blogs, here are some of my tips and tricks to make this year's resolution stick.
Sunday prep – Putting together an interesting and satisfying lunch can feel daunting at 7:15 on Tuesday morning. This is where a bit of prep work is key. Here are few go-to’s to make grabbing your lunch a bit easier.
Make a pot of medium or hard boiled eggs (really your preference). They are perfect for topping a salad, adding a bit of protein to a sandwich, or being a filling part of my favorite lunch, the snack lunch. For me that’s a bit of hummus, pita, nuts, a piece of fruit, an egg, and a square of dark chocolate.
Pre-wash and clean your greens. It makes throwing a salad together super easy and quick.
Cook a few servings of grains (rice, farro, bulgar, quinoa, or whatever you find interesting and tasty) and / or beans (the rainbow can be your guide here). They make the perfect side dish to a leftover protein, and are a great way to jazz up a salad.
Cut and portion melon and berries. I find the only way I eat melon or strawberries is if I clean and cut them when I get home from the store , then put them in individually portioned containers. Talk about easy choice to grab in the morning.
Greens and grains – I mentioned both of these items in the prep work above, but I find having clean salad greens and a mix of already cooked grains or beans, means I feel good about what I am throwing into my lunch bag. And, well, they're already done. It took me a while before I considered mixing them together (with or without a bit of additional protein or cheese), but now that I have, I think there is no going back.
Soup – Simply put making one pot of soup, means you have easily just made 4-8 meals depending on the recipe and your appetite. The hard work is done at this point, from here all you need to do is portion and drop them in your fridge or freezer. Make the soup a side to a sandwich or salad, or make it your whole meal, totally up to you, but here are a few great lists to get your creative juices flowing:
Rethink your sandwich – Leftovers from dinner can always be a sandwich the next day. Almost any protein you cooked for dinner can take the place of cold cuts. If you roasted a chicken, pull the meat off the bone to make a pulled chicken sandwich, use grilled fish as the base for a niçoise-inspired sandwich (especially if you have eggs cooked and greens ready), or slather bread with chimichurri and stick sliced steak between it, I promise it is better than reheating it.
The power of an avocado – After a trip to LA when every restaurant had their own version of avocado toast on the menu, I started to rethink how and when I was eating this green goody. They are really versatile, chock full of nutrients, travel well, and I find them to be satisfying and filling. Adding avocado to or as the base of a sandwich and salad is a lunch no brainer, and an easy replacement for meat. Here are some fun recipe ideas.
Alright 2016, three lunches down, 150-some to go.