Easy Lunch Meal Prep

Sundays tend to me be on my favorite days of the week. It starts off with a feel-good mass at church, followed by some grocery shopping, a hike (weather permitting), and meal prep for the week. I usually find a new recipe to make for dinners on Sunday since I have the time to prep. For me, cooking is more than just making food. I get into a zone where I’m totally focused on the moment. It is therapeutic in a way. While I like to prepare a new dinner each night during the week, I doing as much preparation for lunches on Sunday as possible. I know a lot of people tend to bring deli sandwiches or salads for lunch, but this meal prep plan will help you make lunches that will actually keep you full (and look good too!), and fill your coworkers with envy. I base my lunch prep plan off of a Greatist article (are you surprised?), but make different variations. Remember that these are just guidelines, and you can add whatever types of grains, veggies, or dressings that you’d like.

Pictures and steps below courtesy of Greatist article

mason jar.PNG

Step 1- Hit up the grocery store

Shopping List

  • 5 cups greens: arugula, baby kale, and/or baby spinach
  • 2 cups grains: brown rice, quinoa, barley, wheat berries, and/or farro
  • 1 cup nuts or seeds: walnuts, almonds, pumpkin seeds, raw sunflower seeds, and/or cashews
  • 2 raw vegetables: cucumbers, tomatoes, bell peppers, red cabbage, broccoli and/or onions
  • 5 servings of protein of choice: chicken, salmon, tuna, and/or beans
  • (optional) 1/2 cup cheese: goat, feta, cheddar, and/or Parmesan
  • (optional) 1/3 cup dried fruit: raisins or cranberries

Dressing ingredients:

  • Option 1
    • 5 tablespoons olive oil
    • 5 teaspoons Dijon mustard
    • 3 lemons (or 6 tablespoons lemon juice)
    • Sea salt, to taste
  • Option 2
    • 3/4 cup olive oil
    • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
    • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
    • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • Option 3
    • 4 tablespoons tahini (plus 1-2 tablespoons of water if using tahini paste)
    • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
    • 1 tablespoon lemon juice (or juice of half a lemon)
    • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
    • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

Step 2- Prep everything in 30 minutes.

Make Sunday an even more fun-day by preparing the ingredients for your bowl. Need some tips to get you going? We got you:

  • Greens: Keep ’em as is.
  • Grains: Normally the instructions are on the box, but if not. use this guide to cooking grains.
  • Nuts or seeds: Chop ’em up. If you have time, roast them in a pan for 10 minutes on medium heat
  • Raw vegetables: Chop into small bits.
  • Proteins: We recommend canned chicken, tuna, or salmon, since these stay fresher longer, and you can drop them into your jar in the mornings. But if you’re cooking, here are the best ways to cook chicken and salmon.
  • Cheese: Crumble it.
  • Dried fruit: Chop into bite-size pieces.
  • Dressing: Combine 5 tablespoons olive oil, 5 teaspoons Dijon mustard, juice from 1/2 lemon, and sea salt to taste. Mix it up and store in a mason jar for the week.

Step 3- Build a bowl.

In each mason jar or container (five total), you’re going to add your ingredients in the same order they are listed below. When you’re done, seal each mason jar with a lid and keep in the fridge for up to 5 days.

1/4 cups grains
1 cup greens
1/5 raw vegetables
1 tablespoon cheese
1 tablespoon dried fruit
2 tablespoon nuts
1 serving protein of choice (or add each morning for freshness)

Drizzle about 2 tablespoons of dressing on top in the morning.

 

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