This week, I wanted to give you a little glimpse into my weekday lunch preparation. Hopefully some of the creative shortcuts can be helpful for you – and this post will show you how to make weekday lunch preparation easy.
Getting ready for the week on Sunday afternoons is part of my compass routine. It sets me up for a productive week – the house is clean, I have healthy lunches planned and prepared, and my thoughts are organized.
First, I plan. I determine one main accompaniment to tender greens for lunch (usually a grain mix). As a part of the plan, I try to clean out my fridge with a mixture of grains, nuts, veggies, or other legumes I have on hand. Then, I get to work assembling ingredients. I don’t usually measure when I am cooking a grain mix – I just add enough veggies to make sure that each bite of grains has a fun flavor and crunch. If you are interested in a recipe that accompanies greens, check out my simple mediterranean chicken salad, or quinoa salad recipes.
For example, this week I chose to cook whole grain farro and lentils. And I added chopped celery, green onion, yellow bell pepper, Kalamata olives, and fresh oregano from the garden. You know what’s great about about mixing lentils and farro? They make a complete protein,which means that I can feel fuller for longer during lunch this week.
While the grains are cooking, I prepare 20 (yes, 20) servings of two to three veggies into snack-sized resealable bags. This sounds like a lot, but it’s actually quite easy once you get going – and it means that both my spouse and I get two servings of veggies in our weekday lunches. I tend to choose veggies that don’t take a lot of preparation, so that it is easy to just slip a handful into a snack bag.
This week, I selected snap peas, baby carrots, and miniature bell peppers. These three veggies hold up well throughout the week, and can be stored in the fridge and thrown into a lunch bag in the morning.
Finally, I plan for 20 servings of two to three fruits for weekday lunches (again, two fruits for me, two for my spouse for five business days). Just like veggies, I try to pick fruits that don’t require a lot of assembly or preparation. Clementines, oranges, tangerines, bananas, apples, and pears simply require a quick rinse under the sink (or quick peel) before eating.
This week, I didn’t have to do too much – I chose organic apples (I picked organic because apples are a part of the dirty dozen) and clementines. This didn’t require much in the way of Sunday preparation, because I simply rinse the apples and pack the clementines the morning before I head to work.
Packing a salad (with a complete protein and veggies), two servings of individually packed veggies, and two servings of fruit for lunch offers me 5-6 servings of fruits and veggies during the day. This keeps my energy up, and puts me well on my way to getting the recommended number of fruits and veggies for the day.
How do you prepare weekday lunches? Let me know in the comments!
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