Thursday, December 8, 2011

Food Prep: The dreaded chore

For anyone like us, you're incredibly busy from Monday through Friday.  The last thing you want to do after a long day on Tuesday is prepare a healthy meal for yourself for Wednesday's lunch!  If you're reading this blog, we know you are very active and HEALTHY and a quick trip to the McDonald's drive-thru will NOT cut it for you.  This leads us into the dreaded chore....Food Prep.

I'm notoriously terrible about planning ahead, but when I remember, I build in an hour on Sunday to prepare a dish that I can take in my lunchbox all week.  It's never anything fancy and it has to be something that doesn't need to be microwaved...MIL continues to warn me of the dangers of the microwave!

Here's an example of what I make:

Start with the base of the dish, which for me was quinoa.  A quick 20-minutes on the stove and I have a HUGE helping of quinoa to last all week.  Then I choose some vegetables to add, this time I went with mushrooms and green beans (I picked up the beans at one of the local farmer's markets!).  I like the veggies to stay crunchy, so I quickly sauteed them in a tiny bit of sesame oil, which adds a great flavor!
As a vegetarian, I also like to ensure I add a protein to my lunch.  For this dish, I went with some delicious tofu!  I'm a huge fan of all those fake meat products, but I am trying to avoid them - it takes a LOT of processing to make a soy bean taste like turkey...

Combine it all in an air-tight container and VOILA - you have a ready made lunch for the week!

While we were at the farmer's market, I also picked up a spaghetti squash.  So easy to make and very delicious.  This was going to also go with me to lunch this week, but Sean and I were hungry when it came out of the oven...and ended up eating 2/3 of it.  I have a little bit left, so I'll use this for dinner one night this week.

Other things I make sure to have on hand for lunch packing:
-Raw mixed nuts
-Bananas and Apples
-Celery and carrots
-Small packets of almond butter

Do you pack your lunch for work?  Is it a daily process or do you prep your food on Sunday?  What's your favorite "Take to Work" Dish?


Michele @nycrunningmama said...

This looks delicious!! It's impressive that you prepare on Sunday for the week - definitely a great idea! When I was in the army, I used to pack breakfast and lunch each day (I would run with the Ft Hood Army 10-miler team then go straight to the gym to workout and shower). It took a good amount of time each night to get everything together, but I was so thankful each day when I sat down to eat. I agree - the extra time means you don't have to settle for crappy food! =)

Christine @ Oatmeal in my Bowl said...

I used to food prep a lot. Now I am lucky if I have 5 minutes to spare in my day. But food prepping really does make packing healthy lunches and cooking up healthy quick week night meals with ease. Thank you for reminding me that I need to food prep again.

BTW, rice freezes well. I cook brown rice, bag it in single serving portions and freeze. Then when I bag for lunch, they are defrosted by lunch time and ready to eat. ;)

Anonymous said...

I have been trying to do a lot more food prepping on the weekends, as well. It's really hard to find time to workout and have a life after work. As a mostly vegetarian, I have taken to packing salads for a couple days for lunch - which actually keep quite well in small tupperwares. I have also fallen in love with a few pinto and black bean recipes.

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Love the feedback and the motivation. Thanks!