When you want to be more efficient and save time each day packing a whole week`s worth of lunches is the way to do that. You might be packing lunches for yourself or your family, either way, it is a great idea to save energy and money.
You can choose different recipes. From chicken burrito bowls, hummus and chicken boxes, or egg and noodles meal prep. Therefore, whatever you choose you will save money and you will have homemade and healthy lunch.
After a long morning of taking care of business, checking tasks off your to-do list, or just getting things done, we are all looking for our lunch break. A healthy meal prep is ready to eat and your lunch break will go smoothly.
We prepared some tips that can help you prep your lunches and some ideas of the meals and recipes you can use.
1. Plan your meals before
When you see some recipe, save, or copy it somewhere so that can help you be prepared. Gather inspiration for meals a week in advance so you will have a lot of time to plan your menu.
2. Check and organize your fridge and pantry
Before you start cooking your lunch ideas, you will need to get the ingredients. Check the inventory of your kitchen and see what is missing and what you already have. You can even get some ideas for meals from the things you find there.
3. Make a shopping list
This is a very important step when planning meal prep lunch or any other meal ideas. Do not go to the store without a list because you will be unprepared. It will help you finish your shopping faster and you will not worry that you forgot something.
4. Buy in bulks
Having things on hand and ready to use can make your meal prep lunch ideas come to life easily. Food like sweet potatoes, quinoa, brown rice, oats, and similar food that can stay in a pantry will make your meal prep easy. You can choose low-carb lunches and stock up on seeds, nuts, and frozen food like broccoli, cauliflower, and others will save you time and money.
This a thing that you can treat yourself with and that will make your lunch even more enjoyable. Getting a new lunch box or bag might be something that will make lunch prepping more exciting. That is to say, you can also get inspired to find new recipes or make healthy packable lunches for weeks to come, too.
6. Use portion planners or portion calculators
This is something that can help you meal prep for big groups or yourself, and you can also get valuable information from it. For instance, you will know why you have so much extra rice every time. The portion planner will tell exactly how much rice you need to cook for the number of portions you need.
7. Use ingredients to build your meals around
For instance, pick two types of protein, one or two types of grains, and different kinds of veggies at the beginning of the and use them for different meals. For instance, peppers and broccoli can be a side for one meal, and then, you can put them into a meatloaf or soup for your delicious lunch some other day.
8. Use fresh ingredients first
Do this to preserve nutrition and freshness. Therefore, use perishables like meat or seafood earlier in the week and save staples like dairy, omelets, and pasta for later. Some greens like chard and kale can stay fresh longer than other.
If you are having some friends over and you want to make tacos, you can think of ways that you can use those tortillas. For example, use them for different kinds of wraps. Sometimes ingredients come in larger portions than we need so plan a second meal around them. Additionally, you can have different and creative lunches throughout the week.
10. Whenever you can don`t start from scratch
If you want your meal planning to be successful you don`t have to spend hours with a cookbook. Start with the meals that first come to your mind, the ones that you enjoy making. Use them every week or two. Of course, you can always mix things up with something new every once in a while.
Stock up on a few cooking fundamentals. Always have key spices and sauces that you like to use. Therefore, these things can come in handy and to the rescue because they can bring new life to old meals.
12. Cook your meals and freeze them
Make some extra when you cook so you can stock up on some food. For instance, food like soups, stews, lasagna, and casseroles can be made in large batches, and then you can freeze them and defrost them when you need a quick meal. Of course, this is okay for a work lunch if you have a microwave in a breakroom.
Here are some meal ideas that you can choose for your meal prep for lunch:
- Chicken and hummus box – chicken strips, hummus, tomatoes, cucumber, wheat pita.
- Lean chicken meatloaf Chicken buddha bowl – filled with whole grains, a lot of veggies, and peanut sauce.
- Green bean and asparagus salad
- Tuna salad – greek yogurt, almonds, egg, tuna, apple, cucumber.
- Asian bowl – broccoli, teriyaki chicken, brown rice, bell pepper.
- Turkey ranch wrap
- Bell pepper nachos
- Steak cobb salad – it is low carb and has a lot of protein, greens, and nutrients.
- Lo mein – whole wheat spaghetti and lots of veggies.
- Chicken burrito bowl – beans, chicken, veggies.
- Beef bowl – veggies and beef.
- Turkey spinach sandwich – whole grains bread, turkey mean, spinach, and veggies to your preference.
- Banana bread muffins
- Greek chicken bowl – greek seasonings, chicken, cucumber salad, greek yogurt, tzatziki sauce.
- Taco bowl – meat, veggies, sauce, anything of your preference.
- Mediterranean salad
- Spinach salad with vegetables
- Cold noodles in peanut sauce
There are many benefits of meal prepping your lunches. You will have time for some additional activities during your lunch break because you won`t have to think about what to buy or order for your meal. Your lunch is healthy and ready to eat.
Throughout the week you will have more time doing other things you like. Just spend some time planning and prepping and enjoy your free time in the way you want. Your diet will be healthier and your wallet fuller.
You can always contact us for additional information about meal prepping your healthy work lunches, we are here to help. Get your lunch box ready and enjoy your delicious meals. Bon appetite.