So you have every intention of eating well at lunch, but then you wake up too late to throw together that sandwich. Next thing you know, it’s noon—and you’re standing in line at McD’s with your work buddies, picking your fast food poison. So tell us: Why do you even bother going to the gym again?
But packing a lunch for work doesn’t have to be time-consuming—and it doesn’t mean you have to eat the same thing every day. In fact, with less than an hour’s worth of prep this Sunday afternoon (pro tip: do it while you’re watching football), you’ll have everything you need to make five satisfying meals in seconds each morning. Just follow our three-step plan.
Step 1: Grocery Run
Here’s what you’ll need—it seems like a lot, but don’t forget, a box of rice or bag of frozen veggies will last weeks.
- 1 cup dry rice brown rice
- 1 cup dry whole-wheat penne pasta
- 2 whole-wheat tortillas
- 1 15-oz. can of beans (black, cannelini, or garbanzo)
- 2 oz. almonds (or 1/2 cup)
- Olive oil
- Wine or cider vinegar
- Dijon mustard
- 8 oz. chicken breast
- 8 oz. lean beef, such as sirloin
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 7-oz. container 2% Greek yogurt
- 1 bag pre-washed spinach
- 1 bag frozen mixed vegetables
- 1 large avocado
- 1 small apple
Step 2: Sunday Prep
- Whisk together 2 tbsp. dijon, 2 tbsp. olive oil and 4 tbsp. vinegar. Add some salt and pepper. Use this mixture to coat both your chicken and your steak, in two separate bowls.
- Throw both of your meats on the grill until chicken is fully cooked and steak is at desired doneness. If you don’t have a grill, bake the chicken in a pre-heated 350-degree oven for 30-45 minutes and sear the steak in a skillet, over medium-high heat, until cooked
- After both meats have cooled, chop the chicken into bite-sized pieces and slice the steak. Set them aside.
- Cook rice and pasta on the stovetop. While they cook, drain and rinse your beans and prepare your chicken salad by mixing 2 tbsp. yogurt, 1 tbsp. mustard, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Chop the apple into bite sized pieces. Combine half of your chicken, the apple, and half of your almonds in the yogurt mixture.
- Cover chicken salad, along with your rice, pasta and beans, and store everything in the refrigerator. • Take the remaining yogurt and mix 2 tsp. each olive oil and vinegar right into the container. Add some salt and pepper and store in fridge for later in the week.
- Lastly, defrost your frozen veggies. Measure about 3 cups into a microwave-safe bowl, cover with a paper towel and cook on high 5 minutes. Place defrosted veggies alongside the other ingredients in the fridge.
Step 3: Lunch Assembly
Give yourself an extra couple of minutes each morning to toss toss together these healthy lunch ideas—and their super-simple instructions.
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