Lunch. It’s the most important meal of MY day and it’s something that we should be excited about! No boring lunch shenanigans… today we’re talking Lunch 101 and how a few minutes of prep on a Sunday night or Monday morning can make your whole week more delicious!
While I could eat the same thing for lunch day in and day out, my husband is 100% polar opposite! So is my sister, who is always asking me for fun lunch ideas!! So between the two of them – we’re mixing things up and doing a little extra prep work on the weekend to make a DIY assembly line that you can do on a Sunday night and then have lunches for the entire week. Imagine if you had an assembly line like Chipotle, and you could just make whip up lunches for yourself in 2 minutes flat!! You in? Let’s do this.
For the Base:
Both of these grains can be cooked ahead in a rice cooker or in a regular pot on the stove. Boil either grain with the appropriate amount of water and then let them 100% cool. The can be store in an air-tight container for 4-5 days so it’s perfect for a weeks worth of lunch. Obviously you could use any kind of grain or pasta for this – rice, noodles, soba, the possibilities are endless.
For the Mix-Ins:
Cherry Tomatoes, halved
Avocados, diced (add the avocado the morning of, otherwise it will turn brown)
Mini Mozzarella Balls
Fresh corn, cut off the cob
Grilled Chicken, sliced
Roasted Beets, quartered
Basically anything under the sun could go in here. I like to mix these up every day so some days it’s chicken and avocados… other days its a veggie bowl with fresh corn, arugula and cherry tomatoes. Beets and baby spinach… you can get as creative as you want! Most of the ingredients above are incredibly easy to prepare and if you don’t want to take the time to roast beets – buy them at the store!! (sssssssshhhhhhh) don’t tell anyone I’m that lazy. But Whole Foods has cooked beets at their salad bar and I almost always make a little to-go box with a few for lunches!
For the Toppings:
Red Pepper Vinaigrette
Perhaps my favorite part of these lunches – the toppings! You all know I could go on for DAYS about vinaigrettes… but these 4 are absolute favorites. The first three can all be made in the blender, just give it a quick rinse between batches and continue on your merry way. The basil vinaigrette gives you a bit if a Mediterranean feel, cilantro vinaigrette is a bit more tex-mex if you ask me, the red pepper vinaigrette is one for the record books, and the balsamic vinaigrette couldn’t be easier!! Bonus is – if you have leftover vinaigrettes, you can throw them into salads at night!
But that’s just to start!! You can get creative with any of these ideas and make them your own! Did I forget something that you absolutely LOVE in your lunch? Shout it out in the comments below and share your favorite lunch ideas that you can bring to work / school / etc!
I am so excited you are making one of my recipes and I would love to see how it turns out. Make sure to share it on instagram and tag me @whatsgabycookin so I can see your masterpiece!