As mommas (working or stay at home!), it’s sometimes hard to set aside time for lunch, much less prepare a healthy, nutritious lunch each and every day! And for many women, hearing “healthy lunch” may mean spending big bucks (fresh produce seems super costly sometimes!) but it doesn’t have to! It’s easier than you think to prepare healthy lunches that can be eaten on the go, sitting at your desk, or standing over the kitchen counter if you have to! And it’s even easier if you carve out time each week to prep your lunches for the entire week.
I pre-make 4-5 meals at once which include a lean protein, complex carbohydrate and vegetables. From start to finish, including cleanup, takes 45 minutes! Plus, you can do this while the kids are napping or after they go to bed. I usually aim for a Wednesday and a Sunday to prep.
Here are a few suggestions for healthy choices in each category:
*My favorite tilapia recipe is below and I usually just season the salmon and chicken with various Mrs. Dash (salt-free) products and lemon juice.
Whole Wheat Pasta
*There are many ways to cook sweet potatoes. I enjoy just baking them and topping with a tbsp. of shaved Parmesan and some parsley OR just sprinkling with cinnamon. My favorite “skinny” spaghetti and quinoa recipes are below.
Green Beans/Yellow Beans
I usually buy the microwave bags (found in the fresh produce aisle) for my vegetables. It makes it very easy because they’re pre-washed and pre-trimmed. I add butter spray, salt and pepper.
LEMON-DILL TILAPIA RECIPE
Pour 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil into a nonstick skillet. Turn to medium/high. Sprinkle the fish on both sides with dill and garlic powder. Once oil is hot, place the fish carefully in skillet. Flip over after about 3 minutes when you can see the fish starting to turn white on one side. Add ¼ cup lemon juice and then turn off the stove after one minute and fish will continue to cook while soaking up the lemon juice. Voila! Place the fish into individual Tupperware containers along with remaining liquid.
SKINNY SPAGHETTI RECIPE
CILANTRO-LIME QUINOA RECIPE
2 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 cup quinoa (I prefer red quinoa)
Juice and zest from 1 lime
2 Tbsp Fresh Cilantro (I use the cilantro paste that can be found with the fresh herbs.)
Add the chicken stock and quinoa to a medium sauce pan. Bring to a simmer over medium/low heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10-15 minutes with the lid on, until all the stock has been absorbed. Add the warm quinoa to a large bowl. Toss in the lime zest, lime juice, and chopped cilantro. Mix to combine.
If you have any questions about where to find any of these products or cooking them, please ask! What are some of your favorite “make ahead” lunches?