Friends! Happy Wednesday!
This week has been quite an interesting one for yours truly and yours truly’s boyfriend. And it’s only Wednesday.
After weeks (read: months) of eating not the right things and exercising only sporadically (if at all), Mark and I decided that this week would be our week to get back on track. This consists of:
- Drinking at least 64-oz. water a day. <– I’m one of those people who completely forgets to drink anything all day long. But since I’ve started to keep track of my water intake, I feel super refreshed and hydrated. (and, on the other hand, I feel like I’m floating. But in a good way.)
- Exercising every day. <– Yoga has been my exercise of choice, but I will head over to our community gym and go on the elliptical. I’m so not a runner, so the elliptical is my best bet for a solid cardio workout.
- Eating right. <– This one right here is our focus today.
Perhaps I should say, eating lunch. I frequently skip lunch during the work/school week because I’m either too busy or just snacking all day long. So because of our newfound health goals, I’m taking it upon myself to actually put some effort into making an actual lunch each day.
And with the back-to-school mayhem starting back up in a week or so, I figured this post might be able to help some of you out, too. I’m here for you, peeps :)
Whether you’re heading off to work or school, these lunch ideas are healthy, filling, and downright delicious. But, most importantly, you’re able to make all of them ahead of time for a stress-free, care-free lunchtime feast.
Goodness gracious, do we love this chili! And by “we,” I mean you and me! You guys have gone bonkers over this chili, and for good reason: it’s crazy delicious. Just the right amount of spice and comes together in…wait for it…20 MINUTES! Win.
lunch prep tip: Make it on Sunday and heat it up for lunches all week! Bring toppings in a separate container and top right before chowin’ down.
roasted broccoli quinoa salad with honey mustard dressing (use maple syrup instead of honey for vegan option)
Pinned almost 150,000 times, this salad is the #1 recipe on my blog…and for good reason! I’d have to say that it’s one of my top 5 favorite recipes, and it’s so simple, there’s really no excuse to have it on reserve for whenever I need a quick lunch.
Not convinced? Readers are saying, “This is one of my FAVORITE recipes! If I don’t know what to make for dinner, I love having this puppy up-my-sleeve. It’s so delish!” “Just made this…it is incredible,” and “it was amazing!” Make it, friends. You won’t be sorry.
lunch prep tip: Make it on Sunday; this stuff seriously gets better as it sits!
Another one of my all-time favorites on the blog! This recipe gives you all of the flavors of your favorite Chinese Takeout food, just without the grain! It’s packed with protein, thanks to a secret ingredient, and loaded with all of the veggies you could think of. Oh, and it’ll take you only 15 minutes to make. Take that, midday slump!
lunch prep tip: Make it the night before (sans toppings – you can store these in a small bag or container), and portion it into 2-3 glass containers. Heat, and top with sliced green onions and radishes.
One of the easiest meals on this list! It comes together in a snap, requires minimal ingredients, and is SO filling. Farro is a fairly new-to-me ingredient, but man is it tasty. Perfectly chewy and nutty in flavor. Add your favorite store-bought marinara or go all-out and make your own!
lunch prep tip: Make everything the night before. Package chickpeas separately, and sprinkle them on after you heat up your lunch. They might not stay super crunchy overnight, so you might want to substitute something like toasted cashews / almonds or a store-bought crunchy chickpea snack!
Mark and I went a few months where we made this dish at least twice a week. We’re. Obsessed. It’s pretty much the same filling as the one in my Mexican Stuffed Peppers, but on a more escalated level. It’s super simple to throw together (a mere minutes if you already have some leftover rice laying around), and it’s full of protein, vegetables, and healthy fats.
lunch prep tip: Everything can be made ahead! Whip up a batch of this recipe on the weekend, and portion it out into 3-4 glass containers. Heat and serve at school or work.
I go crazy over these flavors and colors! It’s so fresh and flavorful for spring or summer, and so simple to throw together. The lemon herb quinoa falafel on top are filling, tasty, and super easy to heat up right before you dig in.
lunch prep tip: Make your quinoa falafel the night before. Assemble your salad, and pack the falafel and dressing separately. Heat the falafel up, add them to your salad, top with the dressing, and you’re done!
While taking a burger to work may not sound all that healthy, these chickpea burgers might just change your mind! Made with only a handful of ingredients, these burgers will surely satisfy your lunchtime hunger. And don’t skip out on those caramelized onions on top – they melt in your mouth.
lunch prep tip: No need to go get burger buns; use sandwich bread! I used the lid of a jar of peanut butter to cut out circles, and used them as a lighter bun option.
Have you ever SEEN a more beautiful salad?! This little creation was inspired by one of my all-time favorite dishes at my all-time favorite restaurant, and it seriously couldn’t be more delicious. #alltheveggies, healthy fats, fresh herbs, AVOCADO – you guys need to try this one!
lunch prep tip: Mix everything (minus the garlic and the avocado) together and store in a large bowl in the fridge. On the day you’re ready to eat it, cook the garlic and slice up the avocado, drizzling a bit of lime juice over the top so the avocado doesn’t brown.
Another relatively new-to-me ingredient, but I’ve quickly fallen in love with the stuff. There is SO much protein in a serving of tempeh, so one sandwich will keep you full all afternoon. It’s amazing. Plus, the sauce is downright drinkable.
lunch prep tip: Make the sloppy joe filling ahead of time and package it separately from the bun. Heat up the filling and assemble your sandwich at lunchtime!
thai peanut quinoa salad (use maple syrup instead of honey for vegan option)
If you’re a fan of peanut sauce, look no further. This recipe is the end-all, be-all of Thai peanut sauce (in my humble opinion ;)). This salad is full of crunch, fresh vegetables, and protein-packed quinoa, so I’d say it may just be a darn-near perfect healthy lunch! (ps. if you like this peanut sauce as much as I do, be sure to try it in these Thai Zucchini Noodle Bowls and Thai Peanut Burrito Bowls!)
lunch prep tip: Make a large batch of quinoa and the Thai Peanut Sauce over the weekend. Mix and match whatever vegetables you have on hand to create a new and exciting bowl every day.
Okay, not gonna lie. Definitely a complicated sandwich recipe. But SO so delicious. I can’t handle these flavors together – between the “cheesy” cashew ricotta, the pickled radishes, the roasted sweet potato, and the crispy microgreens, everything together just…works.
lunch prep tip: Prepare your pickled radishes, roasted sweet potato, roasted peppers, and cashew ricotta the night before. Assemble the sandwich the next morning and enjoy for lunch later!
Craving something a little more substantial for lunch? This recipe is where it’s at! Slightly tart, slightly sweet, totally creamy, dreamy, and delicious…this is one of my favorite ways to enjoy pasta. If hummus on pasta sounds a bit weird, I get it. But seriously, it’s the perfect ingredient to create a decadent-feeling, yet still totally healthy sauce (just ask my Spinach Artichoke Hummus Pasta). A dear blogging friend made this lemon hummus pasta recipe and said, “…it was incredible! I added some roasted asparagus and let’s just say even my meat obsessed boyfriend devoured it. Thanks for a great new staple at my house :)” #hummusonallthethings
lunch prep tip: Pack the pasta and sauce separately. Then, when you’re ready to eat, heat up the sauce with a little hot water or in the microwave, pour over the pasta, toss, and eat!
Easily the best two words to say one after the other. These falafel are baked (not fried), and packed with ingredients like buffalo sauce, garlic, and (my favorite spice) smoked paprika. They refrigerate beautifully, and they’re actually pretty delicious whether they’re hot or cold. Throw ’em on top of a salad or on some whole grain bread, and you’ll have a deliciously spicy lunch to be proud of.
lunch prep tip: Make them on Sunday, and portion them out into 2-3 servings. Store in bags or glass containers. Serve hot or cold.
If you’re not new around here, you’ll know that I’m a huge fan of homemade burrito bowls (see here and here). This one might just be my craziest, yet most fun, interpretation of them! Sweet potatoes, edamame, carrot ribbons, and an addictive two-ingredient vegan sriracha “mayo,” flavorful doesn’t even begin to describe this bowl!
lunch prep tip: Assemble everything (minus the sauce and avocado) the night before. On the day you’re ready to eat it, make the sauce and slice up the avocado, drizzling a bit of lime juice over the top so the avocado doesn’t brown.
Are you a citrus fan? You’re going to LOVE this black bean ceviche! Mark and I make this at least once a week, and we’ll typically serve it with tortilla chips or over a bed of lettuce. It’s packed with veggies, beans, and a ton of fresh lime juice for a light and refreshing school or work lunch any day.
lunch prep tip: Dump everything into a large bowl and allow to marinade overnight. Scoop desired amount into a separate container and devour at lunchtime!
honey mustard lentil vegetable salad (use maple syrup instead of honey for vegan option)
I just love one-bowl meals like this! Protein? Check! Veggies? Check! A crazy-delicious dressing I could pretty much bathe in? Check! Lentils are such a filling protein source for vegans. Combined with sautéed vegetables and the best ever honey mustard sauce? You may just become obsessed over this recipe. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!
lunch prep tip: Make everything Sunday night, and portion out into 2-3 containers. When you’re ready to head to work/school, grab a container and a fork, and be on your way!
No matter how much we may want to fight it, winter is coming. When it’s cold, dreary, and all-around blah outside, nothing is more comforting that a big bowl of soup. This burrito bowl soup is full of bright Mexican flavors, and it’s loaded with veggies and beans to keep you feeling fuller longer. Don’t skip that sprinkle of lime juice at the end; it seriously elevates all of these awesome flavors!
lunch prep tip: Prepare the rice and the soup separately. On the day you’re ready to eat, combine rice and soup in a glass container, heat at work/school, devour.
I hope this was helpful, friends! I know putting together this post gave me some ideas for how I’m going to fill up during lunchtime in the following weeks. Heck yes to epic vegan meals.
ps. here are some other recipes from around the interwebs that I’m seriously wanting to make for lunch:
garlicky kale salad with crispy chickpeas from Minimalist Baker
autumn arugula salad from How Sweet It Is
greek wedge salad from Cookie and Kate
sweet potato beet salad with date balsamic dressing from Fit Mitten Kitchen
super clean broccoli salad with creamy almond dressing from Pinch of Yum
mason jar salads from Emilie Eats
creamy vegan pasta with sautéed kale and tomatoes from Fit Foodie Finds
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