Embrace the brown bag (or rather eco-friendly reusable lunch kit) forever with these 6 meal planning tips to make lunch your new favorite meal of the day!
1. Kick It Old School
Enjoy a twist on a schoolyard classic with this protein-packed, chickpea Vegan Tuna Salad that will help you feel fuller longer and keep you going ‘til dinner.
Kitchen Tip: Keep it Cool
No one likes a soggy lunch. This chickpea salad serves 4-6 so prep it ahead of time, pre-portion it, store it in the fridge and take only what you need for that day. Then when 12PM hits grab your chickpea salad, your bread (or lettuce wrap) and serve together. Have a fridge at work? Perfect. Take the entire pre-portioned recipe with you, keeping the bread (or lettuce wrap) separate and keep it cool at work.
2. Mason Jar Magic
Mason jar salads are beyond versatile. Get back to routine the easy way with these Mason Jar Salads. The options are endless and one of our favorite fall recipe has to be this harvest salad with a punch of turmeric. If you’re buying turmeric for the salad why not toss some in your morning smoothie and use it in this Moroccan Stew too?
Kitchen Tip: Keep it Together
There’s nothing worse than opening up your bag to find your lunch at the bottom of it or finding it covered in dressing. Salvaging the remains of your lunch from the bottom of your bag? No thanks. Avoid that by using jars that have a tight seal and adding your dressing to the bottom of the jar, then topping with the rest of your ingredients. Bonus – this also prevents your salad from getting soggy and makes mixing a breeze.
3. Let Leftovers Happen
In fact, make them happen. Just like prepping your ingredients ahead saves you time at dinner, save yourself even more time in the morning by making extra dinner the night before. That way you’ve got instant lunch for the next day. We recommend batch cooking recipes like this Vegan Mac & Cheese and either refrigerate or freeze the leftovers.
Kitchen Tip: Keep it (Food) Safe
Left overs are a real time saver but don’t skip the step of wrapping and refrigerating them. Leaving them out leaves them vulnerable to bacteria and can leave them tasting less than delish the next day. Most properly covered leftovers are great in the fridge for three to four days and in the freezer for up to three months. We recommend dating your leftovers so you know exactly how long they’ve been around for. Trust your gut with leftovers. If they were left out for a questionable amount of time or in the back of the freezer since who knows when you may not want to eat them.
4. Roll With It
Roll up your lunch and keep the summer vibes going with light, rice paper roll like these versatile Summer Rolls. Treat rolls like you would any sandwich, add in any of the chopped veggies you have on hand and make your roll your own.
Kitchen Tip: Brown Bag it In Style
Now that you’ve decided what you’re having for lunch it’s time to accessorize. Don’t limit yourself to shoving lunch in your purse or trying to balance it bag less with everything else you need to carry. We love to use our re-usable grocery bags for lunch. Who says they need to be limited to the grocery store anyway. If your last sweater purchase came in a great bag why not use that? If you have kids keep on kickin’ it old school by borrowing one of their lunch bags (bonus if it’s insulated).
5. Sweet Treat
Top off your lunch with one (or two) of these Protein Cookies or go nuts with these Nut Free Granola Bars. Both recipes will make enough for a few snacks and will leave you feeling satisfied with their protein, healthy fats and fiber. If you’re looking for a snack to satisfy those mid-day munchies ASAP grab a Vega Snack Bar, no prep required!
Kitchen Tip: Snack Smarter
Being prepared with snacks sets you up for success. If you have something healthy on hand you’re less likely to grab something from a vending machine. This helps you make healthier choices for you and your wallet. Be prepared for when the hunger strikes with pre-portioned snacks. Add them to your lunch bag, keep them in your fridge or store stable snacks like Vega Snack Bars in your bag.
Find More From Bridgette
Her Website here >>
Vegan and Raw Food Recipes here >>
Nutrition and Health Tips here >>
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