Summer is coming to an end, and the holidays are almost over! As we return to our routines, it's time to prepare lunches again. Yes, it's time to bring out the lunch boxes and small dishes! To help you with the transition, we offer you our best tips for quick and healthy lunches, along with some recipe ideas!
Start by selecting a day in your schedule when you'll prepare your meals for the week. This way, you can organize to have all the necessary ingredients at home at the beginning of the week. Additionally, this will allow you to prepare some meals or side dishes in advance. For instance, you can already chop certain vegetables or cook basics like pasta or rice. Planning your meals for the week will prevent you from rushing in the morning, wondering what you could have for lunch.
If you're new to "meal prep," don't put too much pressure on yourself! Take it gradually to avoid getting overwhelmed. Prepare familiar recipes to avoid feeling overwhelmed.
Keep Track of Your Fridge Inventory
One of the benefits of preparing meals in advance is using the ingredients you have on hand. You'll save time while avoiding waste. Take the time to assess the contents of your fridge before planning the menu for the week.
Cook in Bulk
Cooking larger quantities than needed is another good option for preparing your lunches. During your evening meals, prepare more than necessary to have enough for the next day's lunch. You can reuse the same meal for your lunches or reuse certain components of the meal to create something new, allowing you to diversify your menu while being efficient. Turn your leftover chicken into a sandwich or your leftover pasta into a salad.
You can also do weekend batch cooking. The meals you prepare on Sunday will stay fresh in your refrigerator for a few days, serving you for a significant portion of the week. Our article offers you 3 healthy recipes to cook simultaneously. Alternatively, you can even use our next tip, which is very useful when cooking in large quantities... 👇
After cooking in bulk, don't hesitate to freeze your meals in individual portions. This way, you only need to take out your meal and reheat it when needed.
Keep Convenient Foods in the Freezer
In addition to freezing your meals, it's a good idea to keep foods in your freezer at all times. If you have items in your freezer, you won't have trouble finding something to eat without leaving the house. You can store these foods for several months, and they're just as nutritious as fresh products. This will help you be efficient, healthy, and avoid the temptation of going to the restaurant next to your office.
Know Your Classics
Every family has their classic recipes that always work. Why not use these recipes during your busy weeks to make your daily life easier? Use an app on your phone or a recipe book to note the dishes that are a hit at home. This way, you can often refer back to your notes to find a quick dinner or lunch idea. You can also regularly buy the necessary ingredients for these recipes so you never run out.
Have "Emergency" Foods
In a similar vein, it's helpful to have "emergency" ingredients on hand at all times. Canned legumes, crackers, fruit compotes, rice, quinoa, oats, canned tuna... In short, foods that have a long shelf life and are easy to cook, helping you out on busy mornings. You can then complement them with the fresh foods you bought for the week. These foods are convenient for quickly assembling lunches!
Organize Your Fridge into Sections
Save time in lunch preparation by reorganizing your refrigerator. You can use storage bins to organize it and separate it into sections. With clear sections, you'll avoid forgetting what you bought for the week and prevent waste!
Use Herbs and Spices
Don't hesitate to use spices and herbs to enhance your dishes. It's also an excellent way to change flavors and add variety to your meals. Mix different spices to create combinations and find your favorite flavors.
- Cinnamon and chili powder
- Turmeric and pumpkin spices
- Smoked paprika and garlic powder
- Cumin and coriander
- Ginger and cayenne pepper
Choose "One Pot" or "One Pan" Recipes
In addition to their simplicity, these recipes save time and dishes since they require only one pot or one pan.
Here's a "one pan" recipe:
Oven-Baked Pork with Garlic Vegetables
- 2 pork tenderloins
- 1 1/2 lbs baby potatoes
- 1 lb green beans
- 1/4 cup hoisin sauce
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Garlic to taste
- Preheat the oven to 450°F.
- Cut the potatoes and place them on a baking sheet with the green beans.
- Add the pork to the baking sheet and season with hoisin sauce.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the pork reaches an internal temperature of 140°F.
- Meanwhile, mix butter and garlic.
- Once cooked, brush the pork and vegetables with the garlic butter.
Here's a "one pot" recipe:
Orzo with Sausage, Spinach, and Corn
- 1 package of mild Italian sausages
- 3 cups spinach
- 1/2 onion
- 1 cup corn (preferably frozen)
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup orzo
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Parmesan cheese to taste
- Remove the sausage casings and add the meat to a pot.
- Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes.
- Add corn and onion and sauté for 10 minutes.
- Add orzo and chicken broth. Bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat and let simmer for about ten minutes, stirring regularly.
- Remove the pot from the heat and add the spinach. Cover until the spinach is cooked.
- Add Parmesan cheese and season to taste.
By incorporating these tips into your routine, you'll save time and money while cooking healthy and nutritious meals. Now you can start the back-to-school and back-to-the-office season in control!
Discover all our frozen products, perfect for lunches, on our online store!