Pre-preparing lunch to take with you on a busy day is a great way to avoid the midday 'hangry' dash to the shop!
Often the combination of hunger and lack of time means when you don't have your lunch with you, you end up opting for something less nutritious and more often than not, more expensive.
These 3 lunch box recipes are healthy, tasty and affordable. They are well balanced with complex carbs, fibre, healthy fats and protein working to fuel your body and brain on a busy day and keep you feeling satisfied until your next meal.
I often make a big batch of the grains / protein at the start of the week and leave them in an airtight container in the fridge. That way I can quickly add these ingredients to a box each evening as the base of my lunch and then all I need to do is add my fresh ingredients! Simple!
1 400g Tin of Chickpeas
Vegetables of choice to roast. I went for Mushrooms and Courgettes
Juice of 1 Lemon
1tsp Ground Cumin
1tsp Ground Paprika
Cook the quinoa to the instructions on the packet. Once cooked, drain then season with olive oil, salt and pepper.
Drain and rinse the chickpeas, spread evenly over a baking tray, drizzle in olive oil and season with the ground spices.
Squeeze over 1/2 of the lemon and roast in the oven for 15 minutes on 180c.
Chop the vegetables of your choice, place on a baking tray and season. Roast for 15 minutes on a separate shelf.
Rinse the kale, spread over a baking tray and squeeze over the other 1/2 of the lemon. Put on the bottom shelf of the oven and roast for 5 minutes until slightly crispy.
Once the quinoa, chickpeas and vegetables are cooked, leave to cool and then box up in separate containers to store in the fridge.
Building the lunchbox
Add mixed leaf to the bottom of the lunchbox topped with the roasted kale.
Pour over a generous spoonful of roasted vegetables before adding 1/4 of the chickpeas and quinoa.
Chop 1/4 of the avocado. Top the salad with the avocado, seeds and pomegranate.
Leave the rest of the ingredients in the fridge to rebuild another salad the next evening.
Store in the fridge overnight and remember to grab it to take to work the next morning!
250g Puy Lentils
2 Sweet Potatoes
2tbsp Frozen Peas
1tbsp Olive Oil
Cook lentils as instructed on the packet.
Wash and dice the sweet potatoes, drizzle in olive oil, salt and pepper and bake in the oven for 25 minutes.
Once lentils and sweet potatoes are cooked, leave to cool and store in separate boxes in the fridge.
Chop peppers, tomatoes and avocado.
Building the lunchbox!
Add the mixed leaf to the bottom of your lunchbox.
Spoon over 1/4 of the lentils and sweet potato.
Defrost then add the frozen peas.
Add the chopped peppers, tomatoes and avocado.
Mix the dressing ingredients in a separate bowl and stir thoroughly.
Drizzle dressing over the salad then add the sunflower seeds.
Store the prepared lunchbox in the fridge along with the remaining sweet potato and lentils for another day.
230g Black Rice
Omega Seed Mix
Cook the black rice to instructions on the packet - be mindful about cooling and reheating!
Crumble the feta and chop the fig.
Slice the tomatoes, peppers and avocado.
Add the mixed leaf to the bottom of your lunchbox with the peppers and tomatoes.
Spoon over the cold rice (once cooked and cooled).
Sprinkle over the feta and add the fig and avocado. Top with seeds.
Store in the fridge for the morning, alongside the black rice.
This salad works great with a balsamic vinegar dressing. Yum!