1. Double your cooking
You will save time by cooking for an army. For example, I always cook extra chicken and then freeze the rest in individual portions. When I need to put together lunch, I’ve got chicken already cooked that I can use for sandwiches or add to salad and it’s really easy.
2. Plan ahead of time
In order to avoid the hectic schedule of the morning, it’s a good idea to establish a game plan before waking up. You can make your lunches on the weekend, when you have a bit more time, or the night before while you’re cooking dinner. This little bit of planning means you wouldn’t be short on time and ideas standing in front of the fridge.
3. Have a good base
For those days when planning ahead isn’t an option, it’s possible to make it work by keeping healthy groceries as your base in your fridge and pantry. For example, tomatoes are always a base item on my grocery list. They are so versatile, as well as being delicious. I take them with me as a snack, slice them into my sandwiches, incorporate them into my pasta dishes and always add them to my pizza. I also keep frozen peas in my freezer. They’re easy to add to your favourite recipes and take no time at all!
4. Think about individual portions
When snacks, side dishes and desserts are individually pre portions, it’s easy to add them to your lunch box. Baby carrots, fruit sauce and dried fruits are examples that grab well. For money saving tip, take a moment over the weekend to cut up some cheese, portion out yougurt and put your fruits and veggies into small containers to make them ready to grab and go.
5. Use your freezer
Don’t feel like eating the same leftovers as last night? Most meals freeze well, which lets you extend their life. Most meals can freeze for 3 to 12 months. If you freeze them in individual portions, they’ll be a great solution on a busy morning.
I hope these few tricks will help you with a more balanced lunch!
Bowtie Chicken Recipe
3 cups of bowtie pasta, cooked
1 ½ cups of cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
1 cup of green peas
1 cup of cooked chicken, diced
¼ cup of parmesan cheese
½ cup of fresh basil, chopped
15 mL olive oil
30 mL balsamic vinegar
the juice of one lemon
salt and pepper to taste
- In a bowl, mix all your ingredients
- Place in individual containers for future easy lunches.
Written by Marie-Ève Caplette, Registered Dietitian and Half Your Plate On-Campus ambassador