Lunches On the Go!

Recently I polled my socials to ask you guys what meal you struggle the most with: breakfast, lunches, dinner or snacks….truth be told you said all of them so over the next few blogs I will be answering questions and sharing some info to help reduce the struggle.

I am going to share 5 easy lunch recipes that are delicious and will keep you filled to crush your day. But before we jump into that I want to share why most people struggle with lunches on the go - the main reason time and time again is they fail to plan and prep their meals ahead of time. I totally get it, we all have full schedules and in no way am I saying it’s always “easy”, I just want to share tips that have worked for me so that I can stay nourished even on those busy days.

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail” - Benjamin Franklin

5 Tips For Lunches On The Go

  1. Invest in good containers with lids that seal and don’t leak.

    I like to use glass containers and I have small dressing containers that I can add into my container so my lunch isn’t soggy by the time I am ready to eat it. I would also invest in a mini cooler and ice packs so you can pack and carry if you don’t have a fridge near by and you plan on being out for the day.

  2. Plan 1-3 lunch recipes you want to make during the week.

    Get inspired and excited about what you get to have for lunch. Think of lots of veggies, a lean protein source and a thumb size amount of healthy fats.

  3. Schedule time for lunch prep into your day.

    For example tonight while making dinner I prepped lunches for tomorrow for the hubby and I and I also made leftover for dinner so the kids have lunches prepped too. Leftovers are a huge time saver for lunches the next day, I often make double or more than we need so we have extras for effortless lunches.

  4. Don’t forget you can repurpose your leftovers for a new but easy lunch.

    For example: chickpea tacos can turn into a chickpea salad for lunch the next day. Get creative: I love to do bowl because I just toss whatever veggies I have in the fridge, add leftover protein source (burgers, cashew chickpeas etc) and top with a fun dressing.

  5. If you are in a pinch find some healthy places that can have your back on those days when you just really didn’t pack a lunch or forgot it at home.

    If you are in the Barrie area I love: Fresh Affair, Copper Branch, Bohemia and Ripe - sometimes I even pick up a pre-made salad from the grocery store….shhhhhhh.

Here is a healthy bowl I picked up at Copper Branch this week.

Here is a healthy bowl I picked up at Copper Branch this week.

5 Easy Lunch Recipes for Healthy Eating on the Go

  1. Chickpea Salad

    Makes 3-5 servings

    Ingredients

    1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed (or 2 cups cooked)

    1/2 english cucumber, quartered

    1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half

    1 carrot, peeled and shredded

    1/4 cup feta or goat cheese

    dash of salt and pepper

    Drizzle with olive oil and freshly squeezed lemon juice or my balsamic dressing which is available in this blog post along with 4 other easy dressings. https://www.pamrocca.com/blog/2019/1/6/5-new-bowl-dressing-recipes

  2. Option to top with fresh cilantro or parsley for garnish

Directions

  1. In a large bowl add rinsed chickpeas and pat dry with a paper towel to absorb excess moisture.

  2. Add in cut up cucumber, tomatoes shredded carrots and feta cheese.

  3. Stir contents well and divide into 3-5 individual containers for lunch and sprinkle with salt and pepper. In a small container add olive oil and lemon 1:1 ratio or balsamic dressing.

    This can be whipped up in under 10 minutes while you are making dinner. The fun part is you can get super creative and make this a thousand ways by adding in different veggies, protein sources, or dressings. You could do a vegan mayo for more of a chickpea salad and add celery and pepper, shredded beats, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, make it dairy free by omitting the feta. Make it with the ingredients you love.

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2. Burger Bowl

If you have leftover burgers, meat balls, beet balls (form the cookbook or blog), falafel whatever it is repurpose your leftovers in this cleaver and satisfying dish.

Ingredients

Makes 1 serving (double or triple to make more)

1 burger (or turkey burger, black bean burger, beet ball, lentil balls, 3-4 meat balls etc.)

1/4 cup quinoa

1 cup arugula, mixed greens or spinach

2-3 olives, green or black

5 cherry tomatoes, sliced in half

1/4 yellow pepper (or 1 pickle, finely chopped)

1/4 cup red onion

1/4 cup avocado, diced

Directions

1. Fill bowl or to go container with mixed green (love kale, arugula, spinach or any combo).

2. Add cubed turkey burger in one quadr

3. Add rainbow of veggies use ones listed above or add your favs.

4.. Top with balsamic dressing posted above.  You can also top with my roasted red pepper dressing which is in my buddha bowl dressing blog post.

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3. Greek Spinach Salad with Chicken

Makes 2 Serving

 Ingredients

1-2 cooked grilled chicken breast

½ cup - 1 cup black beans, drained and rinsed

1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

2-3 cups raw spinach

½ cup chopped or sliced red tomato

½ cup sliced raw onion

½ cup peeled and sliced cucumber

4 black pitted olives

Directions

1.     Mix spinach, tomatoes, sliced onions, cucumbers and olives in a large bowl.

2.     Top with grilled chicken and black beans

3.     To make dressing, whisk together olive oil and balsamic vinegar.  Pour dressing over salad ingredients.

Note – if you don’t do chicken simply omit and add in more black beans and top with shelled hemp seeds or chia seeds. I love to make this when we have leftover cooked chicken or leftover chickpeas.

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4. Peanut Slaw Bowl

 This recipe is from my Prep with Pam Cookbook - the book has lots of other healthy delish lunch recipes: such as southwest bowl, fajita bowl, taco bowl, mexican quinoa bowl. Grab a copy from the website under shop or pick up a copy at Coles in Barrie. https://www.pamrocca.com/shop

Makes 3-5 servings

Ingredients

½  cup shredded carrots

1 tbsp rice vinegar

1 bag of broccoli slaw

3 tbsp vegetable oil

1-2 cups frozen edamame

1-2 cups shredded red cabbage

1/3 cup chopped peanuts

optional – dash of fresh lime juice or top with chopped cilantro

Curried Peanut Sauce

1 tbsp vegetable oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 teaspoons fresh grated ginger

1 ½ tsp curry powder

3/4  cup water, plus extra as needed

1/3 cup creamy peanut butter

3 tbsp rice vinegar

2 tbsp soy sauce

1 tbsp organic coconut sugar

Directions

1.     Combine carrots and shredded and vinegar in small bowl, set aside. Cook edamame in a small pot according to directions. Drain edamame and set aside.

2.     Meanwhile make sauce. In a medium saucepan add oil over medium heat until shimmering. Stir in garlic, ginger, and curry powder and cook until fragrant (30 seconds-1 minute). Stir in water, peanut butter, vinegar, soy sauce, and sugar and bring to simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally until slightly thickened and flavours blend (2 minutes). Adjust consistency as needed with additional water.

3.     In a large bowl pour in broccoli slaw, then top with carrots, edamame and cabbage. Drizzle with peanut sauce, sprinkle with peanuts and garnish with cilantro or lime wedges.  

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5. Chickpea Power Bowl

Makes 3-5 servings

Ingredients

1-2 cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed

½ red pepper, finely chopped

½ orange pepper, finely chopped

1 celery stalk, finely chopped

1-2 cloves of garlic, minced

1-2 green onions, finely chopped

1 beet, shredded

1/4 cup pumpkin seeds or hemp hearts

¼ sesame seeds

1-3 tablespoons vegan mayo

½ tablespoon Dijon mustard

Option – use lemon tahini dressing, balsamic, roasted red pepper or any favourite dressing instead of vegan mayo and mustard.

Directions

1.     Place chickpeas in a large bowl and pat dry to remove all water. Add in all of the remaining ingredients except the pumpkin seeds and sesame seeds.

2.     Stir to combine. Add seeds to the top just before serving.

Serve on lettuce boats, in wraps, or make a bowl by adding spinach, and chickpea mixture

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There you have it, 5 recipes that you can prep while making dinner tonight so you can ensure you won’t be stuck without a good lunch for tomorrow. If you make any of these recipes let me know what you think in the comments below or tag me in your food pics @pam_rocca. If you want to see more videos on how to make healthy food check out my You Tube Channel too.

A few other lunch ideas you can grab from the blog: Cashew Chicken, Chickpea Tacos (can do it up as a salad or Taco Bowl), Zucchini Chow Mein, Cauliflower Rice Stir-Fry, Keto Egg Roll in a Bowl, Buddha Bowls, Detox Arugula & Quinoa Salad, Chicken Detox Stew, Apple and Almond Crunch Salad just to name a few. You guys I work hard to post new recipes weekly to help make your life easier, check them out and make the one that looks the most appealing to you.