When it comes to lunch, I always have super-healthy goals. I’m going to wake up early to make a giant salad to take with me, or stir-fry some veggies the night before. But when I’m curled up on the couch at the end of a long day or hitting snooze for the third time, all of those plans go right out the window, and I end up shoving a sandwich into my bag or getting takeout at work instead.
Cue make-ahead meals. Whip up a big batch of one of the recipes below on Sunday night, separate it into containers, and bam—lunch for the week. All you have to do is grab-and-go on your way out the door. Even better? All of the recipes will taste just as good on Friday as they did on Monday.
You might be thinking, “Why in the world would I want to waste my Sunday night putting things in Tupperware when I could be doing anything else?” And believe me, I’m with you on that one. But think of it this way: An hour or two of preparation saves you money on takeout, adds precious minutes of sleep-time in the morning, and gives you the peace of mind that comes with knowing you’ll have delicious and healthy meals at your fingertips all week. Totally worth it, right?
The Muffin Myth
Who doesn’t love burritos? This healthy take on the Mexican favorite is protein-packed and full of veggies, so it’ll keep you full all afternoon. Take one out of the freezer in the morning, and it’ll be defrosted and ready to eat by lunch.
The Decorated Cookie
Swap the penne for a whole-wheat version or butternut squash for some healthy Italian comfort food that's a cinch to throw together. Because you’re layering the ingredients instead of mixing them together, they won’t get soggy as the week goes on.
How Sweet It Is
This healthy take on chicken salad uses Greek yogurt instead of mayo and adds in plenty of veggies. Come lunchtime, pile it into a sandwich or pocket, spoon it on top of some greens, or stuff it into avocado halves for a complete meal in 30-seconds flat.
The Roasted Root
This recipe uses grated carrots in place of noodles for a light, summery take on Thai. Just toss in a handful of roasted nuts at lunchtime for a crunchy, satisfying meal.
It doesn’t get much easier than this veggie chili that uses canned beans and tomatoes. Just chop up the veggies and dump everything in the slow cooker for a few hours. The best part? It’ll only taste better as the week goes on.
The Muffin Myth
This fish-free nicoise is a super-simple dish that makes a perfect lunch with just a couple modifications: Leave the hard-boiled egg whole until you’re ready to eat, and pack the dressing on the side.
Add a handful of fennel or a sliced chicken breast to give this salad extra substance. Bonus points: try Kamut wheat instead of the wheat berries for extra protein.
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