Meal Prep: It’s more than putting a slice of pizza in a baggie

Quietly, privately, I have decided this year to make some healthy changes to my life. I didn’t announce them (I guess I am now), but I figured if I made small, incremental changes, it would be easier to keep them up.  One major change has been to re-think what I take to work for lunch.

In the past, I might go to the local mini mart and grab chicken strips or something else deep fried. Sometimes, I would pack leftovers, but I am also trying to cut down on food waste, which means fewer leftovers. While I was thinking this through, I had an epiphany: I can make myself lunches with ingredients my family doesn’t like! I can cook for me!  I so miss mushrooms. Peppers. Feta cheese. Strong, homemade vinaigrettes.

Two weeks ago, I embarked on my first meal plan lunch: Greek chicken, orzo, and veggies. I heavily seasoned thinly sliced chicken breast with onion, lemon, and oregano. Veggies included cherry tomatoes, sweet peppers, green onions. Orzo was dressed with dijon, red wine vinegar, and oil. I put the orzo, chicken, and veggies in tupperware, and then each morning before I left for work, I would add the dressing. By lunch time, all of the flavors melded together and it was as delicious Monday as it was on Thursday.

Today, I am making panzanella salad. I am excited to share it with you. (I used this recipe as a starting point, but honestly didn’t look at it twice.)

Ingredients:

  • Some tomatoes, large dice
  • Some red onion, large dice
  • Some sweet peppers, large dice
  • Some roasted mushrooms
  • Some feta, crumbled
  • Some bread, stale or toasted, in big chunks
  • Some garlic, finely minced
  • Some basil, torn
  • Some cucumber, large dice
    • Dressing
      • Olive oil, Italian seasoning, red wine vinegar, a pinch of sugar, salt and pepper

Game plan:

Toss the veggies together with the cheese. Portion out into four pieces of Tupperware.

Keep bread cubes in a separate container (I will use a baggie).

Keep dressing stored separately as well.

Each morning, combine the bread with the veggies. Spoon over dressing to coat.

And it will be ready to eat at lunch time!