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.)
- 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
- Olive oil, Italian seasoning, red wine vinegar, a pinch of sugar, salt and pepper
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!