Lunchbox Meal Prep
Updated: Nov 2, 2019
What I pack to work in a week!
When you’re cooking and packing lunch to work/school, you have control over what goes into your body. That means you can choose to dish up healthier options and try to be creative with your food. That’s what I’ve done here; to show you how you can do it too!
This post is meant for those who are familiar with the kitchen and is looking to try new recipes - the steps below are meant to be a short summary of what I've done, so tweak it to make your food to your liking. If this is your first time cooking, then the recipes below might be difficult to follow, but why not take up the challenge!
I’ve started going for black/brown rice because of their higher nutritional content as compared to white rice. I still love my white jasmine rice and have it occasionally on weekends but if you’re looking for healthier options, I‘d recommend the former.
1. The ratio of black rice to water is about 1:1.5. Leave it to cook for 30-40 minutes in a rice cooker/steamer/pot (don't let it burn, so keep stirring!)
2. Add dark soy and honey (2:1 ratio) and a small amount of water into a small bowl to mix. Drizzle a third of the sauce over the salmon fillets. Pop it into the preheated oven for 10 minutes at 160 C. Remove the baking tray and drizzle the leftover sauce on it and bake for another 5 minutes.
3. Slice up the garlic and mushrooms. Heat up the butter/oil and add in the garlic. Add the tenderstem broccoli to the pan and add in a small amount of water to help it cook better. Add the mushrooms last and season with salt.
If you don't already own a rice cooker and you cook rice often, getting one isn't such a bad idea. Saves effort of needing to keep watching the pot of rice while it's cooking.
Note: I don’t tend to descale the salmon because I prefer an extra crispy skin.
I've been trying to incorporate less carbs and more protein and vegetables into my weekly meals; I didn't want to cut carbs completely but aim to have less carb-heavy meals especially for lunches at work.
Reason: I constantly feel bloated and sluggish especially after lunch and that's a big no-no when I need to get work done.
1. Cut the pork shoulder into thin slices. Marinate the meat in black bean and garlic sauce and add some honey for that added sweetness.
2. Slice the onions and add them into a heated and oiled pan. Add the meat and while it's cooking, add a small amount of water to help it cook evenly.
3. Prepare sticks of carrots and parsnips. Parboil them before popping them into the oven at 150 C for 15-20 minutes. Don't forget to season!
3. Chop up some garlic and fresh greens. Sesame oil/regular oil into the heated pan and add your garlic. Once the garlic starts browning, add in the fresh greens and a pinch of salt.
4. I love my eggs with a medium-runny yolk. Add your room temperature eggs into boiling water. Leave it for 6 minutes and once your timer goes off, remove from heat and run it under cold water to stop it from cooking.
You might be thinking how I'd even have time/energy to cook every evening after work + gym. To be honest, I make it easier on myself sometimes by cooking extra portions of meat the day before.
1. Boil water and add in the taiwanese ribbon-shaped noodles. Remove from heat after 7-8 minutes and check that the noodle is soft enough to your liking. Drain the noodles in a strainer.
2. Chop the garlic and the tenderstem broccoli.
3. Add sesame oil into a heated pan and add in the garlic and vegetables. Then add the meat you've cooked the night before and noodles thereafter.
Voila! Quick meal prep done if you plan ahead to cook larger portions!
As you can see I've been using a lot of tenderstem broccoli in a week's meals. At the beginning of the week, I try to do a meal plan on what groceries I need instead of bulk buying fresh items and letting them go bad. These were on offer (and also I kinda love them) so why not!
Always look out for deals and plan out what types of food you can use throughout the week without making your daily meals boring.
1. If you prefer mini meatballs unlike the humongous ones they sell in the supermarket, you can get sausages instead. Remove the skin from the sausages, cut them into pieces and roll them into balls to make your mini meatballs.
2. Add your spaghetti to boiling water. Once it's cooked to your liking, strain the pasta. Add a bit of extra virgin olive oil (to make sure the pasta doesn't stick as it cools down) and salt to season.
3. Prep the garlic, onions and mushrooms. Heat the pan and add the oil. Add the garlic, followed by onions a minute later. Throw in your meatballs and a few drops of water to cook. When your meatballs are almost done, in goes the broccoli then the mushrooms. Season with salt and black pepper.
4. The spaghetti goes in the pan last. Add basil and mix it all together. Don't forget to taste to see if it needs more seasoning. Off the heat after a minute, and your meal is done!
Easiest way to prepare meat is to bake it in the oven because you don't need to keep watch of it; as long as your timer is on.
1. Slice the chicken breast pieces in half so the thinner slices cook faster and more evenly. Marinate the chicken with salt, teriyaki sauce and white pepper. Place on a baking tray and let it bake in the preheated oven for 5 minutes at 170C (depending on the size of your chicken pieces).
2. Cut the parsnips into sticks. After 10 minutes, place the parsnips onto the same tray as the chicken, drizzle oil on it and bake for another 15 minutes.
3. In boiling water, add the buckwheat soba in to cook for 5-7 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water. Let it sit in ice and cold water while you prepare the vegetables.
4. Cut the garlic and fresh greens. You know the basics, oil into a heated pan, then add your garlic followed by the vegetables; A pinch of salt for taste.
Soba dipping sauce: Add water to the sauce and mix according to how strong you'd like it to be. When you're ready to eat, dip the noodles into the sauce and enjoy your meal! *Do not pour the sauce over the noodles, if not you'd get soggy noodles*
I've added links to some of the ingredients to show you the type of ingredients and sauces I use. You don't need to get the same ones but it's just to give you an idea of what I'm talking about!
Do you meal prep for work as well? Try out the recipes and tell me what you think on my Say Hello page!
Much love xx
What to read/watch next: If you haven't already, watch the Iceland travel vlog whilst having your meal to decide your next travel destination