For those of you who know me personally, you know I am a planner. I enjoy daily to-do lists, updating my calendar, and thinking five steps ahead for any situation. Since planning is my thing, Sunday meal prep is my game. As they say, “a Sunday well spent, brings a week of content!” It’s hard to beat the feeling of having healthy homemade meals ready to grab and go.
Lunch this week will be salads in a jar, similar to the theme from my last post. (Apparently it’s a “jar meal” kind of week).
Mediterranean Pesto Chicken Salad...in a Jar
- 1 package (or two bags) of romaine hearts
- 1 cucumber, diced
- 20 grape tomatoes, cut in half
- 1.5-2 cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 4 oz feta cheese, crumbled
- 1 avocado, diced
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice
- Trader Joe’s Pesto Chicken, cooked and diced (or you can cover 1 lb. chicken with 3-4 Tbsp pesto sauce and cook)
- 4-8 Tbsp Balsamic dressing (I prefer the Annie’s brand)
- Set out 4 wide-mouth quart-sized mason jars.
- In each jar add 1-2 tablespoons of dressing to bottom of jar
- Next add 1/2 cup chickpeas, 1/4 of the cucumbers, and 10 tomato halves into each jar
- In a small bowl, gently toss avocado in lemon juice (to prevent it from browning)
- Divide avocado, feta, and chicken between the jars
- Add lettuce until full
- Cover each jar with a top and save in fridge for up to 5 days
Hope you enjoy!
What are some of your favorite grab and go lunches?
I’m having a love affair with collard greens and I’m not sorry. Move over bread and tortillas, there’s a lean green wrapping machine that is taking your spot in my lunch bag.
After having a wrap at my nearby PCC market, I was in heaven. The next day I purchased my very own collard greens and have made wraps for lunch ever since. The beauty about these leaves is that they are tough enough to withstand being filled with goodness and then left to sit in the fridge for 3 days before you eat them. Bread, however, is usually partially soggy by the time I get to work.
This past Sunday, I prepped enough wraps for lunch for the week, then just grabbed them out of my fridge each morning on my way to work. SO EASY! Although you could do just about anything with a collard wraps: humus and veggies, turkey caesar, southwest chicken…… this week it was all about the Thai chicken wrap.
Collard Wrap with Spicy Almond Butter Sauce, Chicken, Cucumbers, Carrots, Bell Pepper, and Thai Basil Leaves
Thai chicken collard wrap
- Collard greens (usually 1-2 leaves per wrap, the bigger the better)
- 15-20 Thai basil leaves
- 1 lb baked chicken breast, diced
- 1 cup grated carrots
- 1 cucumber, julienned
- 1 red bell pepper, julienned
- 1 serving of spicy almond dipping sauce or peanut sauce/dressing of your choosing
- Collard greens have a thick stem and center rib that need to be dealt with first. Start by trimming the stem, then trim down the center rib so that it’s about the same thickness as the leaf. You can go the extra step of making the leaves even more flexible (and less bitter) by blanching them, i.e. placing them in a large saucepan of boiling water for about 30 seconds, then transferring them to an ice bath. If you don’t plan to use all of your collards at once, wrap them in damp paper towels and store them in your fridge for 3-4 days.
- Mix the almond sauce and the diced chicken in a bowl.
- To assemble, lay the collard green in front of you, stem pointing towards you. Like a burrito, add your ingredients towards the end of the leaf nearest to you (Thai basil leaves, chicken/sauce, carrots, cucumber, and bell pepper). Begin to roll the collard up tightly, tucking in the sides of the leaf as you go. Wrap in parchment paper or Saran wrap to keep tight while storing/traveling. I like to cut mine in half and home and then wrap them again in tinfoil so they don’t leak and they are easier to eat.
- Store pre-made wraps in fridge for up to 3 days.
“If you are stranded on a desert island, what three foods would you want with you”?
This is a hard question for me. The “practical nutritionist” area of my brain wants to think of three foods that could provide me with enough balance to nourish my body and help me withstand a potential lengthy and tumultuous time on said island. The “playful foodie” area of the brain just wants to name my all-time favorite foods: sushi, tacos, and PIZZA! Today, the playful foodie wins.
While I strongly protest against deprivation diets and encourage moderation to all foods/food groups….we all know, eating pizza everyday is not going to lead to a rocking beach body. With that being said, I think that you can still have your cake and eat it too….but, maybe that cake is not really a cake, it just looks like a cake, and it doesn’t taste like cake….but it’s still really freaking good.
This is my “pizza that’s not really pizza, but still really delicious and actually quite nutritious” recipe.
BBQ chicken Portobello pizzas
- 4-6 Portobello mushrooms (Likely 1-2 per person), washed and stems removed
- 1 pound chicken breasts, cooked and diced or shredded
- 1/2 cup BBQ sauce
- 1 cup fresh pineapple, cut into chunks
- 4-5 oz goat cheese, crumbled
- 1/2 red onion, caramelized
- 1/8 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
- Place the Portobellos on a parchment paper lined baking sheet, gill side up
- In a bowl, mix the chicken, BBQ sauce, and red onion
- Fill the Portobellos with the chicken mixture
- Top pizzas with pineapple and goat cheese
- Bake for 10-15 minutes or until mushrooms are soft
- Remove from oven and garnish with chopped cilantro
- Serve immediately