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 couldn’t resist jumping on the “meal-in-a-jar” trend that’s making its way around the internet. Those little jars just make everything so darn cute. And, it’s built-in portion control! Since the Seattle summer is starting to fade away and the air has become more crisp, it felt necessary to start adding warm and cozy meals to my weekly menu. What could be better than good ol’ lasagna? It’s easy, delicious, and protein packed. For the mini lasagna, I skipped the noodles, and instead focused on protein and veggies.
Triple Protein (noodle-less) mini lasagnas
- 1 lb ground turkey
- 1 white onion, diced
- 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 Tbsp. cooking oil
- 2 cups of your favorite tomato/pasta sauce in a jar (I prefer herb or basil sauces)
- 1 small zucchini, sliced thin
- 1 cup cottage cheese (2% or less) (or ricotta cheese)
- 2 egg whites
- 20 basil leaves, chopped
- 1 Tbsp dried oregano
- 1 Tbsp dreid parsley
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 9 Tbsp shredded reduced fat mozzarella
- 6- 7.4 oz clamp jars
- Optional: add in mushrooms, sautéed bell peppers, diced eggplant, yellow squash, or other veggies of your choosing (just remember, there’s only so much room in those little jars!)
- Start by removing the rubber gasket from all jars. (Optional: remove the entire lid from the jar)
- Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
- In a large skillet, warm cooking oil over medium heat. Add in onion and garlic, sauté until for 4-5 minutes.
- Add turkey to skillet and brown, keeping onion and garlic in pan.
- Once brown, drain excess liquid. Add in 1.5 cups of tomato sauce, parsley, and oregano. Mix well and reduce heat to low.
- In a small bowl, mix cottage cheese, egg whites, basil, salt, and pepper.
- In a 7.4oz clamp jar, spoon 1 Tbsp of tomato sauce. Next, begin layering each jar: 1. add 4-5 slices of zucchini, 2. 1-2 Tbsp turkey mixture, 3. 4-5 slices zucchini, 4. 1-2 Tbsp cottage cheese mixture, 5. 1-2 Tbsp turkey mixture, 6. 1.5 Tbsp shredded mozzarella.
- Fill all jars, then place them on a lined baking sheet and bake uncovered for 20-25 minutes.
- Once cooked, let cool. Store in fridge, covered, for up to 5 days.
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.