Steer clear of drive throughs, and packaged food cravings this week by preparing some delicious (and nutritious) lunches in advance. Meal prepping will not only reduce stress levels, it is also a fantastic way to cut costs and keep things healthy. Here are six of our favourite lunches:

Quinoa

Cooking quinoa is super simple. Add 2 cups of water for every cup of quinoa, I also add a tsp of veggie stock and a drop of olive oil. Bring to a boil and cook for 14 minutes. Resist the urge to open the lid of the pot and leave covered for a further 10 minutes before using a fork to fluff up your quinoa.

Quinoa & Edamame Salad

¾ Cup Cooked Quinoa
Small Can of Edamame Beans
1 Medium Sized Cucumber
Mint (and/or any other fresh herbs of choice)
1 Avocado  

Serve with crumbled feta or boiled eggs

Vinaigrette:

Olive Oil
White Wine Vinegar
Squeeze of Lime
½ tsp of Dijon Mustard
Salt and Pepper to taste

Tip: Use old jars to make your salad dressings with, simply put everything in and shake it up!

Quinoa and Chickpea Salad

½ Cup Cooked Quinoa
1 Can of Chickpeas
Handful of Diced Cherry Tomatoes
2 Small Cucumbers Finely Diced
4 Spring Onions Finely Sliced
3 Sprigs of Fresh Dill
3 Sprigs of Mint

Rice

Different types of rice will cook differently, be sure to check the package for instructions.

Tip: Tempting though it may be, do not uncover the saucepan or stir the rice during cooking. If it’s done before you’re ready to serve it, place a folded towel over the saucepan, replace the lid, and set aside. The towel will absorb excess moisture and condensation, this helps to prevent overcooked and mushy rice.

Rice and Lentil Salad

1 Cup Cooked Black Puy Lentils
½ Cup Cooked Whole Grain Rice
Handful of Cherry Tomatoes (diced)
1 Cucumber (diced)
3 Spring Onions (finely sliced)
2 Red Peppers (diced)
Fresh Dill
Fresh Parsley

Serve with: Crumbled Feta

Vinaigrette:

Olive Oil
Balsamic Vinegar
Lime
Dijon Mustard
Salt and Pepper

 Wild Rice Burgers

1 Cup Cooked Wild Rice
1 Small Onion Diced
2 Celery Sticks Finely Cut
1 Clove Garlic, Minced
½ Cup Panko Breadcrumbs
¼ Shredded Parmesan Cheese
2 Large Eggs, Beaten
Salt & Pepper to taste
Dried Oregano and Thyme
Cayenne Pepper or any Chilli Flakes
Paprika
Olive Oil
Bread

INSTRUCTIONS

Heat olive oil in a nonstick pan and saute onions, celery and garlic until onion is translucent.

In a large bowl, combine onion-celery-garlic mixture with wild rice, breadcrumbs, cheese, salt, oregano, thyme, paprika, cayenne, and black pepper. Cool completely and then add eggs, stirring to mix together.

Divide the mixture into 4 portions.

Heat olive oil in the nonstick pan and cook your burgers for 2 to 3 minutes on each side until crisp and golden.

Serve with your favourite toppings! We have found a couple of slices of avocado and some tomato salsa are a particularly good combo!

RECIPE TIP For a vegan version, omit the cheese and replace the eggs with 2 tablespoons ground flax seeds whisked with 6 tablespoons water.

Tuna Poke Bowl

2 tsp Soy Sauce (use tamari if gluten free)
1 tsp Sesame Oil
2 tsp Orange Juice
1 Inch Piece of Ginger, Peeled and Grated
1 Spring Onion, Finely Sliced
1 Cup Cooked Rice (or any grain of choice)
½ Avocado
Handful of Cherry Tomatoes, Diced
1 tsp Sesame Seeds

 INSTRUCTIONS

Place the soy sauce, sesame oil, orange juice and ginger in a jar. Close the lid and shake well until the dressing comes together. (Or whisk together in a small bowl.)

Empty the drained tuna into a small bowl and pour the dressing over. Add in the spring onion then toss to coat well. Divide the rice between two bowls and top with the dressed tuna, avocado, tomatoes and sesame seeds.

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes have to be one of my absolute favourite things. You can roast them whole, and make yourself a delicious stuffed sweet potato for lunch. You can dice them and add them into salads, frittatas, buddha bowls or just simply serve them as a side.

Mediterranean Stuffed Sweet Potato

Ingredients

4 Medium Sweet Potatoes
1 Can Chickpeas
½ tsp of Cumin, Coriander, Oregano and Paprika

Garlic Herb Sauce

¼ Cup Tahini (or even Hummus if you have)
½ Medium Lemon, Juiced
3 Garlic Cloves, Minced
Fresh Dill (if possible, otherwise 1tsp dried)
Water (to thin)

Instructions

Preheat oven to 200 degrees C

Clean Potatoes and slice a small cross into the top of every potato

Toss chickpeas with olive oil and spices and place on a foil-lined baking tray

Roast in the oven for 50 min- 1 hour. (Pull Chickpeas out after 30-40 minutes)

While the sweet potatoes and chickpeas are roasting, prepare your sauce by adding all ingredients to a mixing bowl and whisking to combine, only adding enough water to thin so it’s pourable. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. I like it really lemony and tend to add a bit of Cayenne to spice it up too!

Once cooked top the sweet potatoes with the chickpeas and dress. I have also found some diced cherry tomatoes dressed with a little oil, lemon and chopped parsley add a little zing.