It is a constant struggle in my house to figure out what to pack for lunch to take to work. Leftovers are ideal, but we don’t always have them. Sandwiches are ok, but lunch meat isn’t the best for you. I like salads, but they can get soggy when you pack them and Burke pretty much refuses to take them. We needed a better solution and I was on a mission to figure out a better way to pack lunches for work. When scouring Pinterest for healthy lunches, I kept coming across pins on healthy make-ahead lunches, so I decided to give it a shot.
The idea is to cook big batches of chicken and vegetables at a time, and then divide it up into separate tupperware containers. This way, you only have to cook once and then have your lunches made for an entire week. While there is a little more work upfront, it makes my morning routine a little easier knowing I don’t have to worry about what to take for lunch, and it is something healthy too.
I typically grocery shop on Sundays and then spend an hour or so preparing these lunches. In the few weeks that I’ve done it, I have switched up the vegetables depending on what looks good at the market and what I have a taste for. There are no hard and fast rules for what you can put in your make-ahead lunches. Make what you like and enjoy knowing you won’t have to worry about what you eat for lunch all week long!
I want to see what you are making! If you make healthy make-ahead lunches, or any of my recipes, post your food photos with #KitchenCurious
Healthy Make-Ahead Lunches
Serves: 2, 5 lunches each
Prep Time: 30 Minutes
Cook Time: 60+ Minutes
4 pounds Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
2 pounds Sweet Potatoes, cleaned
2 pounds Brussels Sprouts, cleaned and halved
2 pounds Butternut Squash, cubed
1 large Eggplant, sliced into half moons
Preheat oven to 400.
Prep the chicken breasts by cutting each in half. Put into a plastic bag with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Let marinade while you cook all your vegetables.
To prepare the brussels sprouts, follow this other Kitchen Curious recipe for Crispy Brussels Sprouts.
You will have to bake in stages depending on how much oven space and how many baking sheets you have available.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the clean sweet potatoes onto the baking sheet and use a fork to poke several hole into each potato. Drizzle with olive oil. Bake for 45-60 minutes, until the sweet potatoes are tender.
While the sweet potatoes cook, line two baking sheets with parchment paper. On one arrange the eggplant and on the other arrange the butternut squash. Drizzle both with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle on garlic powder, salt and pepper.
Bake the butternut squash for 20-25 minutes. Bake the eggplant for 15-20 minutes.
Line another baking sheet with parchment paper and place the chicken breasts on the sheet. Bake for 20-25 minutes.
Let everything cool completely.
Once cool, divide all of the chicken and veggies between 10 small tupperware containers.
Reheat in microwave for 1:30-2 minutes.