Do you ever feel like planning healthy meals is hard? Preparing meals ahead of time is great in theory. We all want to and know our lives will be easier because of it, but after a while, it can start to feel repetitive.
If you’ve ever looked on Pinterest and found a week of meals that are exactly the same and thought “Who wants that?!” then this video is for you.
In this video, I’m going to show you how to cook once on Sunday and create 5 healthy and simple lunches that are easy to assemble. These meals are grab and go when it’s lunchtime during the week so you don’t have to waste money on convenience food or sacrifice your health.
Watch as I show you how to make Simple Roasted Chicken Breast 5 Ways for a fresh new meal each day of the week!
Right below this video is an extensive shopping and ingredients list. It may seem daunting. But keep in mind you may have most of this on hand. If not, once you purchase you will have enough to last you for a good while.
All this food will stretch very far!
- 3 large chicken breasts
- 1 cucumber
- Green beans
- 2 bell peppers
- Romaine lettuce
- Mixed nuts
- Cream cheese
- Cheese cubes
- Ranch dressing*
- Hot sauce*
- Peppadew peppers
- 1 lime
- 1 lemon
- Cauliflower rice*
*store bought if needed
Ingredients for preparing chicken
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp of coarse sea salt
- 1 tsp of black pepper
You don’t have to buy all the herbs. Choose what you like and what seems fresh to you.
If this is your first time doing meal prep, then consider buying as much store bought as you can and then work your way up to preparing it at home.
- big baking sheet for the chicken
- parchment paper
- Large chef’s knife
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees
- Cover a big baking sheet with parchment paper
- Slice chicken in half lengthwise to reduce cooking time if your chicken breasts are on the thicker side
- Sprinkle chicken with olive oil, salt, and pepper
- These will take 10-15 minutes to cook and the chicken should be 165 degrees when it’s done
- Remove from the oven and let cool so you can handle it
- Dice or slice chicken breast into cubes or strips
- Now you’re ready to assemble your lunches!
Prepping the rest of the ingredients for your lunches
While the chicken is cooking, you can begin to prep all your ingredients salad bar style.
Grab a few containers for each ingredient. You may not use all that you chop up for each lunch box. Have some storage containers ready for each veggie. When you’re done assembling the boxes you can pop what’s left over in the fridge.
- Chop up the cucumbers, celery, and bell peppers into bite-sized portions
- Set aside a few lettuce leaves; we’ll use those later. Slice the lettuce into salad strips
- Place the green beans in a steamer basket in a medium pot, boil for about a minute. Be careful not to overcook the beans. You want them al dente.
Ingredients for ranch dressing
- 1/2 cup of mayo
- 1/2 cup of sour cream or greek yogurt
- Enough buttermilk to thin dressing to the consistency you like
- Chopped tarragon, parsley, garlic, and dill
- Salt and pepper
To make the ranch dressing
- Combine sour cream and mayonnaise in a bowl; mix until smooth, then add enough buttermilk to thin
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Store in a jar for up to 2 weeks
Supplies for packing lunches
- Glad, Rubbermaid, or Tupperware
- Ziplock bags
- Bento boxes
- Mason jars
- Date stickers
- Small salad condiment cups
Now that you have all of your ingredients neatly displayed on your assembly line, you can start to build your lunches for the week.
Grab your to-go container of choice and begin. These are meal ideas that work for me. Feel free to put your own spin on it. Swap out one thing for another and make it your own.
Lettuce wraps with chicken, olives, hot sauce, lime, nuts and cheese
Cauliflower rice, topped with chicken, green beans, and lime
Chicken salad with green beans, peppadew peppers stuffed with cream cheese, and bell pepper slices
Chicken on a bed of cauliflower rice, hummus, peppers, celery, olives, cheese, and lemon
Chicken salad, with cucumbers, olives, nuts, radishes
For all your leftovers, you can put everything into containers for nibbling, quick dinners, or more lunches for the whole family.
If you have kids, you can double or triple the recipe and send them with healthy packed lunches as well!
This may seem like a lot, especially if you’re just getting started. But as I said before, don’t hesitate to use store-bought ingredients to make everything easier for you.
Make it work for you! Mix up the ingredients list, use things you already have on hand at home and treat it as an experiment.
The more you do this, the easier it will get!