Adjusting to this temporary new normal, many pieces of our daily routines have changed. For many of us, one of those small details that you wouldn’t think of is your lunch routine.

I have been “brown-bagging it” since 95’ and am used to packing a lunch. When I was old enough I would pack, prepare, and bring my lunch to school, work, the beach, wherever. Bringing my lunch saves me time and a ton of money.

With that being said, I am not everyone, I don’t have kids, and for some people, it’s easier to just buy your lunch every day. Whether the company provides it, you have too many kids at home to pack lunches for, or maybe the way you commute into work makes it’s just easier to buy/eat lunch out. Regardless of what you used to do, now you are likely home, and you have to make your lunch every day.

This adjustment has been one that you either love, or it drives you crazy because you open the refrigerator every day at noon, and just stare inside wishing a sandwich would just appear in front of your eyes. That’s not happening here, and making your lunch takes a lot more time than you would want to spend in the middle of your workday unless you are making a PB&J which takes seconds and are dope so no judgment there.

My suggestion to you is to make a couple of larger servings of different lunch meals for you and/or your family to pick from for the week. Having these meals batched out and prepared for you makes lunchtime SO much easier, keeps you choosing healthy options, and when you go looking for that meal to magically appear in your fridge at lunchtime it’s already there. =]

I tend to eat a lot of the same thing all the time, but with quarantine, I have wanted a bit of a change-up, and have adjusted to this “big batch style” of meal prepping instead.

I have been prepping a big salad, maybe a soup or a chili, and then maybe a rice vegetable stir fry or a pasta salad for the week. We also prepare the protein ahead of time so we can add it to whatever we choose for lunch. When we have all of these different lunch items prepared and ready to go, it’s that same type of grab and go feel you would have at work if you brought your own lunch, or even if you ran out to grab a sandwich.

Since it is just Dan and me, I will make two things, either a salad and a soup or a salad and a pasta. Then we also have the protein, primarily for Dan. I typically heat a veggie-burger or cook up an egg.

The past couple of weeks I have made:

Bean Pasta in a red sauce with a homemade Italian meat sauce with chicken cutlets.

Large Salad with Romaine Lettuce or Arugula (chopped) with cherry tomatoes, zucchini, cucumber, avocado, olives, and sliced almonds. I might add some craisins or a cut-up apple if I am feeling fruity.

Rice Vegetable mix. For this meal, I saute up some onion, garlic, peas, and a vegetable of choice in a pan. Then I add in any type of canned beans that I have and rice. My “vegetable of choice” has been broccoli, asparagus, zucchini, peppers, whatever is left in my fridge.

Chicken Noodle Soup. We made a roasted chicken the other week, and then I used the leftover chicken, carrots, celery, onion, and rice to make the soup. Simple yet delicious.

Surprisingly, none of these meals have kale, but don’t worry, I still cook up some kale for myself to eat every week on the side of any of these meals. 😉

When I am in the zone during my workday, the last thing I want to do is stop what I am doing to make myself lunch. I am eating lunch because I am not a crazy person and skip meals, but I like the grab and go feel so I can get back to work and not waste time.

I have found that this “big batch prep” of lunches has been super helpful for Dan and I. I hope it does the same for you too!