Meal Prepping Tips + 4 Healthy Salad Lunch Recipes

Meal prep, why didn't anyone tell me about this before! It all started with taking my kids to the library. I do this often, we all really enjoy reading. My 6 year old heads straight for the kids section to look for books on lego and superheros. He knows where to find me if he needs to- in the aisle with the creative inspiration inducing books. I begin my search for recipes books and those with any beauty or diy/project related topics. This time I went for the healthier recipe books and I found a treasure. The book is called Salad Love by David Bez. On each page of the book is a neat and eye pleasing photo of a salad with a recipe below. To be very honest as I flipped through I noticed that he didn't have that much variety and kept repeating the same ingredients and dressings again and again but with a slight change. So although I wasn't super impressed with the actual recipes, I loved his background story and I gained a spark of inspiration for this project here. But this is not a cookbook review. Back to meal prep.

I have never done any sort of meal prep before, at least not days in advance. This is mainly because my husband almost always refuses anything from the freezer and because my big boy and I are really easy to please with simple dishes. Since I was just after a juice cleanse and really wanted to keep the hard work I had done in place, I had made up my mind to be extra careful with what I was eating each day. So on Sunday morning I woke up invigorated with the plan to write down some of my favorite fruits, veggies, nuts, herbs etc. and come up with my best combinations that would best suit my palette. That is what I did. I then checked my refrigerator to see what I had on hand and created a shopping list for the rest. Once home from the grocery it only took me just 1 hour to prep four lunches, including the dressings. I've decided I need to do this more often, and not just with lunches!

Here are a few simple tips for prepping healthy lunches in advance-

1) Buy some containers that are just the right size for a meal you would normally eat. This way you won't end up lugging around extra large containers to work for no reason and you will have enough room to fit everything you need to actually stay full. Also get some smaller sized containers for dressings, sauces and vinagraites etc. and make sure they are tightly seal-able or you may find yourself with an oily mess (as I learnt the hard way).

2) When planning your ingredients try to include some herbs, a great variety of fruits and vegetables you know you personally love and will eat. Nuts make a good addition too. Don't forget something very filling and possibly high in protein to tie it all together like chicken, salmon, cheese, eggs, tuna etc.

3) Buy pre-cut items. In my grocery they sell pre-cut watermelon, pineapple, onions etc. Although it is slightly more expensive this way, it is very useful to me when I am attempting to prep quickly.

4) Use leftovers from your fridge, but just make sure to eat those specific ones at the beginning of the week.

I had alot of salmon leftover from a dish I'd made the night before as well as some chicken cutlets, so I diced them up and added each to one of my salads.

Now here is what I included in my 4 healthy salad lunches:

1) Cubed watermelon, cubed muenster cheese, fresh blueberries, roasted jalapeno peppers, shredded mint leaves and sunflower seeds.

Dressing- Equal parts olive oil, lemon juice, honey and a little bit of salt and pepper.

2) Diced breaded chicken, raspberries, baby spinach, chopped red onion, pistachios and diced portabello mushrooms.

Dressing- Equal parts balsamic vinegar, olive oil and dijon mustard and a little bit of salt and pepper.

3) Cooked red quinoa, roasted asparagus spears, chopped cucumber, boiled edamame and dried pomegranate seeds.

Dressing- Equal parts olive oil, lemon juice, honey and a little bit of salt and pepper.

4) Shredded pistachio crusted baby salmon, halved cherry tomatoes, pitted green olives, pepitas and roasted shallots.

Dressing- Equal parts olive oil, lemon juice, honey, a tsp of dill and a little salt and pepper.

I really hope my food prepping tips will be useful to you.
Try these easy recipes as well, you will love them any time of day!

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