Friday, 14 October 2016

Lunch Prep For The Office For Beginners

We all have the same struggle -we want to eat hearty, healthy meals in the office, but we don't have the time to prepare them in the evenings. Instead, we spend money on packaged meals, when we could be spending a little bit of time preparing, and saving a whole heap of money (and our waistlines). If you're not sure where to start, we've got a handy beginner's guide to meal prep for yummy office lunches!

Get some good quality containers
If you don't already have some containers to store your prepped lunches, get some Tupperware or glass containers. If you have a microwave in your office, make sure they are BPA-free, and are sturdy enough that they do not fall apart in the microwave. It's also beneficial to get them of a similar size, so you are not playing tetris in the fridge on a Sunday evening!

Plan your meals for the week
The best day to plan is just before food shopping, so you know exactly what you need to get (and don't get tempted by the offers!). Set out a Monday - Friday schedule, and think about what you can get to spread across a few days. Be careful not to make the lunches too samey though, or you may get bored and end up splurging in the local co-op instead! Keep in mind how you will be cooking your lunches, and that whatever you prepare for Friday will still be fresh if made on a Sunday. Or if you don't think they'll last, do two batches throughout the week - perhaps one on a Sunday, and one on a Wednesday evening.

Now we've covered those two steps, let's get onto the cooking!

1. Season meat three ways using one pan
If you're sticking to lean meats such as chicken, it can get repetitive if you don't change it up. By using aluminium foil as dividers, you can season your chicken in different ways, while cooking one batch, all at the same time! Investing in spices and sauces (think chili, BBQ, even honey!) means you can keep your taste buds interested, even when having the same meat day after day.

2. Hard-boil eggs in your oven!
Peeled, hard-boiled eggs serve as a fantastic snack for the office as they are brilliant source of amino acids and proteins. If you hard-boil your eggs in a pot, you can normally only fit 5/6 in one go, but if you "boil" them in the oven for 30 minutes in a muffin tray, you can get 12 done all in one go! Once oven-boiled, peel them in a colander, using cold water to cool them down enough to handle, and it also gets rid of those pesky bits of shell! Store in the fridge.

3. Chop/spiralize lots of veg in one go
If you're late to the spiralizing party (and if so, where have you been!?) you may not know about turning normal, everyday vegetables into great carb alternatives. You can spiralize almost anything - carrot and courgettes are our favourites - and they make brilliant alternatives to carby foods such as pasta. Eaten hot or cold, they are great on their own, or inside a salad. Doing them in all in advance saves time and effort.
You can find spiralizers here.

4. Skewer meat for quick and clear portions
If you're conscious of calories, or just watching your macros, you can weigh your meat (chicken, salmon or even beef) and put it on wooden skewers. You can cook the skewers up in a batch, and add them to your meals throughout the week. Alternatively, they make great snacks. If you're using wooden skewers, remember to soak them in water so they do not catch fire when cooking!

What are your top tips for meal prep? Let us know @office_fruit 

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