When is a quick lunch more than just a sandwich? When all the bits you need are waiting in your fridge and you produce a super salad in less than 30 seconds, that’s when.
As well all know, preparation is key to most things in life. Whether you are preparing a speech, planning to run a marathon, cooking a four-course meal or going for a job interview the message is the same. If you’re badly prepared the chances for success are fairly slim. Things are no different when it comes to food prep. Whether you work from home and at lunch time get side tracked by the wedge of cheddar staring you in the face, or the kids’ leftover pasta. Or whether you’re trying to bring healthy home-made lunches to work as you’re tired of expensive sandwiches, the answer is the same. With the right ingredients ready and prepped in your fridge, the making of your lunch becomes a simple process of food assembly that will look impressive, fill you up and do you good.
The prep bit may sound a bit tedious but as you’re not going to start roasting sweet potato wedges and quinoa at seven in the morning anytime soon, taking the time to prepare your ingredients does pay off. Do it on the weekend or one night of the week when things are a quiet. It will soon become a habit.
Here are my top tips for things that assemble well in less than a minute – take your pick:
- cherry tomatoes
- cooked quinoa
- cooked lentils and chickpeas
- ripe avocados
- feta cheese
- fresh herbs like coriander, dill, parsley or mint
- roasted vegetables like sweet potatoes, pumpkin, squash, peppers, onions, fennel, beetroot etc.
- pomegranate seeds (already extracted from the pomegranate, can be messy)
- washed leaves like spinach and rocket or lambs lettuce
- washed and de-stalked kale
- jar of capers for last minute drizzle
- any nuts for sprinkling
- chia seeds
- lemon and lime wedges
- jar of pre-made dressing (mustard vinaigrette, ginger sesame, tahini, or just lemon and olive oil)
- Lots of Himalayan sea salt and pepper
Store your cooked/prepped ingredients in containers in the fridge so that when you are ready to prepare your lunch (box), you’ve got it all sorted. Place all your ingredients on the kitchen counter and assemble everything onto a plate (tub) as if you were creating a colourful painting. Be creative! Drizzle the lot with lemon or lime (or add wedges if you are planning to eat it later), top with fresh herbs and a dollop of dressing/hummus for a bit of juiciness and you’re done!
Try to remember the prepping ingredients next time you’re are making your shopping list. Us humans are pretty easily led astray… we eat what’s easy and in front of us, so make sure your fridge is filled with amazingly prepared, chopped, cooked vegetables, herbs, dips, dressings and grains. Happy Friday!