Here is my second edition to meal planning ideas: roasted vegetables with rice, (optional protein of your choice) and ginger curry sauce. This is very easy to make and the best part is that you can make enough in one batch for four helpings of lunch this week.
Note: if you are reading this on your phone, you can click into the link and see more photos by reading the story on my blog. It is a weird preview thing that I can't control.
I did not come up with this idea / recipe on my own. A friend of mine, who is brilliant with food, suggested that I try pre-made brown rice from a package and put these types of things together. I didn't even know they made pre-made rice. And it actually tastes good. No lie. Game changer.
The sauce is also pre-made in a jar. This one is from Target, I am not sure if there are different flavors or not, but this one is really good.
Here is the most complicated part. Buy vegetables that you like at the grocery store. Even easier, buy vegetables that are pre-cut and packaged in the produce area. This will cost you a little more money, but it is really nice to save a bunch of time by just dumping the container in and not having a lot of leftovers that might go to waste. My friend suggested cutting up onions, brussel sprouts, squash and zucchini. I am also adding pea pods and red peppers. You can use cauliflower, broccoli or whatever you like best. Cut up any vegetables that you didn't buy already cut up. It is important to cut the vegetables into the same size, so they all take the same amount of time to cook. Once you cut everything up, spread out vegetables on a cookie sheet. I like to add sausage, or with this batch I used smoked brats. Something with a little more flavor holds up well with reheating. Drizzle a generous amount of olive oil over the top of everything on the cookie sheet and add salt and pepper. Top with chopped cilantro if you have it on hand.
Put the cookie sheet tray in the oven and bake at 425 degrees for 25 minutes. Take the tray out of the oven and now you have just roasted yourself a pan of vegetables. Take a large bowl and fill it with the rice from the package. No need to cook anything for the rice, just pour it into the bowl. Add the whole tray of roasted vegetables to the same bowl. Top with 3/4 jar of sauce or whole jar depending on the consistency you like. Mix well and you are done. Eat right away or package for lunch for the week. Let the mixture sit out on the counter in containers until they cool. Then put in the fridge.
Use glass containers or plastic containers that are BPA free for storage. I like using these glass containers from Ikea with lids, so it is easy to reheat in the microwave at work.
There are also some pre-made Indian sauces that you can buy in a jar or a packet. Easy to find and prepare the same way as listed above.
Try this lunch hack and let me know how you like it. Feel free to add your own lunch hacks in the comments so we can all try them.