Lunchbox Meals To Work – Week 1

Happy Monday everyone, another week has passed and here we are reminiscing what did we do last week that made it went by so fast. How was your week? I hope you’ve enjoyed your weekend, all I did was staying at home relaxing and tidying up my room for it to be revamped this year if you guys are wondering.

This year, I promised myself that I wanted to be wiser when it comes to choosing what goes into my belly and to save more moolah on buying lunch every day. With that in mind, I started to bring my own lunchbox to work during the weekdays and I woke up way earlier than my regular morning alarm to prepare for my lunchbox for 5 straight days. I didn’t expect that I would be this diligent and committed but I managed and I think deserved a pat on the back for being so devoted to my goals.

All the lunchbox meal that I prepared were super easy but of course, I need to prepare the mise en place which means all the cutting and chopping activities, I have to prepare the night before. So now, I have to spend some time in the kitchen before bed to prepare all the ingredients that I need to cook the next day so that  I won’t have to wake up super early to prepare for my lunchbox. Believe me, if you have all your ingredients ready, it saves so much time that you just have to throw everything into the pan. Beside, you don’t have to think much on what to cook, which can be a tough thing to do given that you just woke up and hating yourself for having to wake up to go to work. So prepare your mise en place the night before to avoid not knowing what to cook and wasting time cutting and chopping that could lead you to be late for work.

This is going to be a very long post as I wanted to share with you the lunchbox menus that I brought to work this week.I even include the prep time and how long did it take to cook all the meals listed below!

Day 1: Vegetarian Linguine sautéed with mushrooms, pan grilled chicken breast and boiled broccoli.

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Mise en place prep time: 15 mins (chopping garlic, cutting mushrooms and broccoli and marinating chicken breast)

Cooking time: 35 mins (includes cleaning time and putting the food into my lunchbox)

Ingredients:

1 cup of mushrooms
½ chicken breast
1 cup of broccoli
Vegetarian Linguine
Chopped garlic
Salt and pepper to taste
Canola oil for sauté and for pan-grilling

 I used 1 cooking and a pot for cooking the food. The first thing I did was to pan grilled the chicken because it took the longest to cook. Pan-grill the chicken breast until golden and cooked the way through and still juicy when gently pressing the protein. While pan-grilling the chicken, I boiled water in the pot and when the water boiled up, I add some salt into the boiling water and then the broccoli so that the broccoli would not taste bland. I boiled the broccoli until they change color to a really bright green and soften a little then strained them and them into running water to stop them from still cooking as I don’t like my broccoli to be mushy. I boiled some water again so that I can boil my spaghetti and the spaghetti only took 3 minutes to be al denté. While I was boiling my spaghetti, my chicken was already done and I moved the chicken into my lunchbox and with the same pan, I sauté my garlic and mushrooms. I put the spaghetti into the pan and add some salt and pepper for taste until everything combined together. I then arrange all the cooked food into my lunchbox and it was all done in just 35 minutes.

Day 2: Roasted chicken and broccoli with halves cherry tomatoes.

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Mise en place prep time: 10 mins (halving tomato cherries, cutting broccoli and marinating chicken)
Cooking time: 40 mins (includes cleaning time and putting the food into my lunchbox)

1 chicken thigh
1 cup of broccoli
1 cup of tomato cherries
Salt and pepper to taste

I was in fact woke up a little late on that day but thankfully, I have all my ingredients ready (mise en place is so IMPORTANT) so all I need to do is to heat up the oven, put the marinated chicken in the roasting pan and put it into the oven and go to shower. By the time I finished my shower, the chicken was done and cooked all the way through then I put in the broccoli and let it roast with the chicken for 5 minutes. Arrange the chicken, broccoli and the tomato cherries into my lunchbox. I did not do anything with the tomato cherries as I prefer to eat it raw.

Day 3: Sautéed vegetarian linguine with roasted cherry tomatoes, roasted chicken breast chunks and mushrooms.

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Mise en place prep time: 30 mins (chopping garlic, cutting and roasting cherry tomatoes, marinating and roasting the chicken breast)
Cooking time: 15 mins (includes cleaning time and putting the food into my lunchbox)

1 cup of mushrooms
½ chicken breast
1 cup of cherry tomatoes
Vegetarian Linguine
Chopped garlic
Salt and pepper to taste
Virgin coconut oil for sauté
Chopped parsley for garnish

Another super easy meal! I boiled water in a pot and put tiny droplets of oil so that the spaghetti won’t stick together and salt to give some flavour to the spaghetti. When the spaghetti is done, I then strained them and put them aside. I heat up the pan and I add in enough virgin coconut oil that was made by my dad. I then sauté garlic, put in the mushroom then the roasted cherry tomatoes and a little bit of water to make a sauce. The linguine then being added into the pan and let it cooked for 5 minutes, put the roasted chicken chunks in and finally the parsley for garnish.

Day 4: Newly harvested brown rice, stir-fried broccoli with chicken, Bosou and Tuhau as side dishes.

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Mise en place prep time: 15 mins (chopping garlic, cutting broccoli, marinating chicken breast and cooking the rice)
Cooking time: 15 mins (includes cleaning time and putting the food into my lunchbox)

Chicken breast chunks
1 cup of broccoli
1 cup of newly harvested brown rice
Chopped garlic
Salt and pepper to taste
Virgin coconut oil for sauté
Already made Bosou and Tuhau

For the rice, I cooked it while I was preparing mise en place because rice takes longer time to cook and I just leave it the rice cooker on so that the rice will be kept warm until the next day. I then heat the virgin coconut oil in a pan and sauté the garlic and I put in the chicken breast chunk and let it browned, then I added in the broccoli. Let it all cooked together then lastly I put some salt and pepper for taste. For the Tuhau, I actually made it ahead of time because I always have it in stock in my fridge and as for the Bosou, it was actually given by a friend who also gave me the newly harvested brown rice. Bless his kind heart for giving me high quality brown rice and the yummy Bosou.

Day 5: Vegetarian Linguine Aglio Olio with roasted chicken chunks and mushroom

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Mise en place prep time: 30 mins (chopping garlic, cutting mushroom, marinating and roasting the chicken breast)
Cooking time: 15 mins (includes cleaning time and putting the food into my lunchbox)

1 cup of mushrooms
1 cup chicken breast chunks
Vegetarian Linguine
Chopped garlic
Salt and pepper to taste
1 piece of dried chilli (chopped) to substitute pepper flakes
Olive oil for sauté
Chopped parsley for garnish

When you think that preparing Aglio Olio is hard, No! It is actually one of the easiest ways to cook your pasta and it is actually one of my favourite pasta dishes because I just love olive oil! Firstly, boil the linguine so that it will become soften and then strain it. After that I put it into a bowl and put some salt and pepper to taste and the chopped parsley. I then heat the pan with olive oil in it and sauté the garlic,chopped dried chilli and lastly I put the roasted chicken chunks. I then switched off the stove after the garlic has become golden brown and pour everything into the bowl with the linguine in it. I tossed the linguine so that it combine with the olive oil. Add a little bit salt and pepper to taste and it’s done!

I hope this post will inspire you to prepare and bring your own lunchbox to work. Not only you are in control of what’s going into your belly, you can also save up some money and use it to get a new phone, get that dress that you’ve been eyeing on or to take you somewhere you’ve been wanting to go. Besides, it can spice up your feed when you posted it up on Instagram and maybe the one that you’ve been having a crush on finally notice you and your awesome skills in cooking!

Until next post, Jessica x

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