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Lets Build a Lunchbox

When it comes to eating healthy – planning is key! Simplicity, availability of ingredients and time are of essence as well. 

Here’s the strategy: use foods you have at home, make the basics head, make it fast and simple. What can we do with the following food basket: 

🍖meat, 

🍗poultry and fish 🐟 

🥐whole grains 

🥗seasonal veggies 

🥖bread 

🍜pasta 

🧀butter and cheese.

1. Crock-pot whole chicken 🍗 

Put 4-5 c of water in a crockpot, add spices (bay leaf, salt, pepper, herbs), place whole chicken breast-side down and turn on on High for 6 hrs. I do it overnight. When done – pour out the broth in a glass jar (that’s your bone broth to be used in soups, sautéed and just in a mug). 

Cool it and then refrigerate. The fat will float up so you can remove it, the broth will resemble jello when cold. 

Take out the bones and use the chicken as entree, or mix with avocado 🥑 for chicken salad; slice the breast for a sandwich on a sprouted whole grain bread 🍞 (if you don’t have a crockpot, bake the chicken in the oven at 385 F for 70 min)

2. Ground meat or turkey meatballs:

Mix 1 kg (2 pounds) of ground meat with 2 eggs, salt and pepper, garlic powder, smoked paprika, herbs, 2 Tbsp flour, chopped onions. Line them on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper and bake at 375 F for 30 min. 

3.  Grains and veggies – One-Pot-Meal:

I like to make this one for my kids – no forgoing their greens 🥬 with this yummy dish 😜

Sauté chopped onions, carrots, frozen green peas and corn in olive oil, add shredded cabbage (or sauerkraut- vitamin C-rich winter favorite), add salt and other spices, 2 cups of water (or half water half chicken broth from above), 1 cup of rice (vary amounts based on the size of your household), and cook till all water is absorbed. 

You can use other grains (barley, buckwheat, quinoa, brown rice) and all kinds of veggies. For greens (kale, spinach, collards) – chop them and add at the end, so they don’t dissolve during cooking.

4. Salad:

Shredded cabbage, shredded carrots, chopped tomatoes, parsley or cilantro, salt pepper and olive oil. Or use any other base – spinach, lettuce, kale, arugula

Here are the lunchboxes we have now:

🍅 Chicken, rice and veggies

🍅 Chicken slices in a sandwich on whole grain bread with a slice of cheese and side of salad

🍅 Chicken salad (shredded chicken mixed with avocado or a touch of mayonnaise, teaspoon Dijon mustard, salt and pepper, smoked paprika, cilantro or parsley), on a whole grain bread

🍅 Chicken and pasta 🍝 with cherry tomatoes, olive oil or butter, garlic, salt and pepper, topped with shredded cheese

🍅 Meatballs, pasta and salad

🍅 Meatballs, rice and veggies

🍅 Meatball sandwich with cheese and a side of salad. 

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