Sunday, 26 July 2015

A make-ahead lunch recipe!

As a high school student, part time job working, extra curricular, teenager who loves to eat healthy, I find that I need to make a lot of make-ahead meals.

Anything from make-ahead breakfast (overnight oats, truffles etc.) to make-ahead snacks (home made bean muesli bars, cut up fruit) to make-ahead dinners (roast veggies, quiches) I've made it all. And nothing compares to the amount of make-ahead lunches I've prepared in my time. Hello school lunches 5 times a week.

There's a few briefs that a meal needs to meet in order to be a good make-ahead meal. One- it has to maintain it's shape/ consistency/ texture that it would normally have made at the time. Two- it has to be transportable (in that it won't 'break' if it gets tossed around a little bit). And three, it has to taste super yummy cold. And super yummy period.

And what would be an example of a brilliant make-ahead lunch? Give this one a try:

'Cheesy' Pumpkin and Veggie Pasta!
I guess you could say it's my take on a 'healthified' pasta bake/ mac and cheese. But trust me, you'll forget all about how healthy it is when you taste how delicious it is!

Sweetness from the pumpkin, cheesiness from the hommus and nutritional yeast, savoury mixed beans and sweet popping peas.
All of that intensified after a couple of hours in the fridge and then eaten cold. YUM.

1/2 cup mashed pumpkin
Serving of pasta (I used spelt spirals)
Small 125g tin of mixed four beans
A heaped cup of mixed steamed greens (I used broccoli, string beans and peas)
1 heaped tablespoon hommus
1 heaped tablespoon nutritional yeast flakes

1. Steam and mash pumpkin, cook pasta as to packet instructions, steam greens and drain and rinse beans.
2. Mix the hommus and nutritional yeast with the mashed pumpkin.
3. Drain the pasta, and add the steamed greens, mixed four beans and pumpkin mixture to the saucepan with the pasta and stir to coat everything with the cheesy pumpkin mixture.
4. Transport to a bowl/ container, leave to cool and then place in the fridge until required.
5. Serve hot/ cold (but cold. Because it tastes so good!)
 This was my saviour after not eating for about 6-7 hours. So happy I had a make-ahead lunch!
 Full of veggies (Not sure, but I'd probably estimate a good 3+ serves in that one bowl!!), fibre, protein, vitamins and minerals. Very good lunch indeed!
So next time you need to pull together a little something to bring with you/ make-ahead for when you come back later, why not give this one a try? You won't regret it (and I'm sure you're blood levels and satiety will thank you after passing on that tempting fried fast food).

Your turn:
What's your go-to make-ahead meal?
Is there anything else I should add to the brief for make-ahead meals?
Do you ever prefer to eat your meals cold over hot? I pretty much always do!

I hope you all have a fabulous rest of your day, take a moment to be 'in the moment' (something I need to work on) and as always; eat something delicious!! Bye friends! :D

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