Take It To Go: Portable Lunch Inspiration

Not too long ago, I gave y’all the scoop on my essentials for sack lunches. Now that you have the gear, I assume you’re ready to fill it. But if you grew up with your mom packing your lunch, or if your go-to portable meal consists of white bread, peanut butter, and jelly, then you might need a little guidance. Fret not, today’s post has both meal inspiration and a grocery list to get you started. I’ll be here, e-holding your hand the whole way.

Take yourself from PB&J to inspired, healthy portable lunches! | The Slender Student

one: Flat Out wrap with 2 ounces low sodium turkey breast, mustard, and thinly sliced cucumber; 1/2 cup cereal (a mix of Kashi GoLean Crunch, Fiber One Original, and Fiber One 80 Calories Chocolate); 1/2 cup strawberries

two: 2 ounces chopped low sodium turkey breast, chopped veggies (cucumber, grape tomatoes, and bell pepper), 2 teaspoons of honey mustard; 1 slice of Ezekiel bread; Babybel Light cheese and celery sticks; 1/4 cup each of strawberries and blueberries (not pictured)

three: a half serving of Banyan Tofu Fried Rice (I found mine at Central Market but you could always substitute it with 1/2 cup of cooked brown rice or quinoa + 1 tablespoon of teriyaki sauce + 2 tablespoons of shelled edamame), 3 ounces of baked chicken (season it with a little garlic, chili powder, salt and pepper); 1/4 cup blueberries; small apple; 1/2 cup of cucumber salad

four (vegetarian): one Boca Burger (vegan or vegetarian), 3 tablespoons of hummus; cinnamon sweet potato slices (thinly slice a sweet potato, sprinkle with cinnamon, and bake at 425° for 15-20 minutes; one potato yields 2 servings); baby carrots and sliced bell pepper

five (vegetarian): 1/2 cup cooked brown rice or quinoa, 1/4 cup canned black beans (drained and rinsed), chopped veggies (cucumber, grape tomato, bell pepper, etc.), 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar, 1 ounce of reduced fat feta cheese; baby carrots; sliced strawberries

The following grocery list contains all of the ingredients for the lunches pictured and described above. Of course if something doesn’t appeal to you, just cross it off the list. And you’re not limited to the meals or ingredients I’ve shown, these are just the tried and true things that have gotten me through two semesters of meal prep.

A grocery list for creative and healthy sack lunches! (See linked blog post for sample meals and instructions ) | The Slender Student [click to enlarge + print this list]

Let me know if you have any questions or meal prepping tips of your own! I’m always looking for new things to bring to campus.

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Simple Cucumber Salad

I feel like I’ve been lying to all of you. Or maybe “omission of truth” is a better way of putting it.

Simple Cucumber Salad | The Slender Student

I eat salads fairly often. Like, at least a few per week. And yet there’s not a single salad recipe on The Slender Student.

Simple Cucumber Salad | The Slender Student

In reflecting upon this (I’ve had some free time, if you can’t tell), I think I’ve done this for a few reasons. One, most people automatically think of salad when they’re trying to slender down. I’m here to give you options. Two, salads are non-recipe recipes, and trying to make a real recipe out of a non-recipe is annoying (i.e. I don’t really care how many cups of lettuce you use). Three, I’m not particularly creative with salads myself. They’re usually just some chopped up onions, tomatoes, and mushrooms over a bed of (probably half-wilted) greens sprinkled with some feta and a dollop of hummus. I mean, I’m not complaining, obviously that’s a delicious meal. I just don’t think it’s anything you probably haven’t thought up yourself.

Simple Cucumber Salad | The Slender Student

But as I’ve gotten bored of some of my tried and true combinations, I’ve found myself continually turning to today’s recipe. For years, my mom’s made a version of this simple cucumber salad. Using her recipe, and one from Love & Lemons, I’ve come up with just about the easiest dish that’s perfect for the warming weather. It’s a borderline non-recipe recipe, but I think we can both appreciate this one. Eat it plain as a snack, tote it with you as a side dish for an on-the-go lunch, or plate it with some steamed rice and grilled salmon.

Simple Cucumber Salad | The Slender Student Simple Cucumber Salad
Makes: 3 servings | Calories per serving: 39
Fat: 0.0 g (Sat Fat: 0.0 g) | Carbohydrate: 9.6 g | Fiber: 0.7 g| Protein: 0.6 g

ingredients:
1 large seedless English cucumber (the ones I find are usually wrapped in plastic)
1/2 small red onion
2 T rice vinegar
1 t agave nectar
salt and pepper, to taste

directions:
1. Using a mandoline or a very sharp knife, cut both your cucumber and onion into thin slices.
2. In a medium bowl, toss together your sliced cucumbers, onions, rice vinegar, agave, salt, and pepper.
3. Cover and let sit in the fridge for at least an hour before eating. I usually prefer to let mine sit overnight.

Simple Cucumber Salad | The Slender Student

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Meatless Monday: Baked Teriyaki Tofu Stir Fry

I, like many humans, am victim to cravings. Most of the time these come in the form of cheeseburgers or chocolate, but after a weekend like this last one (three days of beer, Mexican food, tequila, and family style pasta platters), I want an IV of vegetables straight to the vein.

Senior weekend, we’re done. It’s not you, it’s me.

Yep, we’re moving on. It’s a new week and Meatless Monday is never a bad way to get back on the slender track. Today’s recipe is ideal for tofu novices, as its marinade and cooking process are about as easy as can be. Better yet, it’s the perfect opportunity to use up the scraps of vegetables left in your fridge. Waste not, want not.

Meatless Monday: Baked Teriyaki Tofu Stir Fry | The Slender Student Baked Teriyaki Tofu Stir Fry
Calories: 277 | Fat: 6.7 g (Sat Fat: 0.8 g) | Carbohydrate: 30.5 g | Protein: 22.3 g

ingredients:
1/4 package extra firm tofu, pressed
1/2 T chopped garlic
2 T teriyaki sauce
1 T stir fry sauce
chopped vegetables of choice– I used 1/4 C each of mushrooms, onions, asparagus (from frozen), broccoli (from frozen), bell pepper, and baby carrots
1/4 C liquid egg whites
1 package Tofu Shirataki noodles, drained according to package instructions
sriracha, to taste

directions:
1. Slice your tofu into 1″ squares. In a small container, combine your teriyaki sauce and garlic. Add tofu and toss to coat. Let it marinade in the fridge for at least an hour.
2. Preheat your oven to 400°. Place your tofu squares on a small baking sheet coated with PAM and bake for 30-40 minutes, flipping halfway through.
3. While your tofu is baking, coat a large nonstick skillet with PAM and stir fry your vegetables over medium heat until softened.
4. Push the veggies over to one side of the pan and pour the liquid egg whites in the empty section. Scramble and then stir cooked eggs into the veggie mix.
5. Add the remaining teriyaki sauce, stir fry sauce, and noodles; toss to coat. Lower the heat, and cover until tofu is ready.
6. Top your noodles with the baked tofu squares, a drizzle of sriracha and enjoy!

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Shredded Chicken 3 Ways: Baked Chicken Eggrolls + Peanut Dipping Sauce

Here is your third and final variation of this week’s shredded chicken! If you missed out, check out Monday’s grocery list, prep directions, and BBQ chicken, as well as Tuesday’s no mayo chicken salad.

Shredded chicken 3 ways: Baked Chicken Eggrolls + Peanut Dipping Sauce

Baked Chicken Eggrolls + Peanut Dipping Sauce

ingredients per 3.5 oz serving of plain chicken:
2 T Soy Vay teriyaki marinade
2 green onions, chopped
2 t fresh ginger, shredded
1 t garlic, minced
1/2 t chili pepper flakes
2 eggroll wrappers
2 T PB2
1 T sesame oil
1 T soy sauce
1 packet of Splenda
PAM Original nonstick spray

directions:
1. Preheat your oven to 400° and coat a baking sheet with PAM
2. Add the Soy Vay to your shredded chicken. If you don’t want to go all the way through with making the eggrolls and prefer to use your Asian chicken on a salad or sandwich, stop here!
3. To the chicken, add your green onions, ginger, garlic, and chili pepper flakes

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4. Lay your eggroll wrappers on the baking sheet, rotating them so they are diamond rather than square or rectangular shape. Place your chicken near the bottom corner closest to you and wrap the corner up. Then fold in the sides and continue to roll. Dip your finger in a little water to seal the open flap.

DSC_1331

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5. After sealing your eggrolls, bake them in the oven for 10-15 minutes, rotating halfway through. The wrappers should be slightly browned and crisp when they’re done.
6. While they’re in the oven, prepare the dipping sauce by combining the PB2, sesame oil, soy sauce and Splenda in a small bowl. Refrigerate until you’re ready to serve.

Shredded chicken 3 ways: Baked Chicken Eggrolls + Peanut Dipping Sauce | The Slender Student

Recipe inspired by Just A Taste

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Shredded Chicken 3 Ways: No Mayo Chicken Salad

Remember yesterday’s shredded chicken prep? Well here’s how to turn a serving or two of the plain stuff into my super simple no mayo chicken salad. Want a bonus round? Use the same recipe for tuna salad or egg salad.

Shredded chicken 3 ways: No Mayo Chicken Salad | The Slender Student

No Mayo Chicken Salad

ingredients per desired 3.5 ounce serving of plain chicken:
2 T fat free Greek yogurt
1/2 t mustard
1 T Craisins
2 T chopped celery
salt and pepper to taste

directions:
1. Combine everything in a plastic bowl or bag and refrigerate. Aaaaand…yeah, that’s it.

Be sure and come back tomorrow for my Asian take on the shredded chicken! You can use it for salads, stir fries, or as I’ll show you, in a delicious baked eggroll.

If you appreciate the ease of simply heating up a nutritious meal that you actually prepared, try some of my other make-ahead meals: Recipe Week 1Recipe Week 2My Fit Dupes, and, of course, Overnight Oats.

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