Two Quick and Easy Protein Bowl Lunches

spinachpestobowl

I work downtown and pick up my lunch quite a bit… Although I feel that I generally make good choices (the Protein Bar, Pret and Panera are my go to destinations for a quick lunch), there are some downsides to eating out at work.  Cost is one of those downsides.  I spent over $60 at Protein Bar alone last month.  The other pitfall has to do with the lack of planning involved in picking up lunch on the go.  If you aren’t planning your meals at all, you’ll be more likely to make poor food choices.

In an effort to save a few bucks and undertake some short-term meal prep, I headed to the grocery store to pick up supplies for a couple of my favorite lunches.  Both of these are inspired by the Protein Bar (let’s see how many times I can mention them on this post…).  Here’s my take on a do it yourself Spinach & Pesto Quinoa Bowl and the Healthy Parm.

spinachpestobowl

chickenparmbowl2

I’m not in the business of recipes so the ingredient list is simple, measurements are approximate and your results may vary.  The instructions are basically cook it up, pack it up, heat it up. If I can do it, anyone can – probably better.

You’ll cook all of the chicken at once and prepare and package both meals. Layer the pre-cooked ingredients and then the rest in the order shown below. If you are really ambitious you might prepare lunches for the entire week. Pack the ingredients into your portable container of choice and keep them in the fridge for up to 5 days max (2-3 days max will taste better). When you’re ready for lunch you can mix the ingredients and microwave for 3-4 minutes. HEAT, EAT, ENJOY!

Some of the ingredients you will use for both protein bowls – chicken, quinoa (I ran out of quinoa so I substituted whole grain pasta in the Parm bowl), and Parmesan cheese.

grilledchickenRinseQuinoafreshparm

Spinach & Pesto Bowl

1 Cup Quinoa

1 Grilled Chicken Breast

2 Tbsp Fresh Pesto

Baby Spinach

Parmesan Cheese

cookedquinoachickenandquinoapestochickenquinoapestospinachquinoaspinachpestoparm

Chicken Parm Bowl

1 Cup Whole Grain Pasta

Marinara (About a cup? – no need to heat)

1 Grilled Chicken Breast

Parmesan Cheese

cookedpastasaucepastasaucechickenfreshparmchickenparmbowl

And there you have it… two quick, easy, portable, healthy, protein-packed and just plain BETTER options for lunch. Happy eating!

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