An Uncomplicated Life Blog: Vegetarian Meal Prep Ideas

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Vegetarian Meal Prep Ideas

Meal prepping is a great way to eat healthier, eat pre-portioned food and save money

This post is sponsored by Rubbermaid®; however, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

I'll be honest with you. We spend a grotesque amount of money on food every month! My husband travels frequently and is either not home for any meals, or if he is around, he's often taking clients out. I've been an avid meal planner since I moved out on my own, but when it's just me and the kids, I'll make them something "kid friendly" for dinner and wind up eating cheese and crackers, or a bowl of cereal for myself. I'm aware that's pathetic, so I usually eat out for lunch. Now most of hubs' meals are covered by work, but mine aren't! That adds up quickly. Not to mention, as soon as these twins arrive, I'll have no leisurely time to go out to eat! It's time to dust off my old meal planning skills to fully get ready for these twins' arrival with some vegetarian meal prep ideas.


Why vegetarian when I'm not a "true" vegetarian? Can I be honest with you again? Eh, it's my blog so I'll just go ahead and take the liberty. Meal prep containers like these Rubbermaid® TakeAlongs® Meal Prep ones are genius! They portion out your food and the divider allows you to have more than one main dish without everything running together. They're microwave safe so you can prepare hot or cold meals to take with you. And if you click here, they're less than $8 at Walmart! The kicker is that I cannot stand the smell of microwaved meat! I cannot do it. I also don't allow it in my home - if my husband wants to reheat something I've made with meat in it, he knows he has to use the stove. Am I the only one who can smell that? Does it bother anyone else? Please tell me I'm not alone!


Bottom line, when I decided to partner with Rubbermaid® to bring you some great meal prep ideas, I knew instantly that they'd have to be vegetarian so that you could heat them up for a hot lunch, grab them right out of the fridge for an easy cold lunch, or even keep them room temp in your purse, desk drawer, gym bag or car because when there's no meat to spoil, your meals become a whole lot more flexible! I also want to show you that just because a meal is vegetarian doesn't mean it can't be packed with protein that keeps you fuller, longer. Also, since it's plant based, it's usually far more nutrient dense and contains heart healthy fats, not the saturated fats from animals. Win win!


Vegetarian Meal Prep Idea: Super Power Quinoa Salad 

My mom has made this quinoa salad for years now, and I literally just got the recipe from her for this post! It's the perfect balance of protein (did you know that quinoa is a complete protein, containing all 9 essential amino acids. Thought you had to eat animal flesh for that? Wrong! It's also rich in fiber, magnesium, B-vitamins, iron, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, vitamin E and antioxidants, making it one of my favorite super-foods to eat!) salty elements from the feta, sweet from the blueberries, and tangy from the vinaigrette. 

Pairing it with fresh hummus adds a texture balance to the meal, contrasting the smooth creaminess of the hummus with the chewiness of the super power quinoa salad. Add crudites (sliced fresh veggies) to keep your lunch lighter, or add rice crackers for some salty crunch and more carbohydrates. When you meal plan, you have more control over what each meal looks like and what goes into your body to meet your own nutritional needs!

Super Power Quinoa Salad:
- 1 cup quinoa, cooked in salted water
- 3 celery stalks, diced into bite sized pieces
- 3 green onions, thinly sliced
- 3/4 cup fresh blueberries
- 3/4 cup feta cheese
- 1/2 cup fresh flat leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
- 1/4 fresh mint, chopped
- 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 celery seed
- 1/4 salt
- 1/4 pepper
- 1/4 red pepper flake

Cook the quinoa in half the water the package calls for and well salted. After the water is absorbed, leave covered on the stove for a half hour to steam. Allow to cool fully before adding it to the vinaigrette, fruit and veggie mixture or your veggies will cook wilt and your berries will get mushy!



While the quinoa is cooking and cooling, stir together the remaining ingredients EXCEPT the feta in a large bowl. Once the quinoa is completely cool, mix it in. Portion the quinoa salad into the TakeAlongs® Meal Prep containers. Add your desired sides and store covered in the fridge. Add the feta cheese before you pack the meal in your bag for work, the gym, or whatever outing you're going on.




I used store bought hummus on the side, but it's super easy to make your own, too! If you're looking for more variety in your lunches, change up the sides: make some with hummus and crackers, some with a side of fresh fruit, some with a side salad or cottage cheese, etc. Keeping the main dish the same but changing up the sides and the snacks you pack is a great way to keep meal planning simple but diverse enough so that you don't get sick of it.


Like it? Pin it!

If you want to be healthier, stay in budget, and take control of what you're putting in your body, meal planning is the way to go! Avoid takeout and fast food, take an hour over the weekend and plan what your weekday lunch is going to be. Use Rubbermaid® TakeAlongs® Meal Prep containers to portion it all out and store it in your fridge, then grab one and put it in your bag before you leave for the day! Or if you're like me and work from home, just grab one out of the fridge for lunch. The Super Power Quinoa Salad holds up for days and is a super healthy vegetarian meal prep idea to keep you on track as we head into the holiday season.

8 comments:

  1. I photographed a fundraising conference here recently. What a wonderful place for photos. I almost always hate being anywhere at 6am, but this breakfast event proved an exception. The LA venue manger and his staff were extremely professional.

    ReplyDelete
  2. This quinoa salad sounds so good! I will definitely have to try it for my next meal prep!

    ReplyDelete
  3. This quinoa salad looks so good. I love the idea of adding fruit to it. I am going to give this a try asap.

    XOXO
    Elizabeth Keene

    http://www.akeenesenseofstyle.com/

    ReplyDelete
  4. Those look like really great Tubberware. The quinoa salad looks really delicious and great as a light lunch.

    ReplyDelete
  5. That quinoa looks delicious! My boys are vegetarian, so we end up eating that way 90% of the time. I get what you mean about the smell. :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. Ooh this looks so yummy! I love quinoa :)

    Kasey Ma
    thestylewright.com

    ReplyDelete
  7. OK I am in need of these rubbermaid containers! So helpful for the girl who loves to meal prep!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Meal prepping is the only way I get to eat lunch, now. We have some glass containers, but these seem PERFECT for needing something on-the-go!

    ReplyDelete