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Wellness -

High Protein, Packable Lunches

We all know that nutrition and how we fuel our body is important. But for many of us, cooking meals may feel daunting or maybe, it’s simply something that you do not enjoy doing (no judgment here). Tack on the hundreds of other “to dos” that might be on your list at any given moment and sometimes, our meals, or their nutritional value, takes a backseat. But fear not–we’ve got a solution. 

From simple wraps that bring you back to the days of bag lunches to warm and nourishing barbecue bowls to some simple chopped salads, we pulled together a short list of some of our favorite, protein packed lunches that will not only hit the spot (the most obvious requirement) but keep you full and fueled for the afternoons ahead. And yes, any of these can be made for dinner or heck, breakfast. Whatever your palette fancies. 

Chicken Fajita Bowls

Ingredients

  • 1½ lbs Chicken Breasts

  • 1 can Salsa Verde

  • 1-2 bell peppers

  • 1 sweet or yellow onion

  • 1-2 cans black beans

  • 1-2cup long-grain white rice

  • 2-4 cups water

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil

  • 1 Tsp Chili Powder

  • ½ Tsp Cumin

  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder

  • ½ Tsp Oregano

  • Salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste

  • Lime wedges

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400ºF and line a baking tray with parchment paper.

  2. Next, bring water and salt for rice to a boil.* Cups of water depends on whether you’re cooking 1 or 2 cups of rice. PRO TIP: for added protein and gut health benefits, cook your rice in bone broth.

  3. Once at a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover, and let simmer for 20 minutes.

  4. Next, add chopped peppers, onions, olive oil, and seasonings to a bowl. Mix to combine.

  5. Place the vegetables on single layer on the prepared baking tray and bake for about 20 minutes, or until cooked through and golden brown.

  6. While the vegetables is roasting, add chicken breast and the entire jar of salsa verde to a crock pot. 

  7. Set on HIGH and let cook for 4 hours. Once cooked, shred your chicken.

  8. To assemble the bowls (utilize meal prep containers!), add 1/2 cup cooked rice to each, then add chicken, veggies and black beans, and a squeeze of lime, spreading evenly between 4 (like-sized) containers.

*If you have a rice cooker or instant pot, that can be utilized accordingly for cooking the rice.

Chopped Cabbage Slaw Salad with Seared Salmon Bites

Ingredients*

  • 1 bag Trader Joe’s broccoli carrot slaw

  • ½ head purple cabbage

  • 2 tbsp. olive oil

  • 4-5 salmon filet

  • 1 tsp. Paprika

  • 1 tsp. Garlic powder

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • Trader Joes vegan Caesar Dressing

Instructions

  1. Heat olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat.

  2. Pat salmon dry, spray with olive oil spray and sprinkle with paprika, garlic powder, salt and pepper.

  3. Chop salmon in bite size pieces (once in half and then quarter or third each half).

  4. Sear salmon for 4-5 minutes or until you see the outside start to crisp.

  5. Meanwhile, add 2 cups chopped purple cabbage, 1-1 ½ cups chopped broccoli and carrot slaw and 2 TBSP Caesar dressing (or dressing of choice) to a bowl. Mix to combine.

  6. Top with the salmon bites and enjoy! 

*Double or triple quantities to make 2-3 bowls ahead of time.

The No-Fuss: BBQ Chicken, Broccoli and Rice Bowls

Ingredients*

  • 1 lb chicken breasts cut into 1-in cubes

  • 3 cloves garlic

  • 2-3 cups fresh broccoli florets

  • 2 TBSP olive oil

  • ¾-1 ½ cups  cups barbecue sauce

  • 1 TBSP paprika

  • 2 TBSP garlic powder

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • 2 cups hot cooked rice

Instructions

Option 1

  1. Spray your grill with cooking spray and pre-heat to about 500º F.

  2. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 400ºF.

  3. Add 1 TBSP olive oil, salt, pepper, 1 TBSP garlic power and paprika to a bowl. Add chicken and toss to combine.

  4. In a separate bowl, add salt, pepper, 1 TBSP garlic powder, a dash of olive oil and your broccoli florets. Toss to combine.

  5. Roast for 20-25 minutes. 

  6. Once the grill is hot, cook the chicken breast, until tender–about 5 minutes on each side depending on the thickness.

  7. Remove from the grill and let sit. 

  8. While the broccoli is roasting and the chicken is cooking, make your rice.

    1. Option 1: Depending on how many servings you’re looking to make, bring enough water and salt to a boil to accommodate the number of cups of rice (ex. 2 cups of water for 1 cup of rice).

    2. Once at a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover, and let simmer for 20 minutes.

    3. Option 2: Cook desired amount of rice in an Instant Pot or rice cooker. Try this recipe for Coconut RIce. 

  9. To build your bowls, cut the chicken into bite size pieces. Add about ¾-1 cup of rice to your serving containers (or bowls if you’re eating right now!), along with 4-5 ounces of chicken 1 cup of broccoli. Top with the barbecue sauce (about ¾ cup total) and enjoy!

Option 2

  1. Add 1 TBSP olive oil to a skillet and heat over medium-high heat. Add your chicken and garlic and saute until chicken is no longer pink.

  2. Next, add your broccoli and cook until tender–about 10 minutes. 

  3. Reduce the heat to low, and add the BBQ sauce (1-1 ½ cups) and let simmer until the chicken is cooked all the way through.

  4. See above for rice cooking instructions.

  5. Once cooked, chop to the chicken into bite sized pieces.

  6. To build your bowls, cut the chicken into bite size pieces. Add about ¾-1 cup of rice to your serving containers (or bowls if you’re eating right now!), along with 4-5 ounces of chicken 1 cup of broccoli. Top with the barbecue sauce (about ¾ cup total) and enjoy!

*Scale as you see fit - this recipe will generate 4-6 servings 

Curry Tuna and White Bean Salad

Ingredients

  • 4 cans tuna 

  • 2 cans drained white beans 

  • 1 cup plain greek yogurt

  • 1 large avocado

  • 6 cups spring mix

  • 2 cups shredded carrots

  • 2 cups chopped celery

  • 1 TBSP curry powder or curry paste

  • 1 large red onion

  • ½ cup whtie wine vinegar

  • 1 cup water

  • 1 TBSP sugar 

  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Bring white wine vinegar, water and sugar to a boil. 

  2. Chopped the red onion into long slices and add to a sealable jar (Mason Jars or other canning jars work best).

  3. Once the vinegar and water mixture is at a boil, remove from heat and pour over red onion slices in the jar. Immediately lid and seal and let cool on the counter. 

  4. Once the jar has cooled, place in the fridge for a minimum of 3 hours (overnight is best).

  5. Next, in a large mixing bowl, add tuna, white beans, greek yogurt, curry, salt and pepper, and ½ avocado. Mix to combine. 

  6. Divide the spring mix across 4 containers. Next, do the same with your carrots and celery. 

  7. Finally, top the salad mix with your curry tuna and white beans, dividing evenly across the 4 containers. 

  8. When ready to eat, top with your favorite dressing and pickled red onions.  

Low-Carb, High Protein Grilled Chicken Caesar Wrap

Ingredients

  • 3 whole Ole Xtreme wraps

  • 1-1 ½ lb chicken breast (should cook up to be about 3-4 cups shredded chicken breast)

  • 3-4 slices of reduced fat pepper jack cheese 

  • 2 cups sliced tomatoes 

  • 1 cup sliced red onion

  • 2-3 cups chopped romaine

  • Trader Joes Caesar Dressing

  • 1 TBSP olive oil

  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions 

  1. Spray your grill with cooking spray and pre-heat to about 500º F.

  2. Add 1 TBSP olive oil, salt, pepper to a bowl. Add chicken and toss to combine.

  3. Once the grill is hot, cook the chicken breast, until tender–about 5 minutes on each side depending on the thickness.

  4. Once cooled, cut your chicken breast into slices

  5. Next, chop up your romaine, red onion and tomato. 

  6. Add chopped vegetables, caesar dressing, chicken, and salt and pepper to taste to a bowl and mix to combine. 

  7. Spread evenly across your 3 wraps and store in an airtight container or wrap in parchment paper then aluminum foil.

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