Staying on top of what to take for lunches or having healthy options ready to go can seem intimidating. Try these big-batch salads to give yourself a head start on a busy week! These recipes use simple measurements so they are ultra flexible to halve, double or triple to fit your menu-planning and meal-prep needs.
2 bell peppers, thinly sliced
2 cups zucchini, spiraled or thinly sliced
2 cups cabbage, thinly sliced
2 cups quinoa, cooked
½ cup golden raisins
¼ cup flaxseeds
Cook quinoa according to directions on package. Prep all veggies. Once quinoa has cooled, combine with veggies, raisins and flaxseeds. Store in the fridge for up to five days. Serve with your favourite dressing.
Broccoli Cashew Salad
Try adding feta cheese or apples if desired
4 cups broccoli florets and stems, chopped
2 cups chickpeas, rinsed
1 red pepper, sliced
1 cup cashews
1 cup peanut butter balsamic dressing or dressing of your choice
Prep broccoli and pepper. Rinse chickpeas. Combine all ingredients in large bowl and mix with 1 cup of dressing. Store in the fridge for up to five days.
Peanut Butter Balsamic Dressing
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tsp brown sugar
2 tbsp peanut butter
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cup olive oil
Combine all ingredients in measuring cup, whisk well with fork until combined or process in blender. Store in the fridge for up to one week.
Three ways to make the most of big-batch cooking
Use your time wisely: Creating “picture-perfect” meal preps isn’t in the cards for all of us. Which meal of the day creates the most stress for you? If you’re going to carve out time to do one big-batch cook or prep, spend it on something that can take care of that stressful mealtime whether it be breakfasts, lunches, dinners or even snacks.
Give yourself options with basics: Try making big batches of basics like a simple green salad, rice or pasta that can be used to give leftovers a boost or be topped to fit what you’re in the mood for on a specific day.
Don’t shy away from favourites: The dishes you or your family love have become favourites for a reason! Keeping a few classic dishes in the freezer is the safety net of meal planning or food prep. Use them after a long day or when you just can’t figure out what you feel like eating.