It’s common in office culture to go out and purchase a sandwich or salad, but all those restaurant meals really add up—and not just financially. A 2016 study of almost 2,000 adults found that eating out more frequently was linked to a higher body mass index and a reduced intake of nutrient-rich fruits and veggies.
Wanna break your dining-out-for-lunch habit? One way to accomplish that is by meal-prepping, which means cooking in bulk at the start of the week so your meals are ready to go in the morning when you’ve hit snooze one too many times. Meal-prepping helps you eat healthfully, save time, and reduce your food budget, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
The meal-prep recipe combines roasted chicken breast, bell peppers, brown jasmine rice, and a homemade Thai peanut sauce. It’s a simple template to follow for meal prep: a protein source, a whole grain, some veggies, and a sauce to tie it all together.
Sure, you can buy Thai peanut sauce in a jar at the store, but there are many advantages to making your own. Store-bought peanut sauce can be sky-high in sodium (from the soy sauce) and sugar. By making your own, you can limit the amount of sugar, and use liquid aminos instead of soy sauce, which is a substitute that is lower in sodium. (Bonus: It’s also a gluten-free swap for soy sauce.)
You can play this recipe to make it right for you. Try quinoa instead of rice, or baked tofu or steamed shrimp instead of chicken. Not tempted by bell peppers? Try roasted broccoli (but be warned that your microwaved broccoli is a despised smell by many office workers.) And as for the peanut sauce, you can swap in a simple lemon-tahini sauce or a North African chermoula sauce.
Adapted from Meals with Maggie.