Some weekends fly by so quickly that Monday hits and you realize you didn't do a thing to prepare for the week ahead. Thankfully Monday is a perfect day to jump-start the rest of the week by making dinner and packing yourself a few workday lunches at the same time. Here are five quick ways to turn Monday's dinner into lunch for the rest of the week.
The Basic Strategy
Double one or two components from dinner and turn those into lunch for the week. Pairing cooked proteins with a few kitchen basics and fresh vegetables makes Friday's lunch even more appealing than Monday's dinner.
1. Roast an extra chicken.
Or even just pick up an extra rotisserie chicken when you run by the store on Monday evening. Roasted chicken (or slow-cooker pulled pork that you started before work) can be Monday's dinner and then turned into sandwiches, burritos, ramen, or rice bowls throughout the week. Alternatively you can marinate and roast firm tofu or cook up hard-boiled eggs instead of meaty proteins for the week ahead.
2. Up the sides.
Pasta, grain, bean, and vegetable sides are easy to double and super-versatile. A humble pot of beans can be turned into simple salads or bean burgers. Grains become hearty salads that last all week. Roast a few extra sweet potatoes to turn into a base for lunches throughout the week.
3. Add something fresh.
While your chicken and vegetables are roasting, set to work slicing and dicing vegetables, washing salad greens, and setting up containers. Make a quick vinaigrette. After dinner, when all the leftovers are cool, you can easily pack the empty lunch containers with the leftovers or you can toss leftover chicken, beans, and some of the fresh-cut vegetables with the vinaigrette you made to become a different meal for lunches all week.
What is your favorite way to repurpose leftovers for lunches?