Make more today – enjoy a stress-free lunch break tomorrow.
On those days when I’m neither eating out with clients at some restaurant nor quickly stopping by at home to take Cookie out for a walk, my team and I usually work and eat at the office.
Come 12pm, the choice is yours: go eat out again (which we are usually tired of), quickly walk by to the grocery store to grab a salad, get Asian takeaway, order sushi, or heat up something you brought from home. On many days, I actually enjoy taking a quick walk and buying a fresh salad. But after a while, one gets tired of seeing the same choices and eating packaged food. So when we cook re-heatable dishes the night before, I just cook more and save a portion for lunch the next day!
Not all recipes are suitable for reheating of course. When I think of pasta or a steak (that was once juicy and medium-rare) coming out of a microwave, I cringe. But I do have some go-to leftover dishes that can taste even better the next day, so here are my top 5:
Risottos are great for reheating in the microwave; the rice tends to dry out a bit over night, but since it still absorbs liquids easily, all you need to do is add a little water to my tupperware, stir it up a bit, and reheat.
I’ve posted the recipe of my favorite chicken-vegetable risotto here!
2.) Pulled Pork & Guacamole Wraps
Who would’ve thought, but pulled pork (or beef) is actually so great for reheating. Make sure that you save the broth developing in your casserole dish in a separate container, and add a few spoons to your meat the next morning.
Beware that pulled beef takes a long time to make in the first place, so this is actually the perfect Sunday dinner / Monday lunch dish. It’s very easy to make, it just needs about 8-10 hours in the oven. Personally, I wouldn’t feel comfortable leaving the oven on for an entire day while I’m at work.
We’ve recently come across this amazing recipe that’s easy and very yummy. We altered it a bit, we just bought whole-wheat tortilla wraps, avocados for the guacamole, some sour cream and some salsa. The pulled pork we made in the oven with a clay pot since we didn’t have a slow cooker. It came out perfectly.
Now all you need to do is take a wrap and an avocado to work (in addition to the meat) – and then you just prepare the rest at work, easy!
3.) Stir-Fried Thai Coconut Curry
This one is so easy-peasy, you won’t even need a recipe. I literally just heat up some coconut oil in my wok and throw in whatever meat and vegetables I feel like. I stir-fry everything, add some spices and curry paste, then add a small glass of vegetable or chicken broth and let it all simmer a bit on medium heat. Once the whole thing has cooled a bit, I add coconut milk (about 1:2 water:coconut milk). I like my curries with either rice or potatoes.
Just keep a portion in the fridge and reheat in a pot or the microwave any time! This one actually freezes quite well if needed.
4.) A Hearty Soup
This is such a German thing in wintertime – the good old hotpot or stew or however you call an “Eintopf” in your country. Basically, it’s a soup that actually makes you feel full by itself, no bread needed. It is based on a bouillon soup but you add lots of veggies, potatoes or lentils, and meat (usually beef or chicken). It does take a while to boil down, but the good thing is: You can easily cook a whole pot and preserve multiple portions for the next days. It’ll only get better and better. Also, it’s super healthy and warms you up in no time.
A classic recipe: Take a big pot and heat up a piece of butter. Chop up onions, carrots, potatoes, cabbage, any mirepoix you like, as well as a large piece of beef. Then, add vegetable broth and some spieces and herbs and boil it down for an hour or so. Chop up the meat after it’s been cooked, which gives it a juicy texture.
5.) A Layered Salad
Last but not least, you can never go wrong with a salad. I like to make mine ahead and prep it all in an upright container such as a mason jar – that way, the layers stay in place and you don’t need to keep the dressing separate!
Start with the dressing at the bottom, then add some crunchy veggies like peppers or carrots. Then, on top, I add either quinoa or bulgur (both would need to be pre-cooked and cooled a bit). Next, add soft vegetables like cucumbers, grilled pumpkin or – my favorite – avocado. You can also add some fruit, berries or pomegranate seeds. Then comes the largest layer, the lettuce. Personally, I love butterhead lettuce, baby spinach, arugula or kale in winter. Be sure to chop it up! At last, add whatever protein you like, such as chicken strips and / or some feta cheese. The choices are endless!
Since I’m always on the lookout for new, easy-to-store dishes, let me know in the comments below if you have any favorites that must be included here!
Thank you for reading!