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Easy Make-Ahead, Healthy Paleo and Gluten-Free Lunch Ideas

Sep 10, 2015 | Roundups | 0 comments

It’s September!!! The temperatures are cooling down (even here in Texas!), school has started, football has kicked off, and the days are getting shorter – even though you have more on your to-do lists!

Sometimes it feels like you don’t have even 15 minutes to pack a healthy lunch for yourself much less your kiddos, right?

This week we wanted to show you how easy packing a week's worth of healthy Paleo or Gluten-free lunches could be. The chart below shows you a week's worth of entrees and sides that are easy to prep ahead and pack all week long. Simple grab from the fridge (or freezer) and go! Below the chart, we have included recipes for the Massaged Kale Salad, Popcorn Baggies and PB & J cookies. Enjoy!

Make-Ahead Lunch Ideas

Main Dish: Massaged Kale Salad

Don’t let the word “kale” scare you off! I am constantly getting subscriber feedback that “even my husband asked for seconds!” Can’t tell you how much this makes me smile! I guarantee that your kids will love it too. Kale is a nutrition-packed powerhouse: it’s low calories, high fiber, high calcium (great way to sneak some to your kids), and high in Vitamins K, A, C, among others. The salad also contains almonds, blueberries and orange segments – all antioxidant rich foods!

The other great thing about this salad: the longer it sits, the better it gets! Make a big batch and munch on it all week long.

Get the full massaged kale salad recipe here. We have even more make ahead salad ideas on the blog!

Side Dish: Spiced Popcorn Baggies

We absolutely love these tasty packs! They are perfect for a side dish – especially when you want some extra crunch – and also make great grab-and-go snacks! You can also turn our popcorn baggies into dessert by adding dried fruit and chocolate chips.

Try mixing things up and making the baggies seasonal. This fall, I am loving adding pumpkin pie spice and pumpkin seeds to the popcorn. Dried cranberries, pecans and cinnamon are another great combo. Or go spicy and add pepita nuts, chili powder, and a touch of cayenne. The possibilities are endless – have fun with it and get your kids involved in the prep work.

Read about our popcorn baggies and other great gluten-free snacks here.

Dessert: Prep ahead Peanut Butter, Chocolate Chip cookies:

Brook and I made over 100 of these tasty treats for our wedding guests. With only 3 ingredients, they come together quickly AND, bonus here, they also freeze well. So while you are at it, make an extra batch or two to pull out over the next few weeks. 🙂

Here’s a fun idea to try: turn the PB & Chocolate cookies into PB & J cookies by subbing the chocolate chips with dried cherries or strawberries! And if you are nut-free, sub the peanut butter with sunflower seed butter. Yum!

The full recipe for our PB & Chocolate Chip cookies is here. We also love our Almond Cakes with Peaches as another make-ahead dessert idea.

We hope these ideas get you started on the right track to prepping lunches for the week! Let us know your favorite make-ahead lunch ideas in the comments below.

What is your favorite make-ahead lunch? Share your ideas and pictures on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram as @prepdish in all 3 places, or leave a comment below.

Beginner Menu Guide

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Allison Schaaf Chef, Prep Dish

Prep Dish is a gluten-free, paleo, and keto meal planning website. Celebrity personal chef & dietitian Allison Schaaf thoughtfully crafts each plan using her own well-tested recipes. Each meal plan allows you, the home cook, to spend only 2-3 hours preparing a week’s worth of crave-worthy, healthy meals using seasonal, whole foods (nothing processed!). We aim to save you time while keeping your family’s taste buds happy.

Along with a weekly menu, you’ll get a printable grocery list and recipes for prep day — just one day of preparation yields scrumptious, good-for-you dishes all week long. Learn more…

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