I always have a hard time coming up with lunch ideas. Really, as a meal, it’s pretty inconveniently timed – right in the middle of work, school, and baby naps and feedings. Usually what happens is that I end up not having time to stop and even think about lunch until about 1 pm, by which point I’m starving and will eat just about anything and everything I can find.
Meal prep has helped me so much with getting healthier lunches faster. I love easy grab and go items like pitas, or quick salads which can be put together in minutes if veggies are pre-washed and chopped. However, both of those items can get a bit bland and boring without some sort of spread to liven them up.
The problem with most veggie spread recipes out there is that they call for cream cheese, which is delicious, but not the most nutritious. I much prefer to sub protein-rich greek yogurt, but those recipes tend to rely on pre-mixed dressing packages which often contain ingredients that are neither clean nor pronounceable. Is this really what you want to put in your body when you could eat REAL food instead?
This spread goes together quickly with a food processor, and you can store it in the fridge to use throughout the week. It is loaded with vegetables, and is perfect for spreading on sandwiches, topping grilled chicken or fish, or drizzling over salad (thin it out with milk if you want a more traditional salad dressing consistency). You can also customize it with any vegetables or seasonings you like – these are some of my favorite suggestions, but I often vary it with whatever is in the fridge!
Ridiculously Easy Veggie Spread
Makes approximately 4 cups of spread
1/2 c. each of red onion, celery, red pepper, and cauliflower (or sub veggies of your choice)
2 c. fresh spinach
2-3 cloves of garlic, peeled
1 c. plain greek yogurt
1/2 t. thyme
1 t. dill
Salt and pepper to taste
Roughly chop large vegetables and add to food processor, along with spinach and garlic. Process until finely ground, then add greek yogurt and spices. Process until well mixed (or stir by hand). Feel free to adjust measurements on ingredients if you would like your spread to be thicker/thinner.
Today, I was able to put together lunch in less than five minutes by smearing this veggie spread inside a whole-wheat pita pocket, adding additional spinach and chopped chicken that I grilled last night, and then reheating leftover spaghetti squash on the side! Hubby and I also picked up some great strawberries yesterday, so I put those on my plate as well (I shared with him – not all those are mine!).
Do you have a go-to lunch recipe?