There are sooo many things the healthy living blog community has taught me, like how to run on turd-covered horse trails, how to deal with strange ladies you encounter while out walking, and how to make chocolate oreo cookie pancakes (!!).
Also, ya know, how to work out and eat right and stuff.
But one of the things I’ve appreciated most as of late is my introduction to what I call Food Piles.
Aka: how to recycle dinner leftovers into easy, healthy lunches the next day.
Lots of my favorite bloggers are pros at this. At first, I’d try to memorize all the combos they’d come up with, doodling little ingredient lists all over the notebook I keep next to my computer.
But, eventually, I realized that the specific foods didn’t really matter. Everyone was essentially just using the same basic formula:
If you prep grains and veggies over the weekend for use during the week, this becomes a cinch. All you have to do is save some protein from dinner (we’re huge carnivores around here, so we usually have some leftover chicken, tofu, or beef), toss it onto a plate the next day with a random mix of the grains and veggies, and drizzle on some kind of sauce (or seasoning).
Boom: healthy lunch.
Here are some great examples of Food Piles I’ve seen around the blogosphere…
Caitlin @ Healthy Tipping Point combined:
Emily @ Daily Garnish combined:
Emily’s words: “Looks like slop, tastes like heaven.”
–Quinoa and lentils with roasted sweet potato, diced avocado, and marinated mushrooms (sometimes, the protein source doubles as the grain…or technically, in this case, seed)
Lindsay @ the Lean Green Bean combined:
By the way, you can find LOTS more meal ideas from Lindsay in her Weekly Eats series. (It’s awesome!)
And here are a few of my own recent creations…
(Disclaimer: I’m not a food blogger. And I’m definitely no expert at photographing food—it’s hard! I also don’t have fun dishes to display things on, so our everyday plates from Target will have to do. Ha!)
–Brown rice, pan-cooked tofu (from a stir fry the night before), carrots and broccoli (from one of those Steamfresh frozen bags), and Newman’s Own lite honey mustard dressing
–Rice & orzo pilaf from TJ’s (so good!!), spinach, green beans and red peppers (from another Steamfresh!), and leftover marinated baked chicken breast, drizzled with balsamic
–Brown rice, peas, more pan-cooked tofu, and Trader Joe’s light champagne vinaigrette dressing (best sauce EVERRR)
(Oops, burned the tofu a little that time)
I know my creations pale in comparison to what you just saw above, but that’s kinda the point. I wanted to show you some of my simplified Food Piles in case you, like me, are intimidated by the awesomeness of the other pictures.
Even I can do this! And therefore, so can you!
Do you ever make food piles? What’s your favorite combo?
And now, it’s time to announce the lucky…
The winner of the $40 lululemon gift card is: Sarah!
The winner of the chocolate goodie basket is: Nicole!
Congrats, ladies!! Please send me your info (full name/mailing address) at healthynestkim [at] gmail [dot] com so I can get your prizes on their way!
If I don’t hear from the winners by the end of the day Monday (2/18), I’ll randomly select someone else.
Thank you all so much for entering!!