I quite often find myself wondering, “What am I going to bring to work for lunch today?” It has to be healthy and satisfy my hunger for more than 30 minutes. I love salads and soups, but those don’t really hold me over for very long. I am gluten-free so no bread or crackers. Though there are many gluten-free options out there, I’d prefer something better than a frozen meal. I love food. I don’t just eat to fill my belly, it has to be pleasing or I’ll want to snack the rest of the day. Please tell me I’m not alone in this! My other “obstacle” is that I really just want to make lunch for the week on a Sunday afternoon, not every day. Also, I’m really not a great cook. I can follow a recipe word-for-word and I’ll still find a way to mess it up!
Inspired by my mom, who makes my dad his weekly soup, I came up with my version for healthy, quick, grab-and-go lunches. I know, I said that soup just doesn’t work for me, but my soups are always more like a stew than a soup. Now this is a free-for-all! No measuring, I just throw what I like (or what I have on hand) into a big pot and let it cook.
You can use a slow cooker, sauce pan, or Dutch oven. I use my Dutch oven (I just love my Dutch oven!).
Chop up an onion, garlic, and carrots. Turn the burner on medium/high. Drizzle a couple of tablespoons of oil (I use olive oil) in the pan. Toss in the onions, garlic, and carrots – let them cook for a couple minutes while stirring them once or twice. Now pour the broth into the pan, then fill the broth container half way with water and pour the water in too. Stir and bring to a boil. Once it starts to boil turn the heat down and let it simmer. Now for the rest of my goodies! Chop up the rest of the veggies and chicken (optional). Throw it all in the pan, add some salt, pepper, and about a cup of sauce. Stir. Put on low heat with the cover partially on. I let this sit and cook for the afternoon on the lowest heat.
- Zucchini (yellow and green)
- Kale (in this picture there are three large leaves of kale)
- Spinach (in this picture I put in approximately four large handfuls)
- Can of diced tomatoes
- Can of beans (I prefer the smaller white beans but you can use a navy, black, kidney etc.) Be sure to rinse these before you put them in the soup.
- Jar of pasta sauce (only going to use about a cup)
- Chicken – I buy a roasted chicken from Shop Rite (for about $5). I debone and remove the skin. Use the “broth” from the chicken, rinsing with a little water.
- Chicken broth (32 oz) – I use gluten-free broths
- Salt and pepper to taste