In an ideal world, we would meal prep and have all our week's lunches ready to go every Sunday night. But some of us just don't have the time (or inclination) to do so.
That's where dinners that double up as leftovers come in.
Unlike burgers or tacos (*sigh*), these 10 dinners make awesome leftovers -- in fact, they even taste better, and some are actually more nutritious, the following day. Plus, you'll be saving all the cashola you usually spend on buying lunch every day.
Spag bol is a classic dinner dish that makes delicious leftovers for lunch. Simply double (or, for more lunches, quadruple) your favourite recipe. To switch things up, go for a recipe you've never tried before, like spicy arrabiata penne or vegan pea pesto pasta with sun-dried tomatoes and rocket.
On top of being delicious, did you know that eating reheated cooked pasta is actually healthier? Cooking pasta, cooling it and reheating changes the structure of the pasta, turning it into "resistant starch". This type of starch is resistant to the normal enzymes in our gut that break down carbs and releases glucose, which typically causes a spike in blood sugar. The same goes for potatoes, too.
Curry is one of those dishes that tastes more incredible as time goes on. The flavours seem to marry and develop, making each sitting slightly different. Curries are also super simple to make. All you need to do is chuck everything in a pot and let it simmer for as long as you like. If you want the benefits of resistance starch, be sure to add potatoes to your curry.
Not only is lasagna the ultimate comfort food, but it also makes perfect leftovers for lunch. Make a big lasagna, divvy up the portions and pop them in the fridge or freezer for lunch throughout the week.
4. Shepherd's pie
Feel like something hearty without the fuss? Shepherd's pie is one of the easiest warming meals you can chuck together. Simply cook your base (you can use meat or lentils with veggies, or just plain veg), top it with creamy potato mash (more resistant starch!) and bake until golden.
5. Chilli con carne
While it might be difficult to take tacos or burritos to work (without major spillage and sogginess), you can bring those delicious flavours in the form of chilli con carne. To make a pot of hearty chilli con carne, all you need to do is chuck in beans, meat, veggies, herbs and spices, and simmer until rich and delicious.
6. Stir fry
For a lighter dinner/lunch, try one of the countless delectable stir fry recipes out there. Tip: to keep the veggies crisp, reduce the stir frying time so, by the time you've reheated the meal, they will still be fresh.
We all want and need pizza every now and again. Make or buy a pizza base (go for wholemeal if you can), add your favourite toppings, bake until crispy and portion into containers. As long as you reheat your pizza correctly (on a sandwich toaster is ideal), your pizza will be amazing.
Here's a recipe for the easiest wholemeal pizza dough if you feel like starting from scratch. For toppings, try a classic Margherita or for a more nutritious lunch option, give this eggplant, pesto and goat's cheese pizza a go.
Stews might not look the prettiest (compared to pizza anyway) but they are delicious, especially when they've been slow cooked for hours. And there's an array of flavour-packed recipes to try to suit your taste preferences.
9. Roast chicken with veggies
To bring those Sunday roast vibes through the week, why not roast a chicken with tonnes of herbs, garlic and veggies. Once the roast is done, carve the meat into appropriate portions and serve with the vegetables in containers for the next few days.
10. Stuffed capsicums
If you haven't already, you need to try capsicums stuffed with flavourful fillings from your favourite cuisines. Play around with various fillings (try different types of grains, herbs, spices, vegetables and protein), stuff into hollowed out capsicums and roast until tender.
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