Even though meal planning is a great idea to ensure you have healthy lunches all week, we can never seem to cross it off our To-Do lists. Instead, we usually rely on making large batches of dinner the night before and packing those leftovers into our bento box for lunch the next day.
But eating the same meal for two days can definitely get boring. That’s why we decided to get creative with our leftovers. When storing leftovers, pack the “bases” of foods (think whole grains, protein and veggies) in separate containers. Then, mix and match to create a new dish. Think of it as a shortcut to meal planning!
The main dish in our large bento container is a combination of a couple different leftover components. We combined brown rice with ground chicken and spinach, then added some garlic, salt and pepper.
If you have leftover French bread that’s starting to go stale, don’t throw it out! Arrange the bread on a single layer on a baking sheet. In a small bowl, combine olive oil, garlic, rosemary or thyme (or whatever herb is your favorite). Spread a thin layer of the mixture on the bread and broil the bread 5 to 6 inches from heat for 1 to 2 minutes on each side or until golden.
This crunchy snack works as croutons on a salad, crackers in a soup or are delicious on their own.
We also added in some carrots, green beans and ranch dressing to round out this lunch. Lastly, we drew a cat face on our clementine to add some cheer to this bento box.