I’m sure you’re thinking that you have better things to do on weekends than prepare your packed lunch for the week…and you know what, you’re probably right. However, if your budget has been a little tight lately or you are trying to eat healthy or lose weight, I can guarantee that the time spent on the weekend making beans will magically seem like a great idea.
Beans – canned or dry?
There are different points of views regarding canned beans, but first and foremost they remain a very practical and efficient way to reap the benefits of legumes. Obviously, the processes and substances they use to can beans mean that they become a processed product and thus somewhat unhealthier than buying and cooking your own.
I think what it really comes down to is the assumption we all make that making them yourself from dried beans is going to be significantly more effort. While it is a bit more time-consuming than just opening a can of black beans or chickpeas, it’s not as scary as you might assume. The thing about making a batch of beans is that once you put them in the pot with the water, they can more or less be left alone while you tackle some other activity you need to get done around the house. For some really concise and crystal-clear tips on cooking various beans, check out theKitchn‘s excellent post.
Pack lunches ahead
If you’re going to be getting a chopping board and a knife dirty, you really may as well take the opportunity to fill up 2 or 3 food containers so that you are a few lunches ahead of the game. I mean, I say this, but sometimes even I forget to do several at once. Once we get in the habit of doing it, though it will make life so much better. Nothing beats getting up in the morning and knowing that all you have to is grab your salad from the fridge before rushing out the door.
I don’t know about you, but there’s nothing I hate more than making my lunches the morning of.
The quantities listed below will make 2-3 substantial bowls of salad, depending on your appetite.
What you’ll need:
- a ripe avocado, peeled and cubed
- 2 medium-sized tomatoes, diced
- 1/2 red pepper, diced
- 1/2 medium-sized red onion, diced
- 3/4 cup corn (canned, frozen or cooked)
- 1 1/2 cup black beans (canned or cooked)
- handful of coridander, chopped
- 1/2 lime, juiced
- olive oil
- crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
- salt and pepper
- Combine the vegetables and beans in a large mixing bowl. Some might leave out the avocado till the morning of the day you’re actually going to eat the salad, but I think the lime juice in the salad does a good job with keeping it from browning.
- Add the lime juice, some olive oil and season. Divide into a few plastic containers or glass jars and place in the fridge ready to be pulled out and taken on the road.