Thursday: Copycat Starbuck Protein Bistro Boxes

This lunch is one of my favorite go-tos! The ingredients are cheap and there’s hardly any prep work outside of throwing items in a container. If you’ve ever had a Starbucks Protein Bistro Box, you know how good they are, but also how expensive. It is soooo much cheaper to make these on your own!

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Starbucks’ Protein Bistro Box

I packed a cluster of red grapes, hardboiled eggs (one for me, two for Joel,) a slice of multigrain bread cut into triangles, monterey jack cheese squares, an apple, and a side of peanut butter.   I prefer sliced apples to dip in my peanut butter, but I cut them when I set down to eat my meal. Apple slices turn brown too quickly after cut, and I don’t like how the tartness that lemon juice adds when trying to preserve them. Has anyone found a good way to keep apple slices from browning?

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My homemade protein bistro box

I love how easy this meal is to throw together and how tasty everything is combined as a meal! The sweet grapes and apples are balanced well with the salty egg and cheese and peanut butter is one of my absolute favorites so you can’t beat that!

What was your Thursday lunch?

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Tuesday: Salad with Grilled Chicken/Turkey Sandwich

For today’s lunch, Joel had exactly what I had yesterday. The only difference is he had a whole sandwich, while I only had a half.

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Joel’s turkey sandwich and sides

I had a salad. I much prefer spinach/arugula salads over lettuce salads. I am okay with lettuce if it is romaine and really green but I can’t stand white watery iceberg lettuce…yuck. My salad base was mixed greens and my toppings were blue cheese, blueberries, sliced almonds, and grilled chicken strips. I used a creamy poppyseed dressing. I know creamy dressings aren’t the healthiest, but I prefer a pretty dry salad so I probably don’t even use a teaspoon of dressing. For the sake of time in meal prep, I use pre-sliced Perdue grilled chicken slices, rather than  grilling and slicing my own.

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For my side, I had a pack of cheese and cracker sticks made by Laughing Cow. These are a throwback to the Kraft Handi-Snacks of elementary school, but healthier and just as tasty!

What was on your lunch menu for Tuesday?

Carrot Cake Overnight Oats

I am a fan of oatmeal and I have been seeing a lot online recently about “overnight oats” so I couldn’t wait to try it out!

Carrot cake

The concept behind overnight oats is pretty easy. You let your oats soak in milk overnight, and by the morning, they are “cooked” and ready to eat! You can eat it cold, or stick it in the microwave for a bit to warm it up.

There are a million concoctions and recipes out there, but I decided to try carrot cake for my first attempt. It was super easy to put together and turned out pretty good. I have to leave for work at 7:30 a.m. so I love meals that I prepare the night before and grab and go in the morning as I am heading out the door.

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What you need:

-1/2 cup oats of your choice (I used old fashioned oats, but also got some steal cut oats to try out at some point)
-1/2 cup milk of your choice (I used unsweetened vanilla almond milk)
-1/2 mashed banana
-Pinch of carrot shavings
-1/2 tsp maple syrup
-1/4 tsp vanilla extract
-1/4 tsp of cinnamon
-Pinch of nutmeg
-Small handful of chopped pecans

What to do:

  1. Mix all ingredients together in a small mason jar or other airtight container. Be sure to cover all the oats in milk so they can soak up the liquid.

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  2. Place jar in the refrigerator overnight.

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  3. In the morning, add any garnishments you’d like, such as another pinch of cinnamon, a few additional carrot shavings or pecans, etc.
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That’s it! It is seriously so easy. The suggested oats to ilk ratio is 1:1, but you can play around with this to make the yogurt the consistency you desire. There are unlimited combinations you could make with this basic formula. I’m really excited to experiment with some new concoctions and flavors!