I love spending time in the kitchen and I hope to help you find the love too!

- Erin

Culinary Collaboration 4: Not-So-Basic Brown Bag

Culinary Collaboration 4: Not-So-Basic Brown Bag

I currently have the luxury of working from home so my lunch can be a little more evolved. I understand that 95% of people do not have this advantage, including my husband. Personally, I can only eat a deli sandwich and yesterday’s leftovers so many days before I’m tempted to just go out for lunch. We are lucky that healthier options are more prevalent, it is most likely it won’t be as good as bringing your own; for both health and cost.

I’ve have created a this CC to focus on your lunch. If you are like me, you can bring one each day or if you can tolerate the same meal, these recipes will set you up for weeks! Back in my office days I would hear coworkers start asking each other what that wonderful smell was when I returned with my warmed meal. I am not above taking a compliment for my food… Its my favorite kind of compliment. I hope these recipes make you look forward to your lunch and possibly become the envy of your coworkers.

While I’m focusing on lunch, this could absolutely translate into an easy week of dinners! All of these can be made with or without meat.

Note: I’m assuming you are prepping for 2 - This means it’s a half recipe to create 2 lunches. I’ve made this assumption for the grocery list and the amounts in the prep area but be sure to cut amounts in half when prepping!

CC4 Meals

Pantry Items

  • Quinoa

  • Hot Sauce

  • Dried Dill

  • Fajita Seasoning

  • Soy Sauce / Coconut Aminos

  • Ground Ginger

  • Sriracha

  • Balsamic Vinegar

  • Curry Powder

  • Sea Salt

  • Jasmine Rice

  • Olive Oil

  • Minced Garlic

  • Homemade Broth

Grocery List

*Meal prep for 2. This list will provide ingredients for 2 servings of each recipe


  • 1 Bunch Kale

  • 2 lemons

  • 1 small bell pepper

  • 1 red onion

  • 1 bag baby carrots (or precut matchsticks)

  • 1 cucumber

  • 1 bag/container of baby spinach

  • 1 bag/container of Arugula

  • 2 Avocado

  • 1 Lime

  • 1/2 pound Brussel Sprouts

  • 1 bunch escarole lettuce (or use all spinach)

  • 1 container cherry tomatoes

  • 1 apple

  • 1 head cauliflower


  • 3 chicken breasts (or 5 thighs)

  • 1 package Gilbert’s kale chicken sausages


  • Crumbled Feta

  • Plain greek yogurt

  • Small Cream Cheese


  • 1 can black beans

  • 1 can Coconut Milk


  • Sunflower seeds 

Meal Prep

*Meal prep for 2. This list will provide amounts for 2 servings of each recipe. My recommendation is to make everything on Sunday so you are ready to take on the week! This will take 2 hours max.

  1. Heat 3/4 cup broth in sauce pot and cook 1/2 cup quinoa

  2. In another sauce pot, start boiling chicken (you could also make a whole roasted chicken and use that meat)

  3. While quinoa cooks, chop 1/2 cup packed kale

  4. Slice carrots (1 cup) and cucumber (1/2 cup) into matchsticks

  5. When quinoa is done, use the same dish and cook 1 1/4 Cups of Jasmine Rice with 2 1/2 cups water or broth (or combination)

  6. While rice cooks, strain and rinse black beans

  7. Make dressing for Power Bowl, Salad, and Curry Bowl

  8. Shred Chicken

  9. Finish Quinoa & Kale Bowl

    1. Sauté 1/2 bell pepper and 1/4 cup red onion with a little olive oil

    2. Add 1 TBS soy sauce, 1/2 TBS sriracha, and 1/4 tsp ground ginger, stir

    3. Add kale to quinoa, top with 1/2 tbs lemon juice and salt. Mix all

    4. Cook over medium low heat for 10 minutes or until onion and pepper are softened

    5. Mix onions and pepper with quinoa mixture.

    6. Top with shredded chicken and feta. Store in fridge and reheat to eat

  10. Slice Cherry Tomatoes in half (~35)

  11. Finish the Rice & Sausage lunch

    1. Slice Gilberts and sear

    2. Mix garlic, olive oil, lemon juice and salt. Mix with 1 cup rice.

    3. Split 1 cup rice, 1/2 cup carrots, 1 cup spinach, Gilberts into 2 lunch containers. Put cucumbers into a separate container to add after reheating.

  12. Finish the Power Bowl

    1. Arugula, tomato, carrots, and beans(mixed with fajita seasoning and lime juice).

    2. Keep 1/2 avocado with each dish to add the day of

    3. Keep rice and chicken (optional) separate if you want to heat up before

  13. Finish Crunch Desk Salad

    1. Chop up brussel sprouts finely and mix with lettuce

    2. Top with sunflower seeds, tomatoes, and shredded chicken

    3. Add in avocado the day of

  14. Finish up the curry bean bowl

    1. Put cauliflower in food processor and blend until you have 3/4 cup

    2. Cauliflower in pan and cook for 8 min

    3. Add in sriracha, garlic, cream cheese and curry powder

    4. Add coconut milk, salt and pepper

    5. Mix in beans

    6. Keep beans, yogurt, rice, and tomatoes separate until the day of eating

  15. Done!

Order / Notes:

  • Use Jasmine rice for the powerbowl

  • Use spinach in the salad if you want to reduce the amount of greens you buy

  • Use any leftover ingredients for dinner sides (think roasted cauliflower and/or carrots, side salads)

  • Eat the curried bean bowl early in the week or wait to assemble until the night before

*This will cost around $30 which means $3/lunch.

*This took me 2.5 hours while I was recording so it shouldn’t take anyone more than 2 hours especially if they have help

Culinary Collaboration 5: Cauliflower

Culinary Collaboration 5: Cauliflower

Culinary Collaboration 3: New Year Detox

Culinary Collaboration 3: New Year Detox