Meal Planning with Spiralized Vegetables

Meal Planning with Spiralized Vegetables

Whether you’re meal prepping today for a week of healthy lunches or you’re making dinner tonight and want leftovers for lunch tomorrow, this information is for you.

How long can I save spiralized vegetables in the refrigerator? Can they be frozen?

For your easy access, I’ve created a list of all common spiralizable vegetables. On this list, I’ve included how to prepare each vegetable, how to cook it, what its best uses are, which blade works best and most importantly, best practices for storage. To access this list, click here.

FYI: zucchini and cucumber noodles do not freeze well.

Which spiralized vegetables work best for prepared lunches?

All vegetables work best for prepared lunches. However, there are a few tips to keep in mind with certain vegetables:

  • Zucchini & Cucumbers: if using these vegetables, make sure that the noodles are separate from any sauce or dressing. By separating, you avoid excess moisture building up and making a soggy mess. If you really want to use zucchini noodles, try adding elements that will soak up that moisture (such as leafy greens – ie kale, cheese, etc)
  • Apples & Pears: fruits brown quickly and lose their crispness, so unless you’re planning on eating the meal that day or you don’t mind a little browning and soft fruit noodles, avoid spiralizing these in advance.
  • Kohlrabi, Jicama, Daikon Radishes: if you’re using these raw and fitting them into a container, beware: they’ll snap easily when packed tightly.
  • Beets: Beets are messy raw and less messy when cooked, so when packing in advance – keep this in mind and plan accordingly (wouldn’t want to ruin those slacks or that crisp white blouse at your desk, would you?)
  • Butternut Squash: If you haven’t noticed yet, butternut squashes tend to over-soften quickly when cooked – they break up easily and aren’t the sturdiest (but are dang delicious!) Keep this in mind, in case you had your heart set on a full pasta-like experience for lunch.

In general:

    • Raw
      • Zucchini (separated from sauce/dressing)
      • Cucumber (separated from sauce/dressing)
      • Onion
      • Chayote
      • Kohlrabi
      • Jicama
      • Carrot
    • Cooked
      • Potatoes (all kind)
      • Parsnip
      • Rutabaga
      • Kohlrabi
      • Daikon Radish
      • Celeriac
      • Carrot
      • Broccoli stem

Which types of spiralized meals work best for prepared lunches?

If you’ve got access to a kitchen at your office or wherever you are at lunchtime, I suggest spiralizing the vegetables and cooking them in advance, and keeping the noodles separate from the sauce/dressing. When it’s time to eat, just reheat the sauce and add to the pre-cooked noodles (the sauce will heat up the noodles)!

If you’d like to make the complete meal in advance, these types of meals save the best:

  • “Raw”/cold dishes: If the dish requires no cooking or is better served chilled, it’s a win-win!
  • Spiralized rice: since rice dishes tend to not be made with vegetables that release excess moisture, they’re perfect for prepping completely in advance and reheating.
  • Non-zucchini noodle dishes with ragu-type sauces: If you’re making a bolognese over sweet potato noodles, this can easily be reheated and enjoyed. However, if you’re making a zucchini noodle dish with a bolognese, the water content in the zucchini noodles will thin out the bolognese and take away from its originally delicious flavor.
  • Non-zucchini noodle dishes with sauces: Similar to the ragu-type sauces tip above, any type of sauce can be used with spiralized vegetables and can be reheated for lunch.
  • Dishes with no sauce: If your recipe doesn’t call for a heavy sauce, that’s perfect – it will reheat well. Bonus points for recipes with cheese – the heated cheese will melt nicely into the noodles. This works with zucchini noodles!
  • Pesto pastas: Pesto sauces work well with all vegetables and reheat well. Actually, the olive oil in the pesto works to our advantage with zucchini noodles. Throw in some kale, spinach or another vegetable that will absorb excess moisture, and you’ve got a pesto pasta, fit for lunch!
  • Noodle dishes or soups that don’t call for zucchini noodles: If you make a big batch of a spiralized noodle bowl or soup, you can definitely reheat it for lunch – unless it uses zucchini noodles. I don’t recommend this, since zucchini noodles will again thin out the soup and make it less flavorful altogether. However, it’s total personal preference, at the end of the day.
  • Wraps and sandwiches: any noodle, any ingredient – collard green wraps (or any type of sandwich wraps) work brilliantly! Just wrap tightly in tinfoil or paper and secure with tape when packing for lunch.
  • Spiralized salads: As long as there aren’t any fruit noodles in there, spiralized salads generally work well if they’re pre-made, as long as they don’t include zucchini or cucumber noodles (which can cause a soggy salad!)
  • Casseroles: If you eat hearty lunches, then you’re in luck: non-zucchini noodle casseroles work fabulously when reheated.

What are the best containers for saving prepared spiralized lunches?

The container that keeps your prepped spiralized veggies, meals and sauces/dressing should be air-tight! I buy a pack of containers that come in various sizes so that I have options, depending on the type of meal I’m making. This Rubbermaid set has all types of sizes, perfect for packaging spiralized veggies, dressings, and sauces.

Lunch Recipe Roundup

If you’re still stumped, I’ve created a Pinterest board full of all of my recipes that can be cooked in advance and reheated for lunch (or dinner!) Click the image below to access the Pinterest board:

Inspiralized Meals for Lunch Meal Planning

Subscribe to Inspiralized

Subscribe to one or all of our newsletters for amazing
recipes, inspirational content + our free starter guide

making a batch of this VEGAN PUMPKIN SNACKING LOAF today 🍞! I love to have a few mini loafs in the freezer to easily defrost for breakfasts or snacks for the kids, but also for myself - slathered with nut butter and a little sprinkle of hemp seeds 🥜 or some honey, butter and cinnamon for the kids 🍯🧈  ⁣

grab the recipe on the blog! happy monday! 🙌🏼⁣

#Vegan #veganfood #veganfoodshare #whatveganseat #bestofvegan #vegetarian #glutenfree #veg #vegetarianfood #plantbased
...

went for a nice long walk outside with the kids (we haven’t been able to do that for a while, because it’s just been so freezing and/or snowing) 🥶 and then we decided to pick up some to-go sandwiches and while we waited, the kids had some banana bread and juice 🍊🍌🍞 luca said, “mama I want to stay here alllll day!” which made me feel sad, because we haven’t felt comfortable dining indoors yet, and I’m sure he misses the people watching at restaurants on the weekends 😔 it’s okay, I’m just filing this under “things we get to look forward to when it’s safe again” 💋 #jerseycity ...

a year and 5 days ago, I started @invisalign to correct my cross bite and fix some crowding on my lower teeth. 👄🦷 a few weeks into treatment, my dentist gave me some extra aligners (the clear trays that you wear that miraculously shift your teeth) “just in case” the Corona virus came to the US and the office has to shutdown. well, a LOT has happened in this past year (my teeth and bite have corrected and Corona certainly made its way here!) and today was the final appointment to perfect my teeth and bite with some veneers (which I haven’t quite gotten used to yet, but all of the stories you shared and kind compliments you gave in my DMs has made me feel A LOT better.) 😬⁣

in two weeks, I get my overnight retainers, which I’ll wear forever (but only to sleep.) aside from that, I’m done with #invisalign and it feels SO good. I cannot believe how drastically it has changed my face, and when I watch myself talk in a video or look at a photo of myself, I no longer cringe at my lisp or how crooked my face looks. it wasn’t something I was self-conscious of every day, but it’s definitely something that I noticed when looking at photos and it secretly bothered me. it’s silly, but it did! ⁣

now I can proudly say that I love my smile, and I feel more confident than ever. it’s a shame I’ll have to wear a mask and cover up this expensive smile 😂😂😂😂 but hopefully in 2022, I’ll be able to fully whip it out. right?!! 🤞🏼💉 ⁣

I’m going to write a blog post all about the process, share a ton of before and afters, but I wanted to ask.... are there any questions you have specifically that you’d like me to include/address? leave a comment below and let me know! and in the meantime, you can check out my Invisalign highlight for the whole journey!
...