10 Weekly Grocery Purchases to Make You a Pro at Prepping Baon

IMAGE Mark Jesalva

The art of making a delicious packed lunch, or baon, is easier than people make it to be. There are a few things you should always keep in mind: the first being that you must prepare food that you actually want to eat. Otherwise, you'll just end up purchasing pricey food from another place! Also, remember that the food must be able to keep unrefrigerated for a few hours, and that as much as possible, your packed food must be leak-free.



Here are 10 weekly grocery purchases that could make your packed lunches easier to prep, more delicious, and good for you, too.


1 Ground meat


We love ground meat for its versatility and affordability. You don't have to think about it too much, either-it just needs a hit of salt, pepper, and whatever seasoning you prefer. Use them to make burger patties, meatballs, quick stir-fries, chili con carne, or pasta sauce. Did we mention that it cooks through in only a few minutes, too?




2 Root vegetables


Root vegetables are not only super filling, they are good for you, too! Potatoes go with almost anything you prep, and the same goes for orange sweet potato or kamote. You can boil them, roast them, or include them in your vegetable stir-fry.



3 Yogurt


Need breakfast on-the-go? Pick up your favorite protein-rich plain yogurt and head out the door. But don't leave without...


4 Firm fruit


Firm fruit like apples, oranges, grapes, and bananas will be able to sit in your lunchbox or brown bag for hours without spoiling or getting too soft. As much as possible, keep them unpeeled. If you want to prep bigger fruit ahead, like papaya, melons, or pineapples, you can chop them the night before you need them and keep them in an airtight container in your chiller. Dip them into your yogurt!

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5 Leafy greens


Leafy greens can actually be absolutely delicious if you prepare them right. Go for a quick sauté with fragrant onions and garlic for a nutritious side dish to your main, or include them in your pork or beef stir-fry. Local greens like malunggay, kangkong, and pechay are very easy on the wallet.





6 Fish fillets


Quick-cooking fish means you won't need a lot of effort in prepping your baon. With fish fillets that only need a 5-minute sear or 15-minute bake in the oven, you'll be saving on both time and money. Find frozen salmon, tuna, tilapia, or cream dory fillets in the frozen seafood aisle of your grocery.



7 Grains


Different kinds of grains can make your packed lunch more interesting. Shop for heirloom rice at your grocery and try cooking with different red, brown, or purple varieties. Or, shop for quinoa or adlai to eat with your favorite veggies! It's also always good to have a small bag of rolled oats on hand for when you want a batch of overnight oats to have for brunch or merienda.


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8 Canned vegetables and beans


You'll be surprised at the amount of dishes you can make with canned vegetables and beans! Toss red kidney beans into your leftover fried rice to make a hefty dish, or whip up a mean batch of hummus with canned chickepeas for those midday munchies. Keep a batch of canned corn, mushrooms, asparagus, and pimiento on hand for a quick flavor boost, too.



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9 Wheat crackers


Some days really call for a quick, I-don't-want-to-think-about-it snack. Keep a stash of wheat crackers in your pantry, and grab some before heading out the door. You'll thank yourself later for the emergency snack you'll have in your bag!


10 Firm veggies


Carrots, cucumbers, eggplant, baby corn, zucchini, broccoli, and sayote are all vegetables that can last pretty long in your pantry or refrigerator. You can roast them, grill them, or saute them for quick meals or snacks. You know you need your veggies, anyway-so always include some in your meat and vegetable sautés and stir-fries to stay healthy, even at work or school.


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