I agree whole-heartedly with the idea of cooking a pot of grains to be consumed throughout the week.
If this is a new concept to you, let me elaborate.
The day before the school or work week begins, you cook a pot of a grain or bean of your choice. This can be lentils, wheatberry, chickpeas, brown rice, or almost anything really.
This pot gets stored in the refrigerator, and throughout the week, you take a portion of it and dress it up in some manner for a lunch or dinner!
Some ideas I have already published, such as chickpea salad, freekeh salad (and another one), and couscous salad, among others.
If you choose to cook a pot of beans, you use them just as you would canned beans.
So just to prove you do not need to constrict yourself to only salads, here are a couple of ideas:
The above is a picture of warmed brown rice topped with fresh mushroom sauteed in some garlic herbed butter. Simple and satisfying, you don’t even miss the meat.