“To keep the body in good health is a duty…otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.”
Hey guys! So I survived the insanity school weeks. I am finally on break…my university calls this “reading week”. We are apparently supposed to use this week to catch up with class work and study for exams, but my professors were kind enough to have all of their exams and major work be due before the break – which means I get to relax! Well…erm…I will probably still do some school work just to make the rest of the semester a littler easier. I will also be blogging more this week – I have things I want to share with you and now that I have the time I can do that!
Today, I am going to be giving you guys a few ideas and recipes for healthy lunches to bring to work/school. Previously, I would bring regular lunches with me…you know, like left over lasagna or whatnot. Though it all tasted absolutely delicious, I found that my energy levels went down and I was feeling a little sluggish in class (and during laboratory work). I figured since my body doesn’t do well with heavy foods at lunch, I should instead try to bring lighter meals and plenty of healthy snack foods to munch on. So, if you are anything like me or are curious about some healthy lunch ideas…here we go:
For an Energy Packed Healthy Lunch:
- Have 3-4 snacks in your bag
- Pack a light but nutritious lunch
- Bring a refillable bottle of water + some lemon slices to squeeze in for freshness (or any other fruits you want, for flavor)
- Optional: An herbal tea for a midday pick-me-up
Lunch #1 – The Quick Wrap
- Avocado, sliced
- Tomato, thinly sliced
- Chicken breast, cut into strips
- Spinach tortilla
- Lime juice (fresh squeezed)
- Chilli (optional)
- Garlic, minced
- Salt and pepper
- Feta cheese, crumbled
- Roasted red peppers (from a jar), sliced
- Grape seed oil or olive oil
Pan fry the chicken breast in oil with chilli and garlic, once chicken is cooked add the fresh squeezed lime juice. Season to taste. Assemble the tortilla to your preference, I put the chicken under the rest of the ingredients because it seems to make less of a mess when I eat it haha. So for me it goes: chicken, avocado, feta cheese, tomato, roasted red pepper.
Lunch #2 – The Bowl
- Rice noodles, cooked as directed on packaging
- Red belle pepper, cut into strips
- Carrots, sliced into thin strips
- Red cabbage, finely chopped
- Yellow belle pepper, sliced into strips
- Edamame beans (removed from pod)
- Green onion, finely chopped (for garnish)
- Toasted sesame seeds (for garnish)
- Sesame oil for frying
- Onion, sliced thinly
For the sauce: 1/2 cup peanut butter, 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce, 3 tbsp water, 2 tbsp honey, 1 garlic clove, 1 tbsp freshly grated ginger, 2 tbsp rice vinegar, 2 tsp sesame oil. Combine the ingredients in a blender and whirl together until smooth sauce forms.
Stir-fry the veggies (except the green onion) in some sesame oil for about 10 minutes. Add the peanut sauce to the pan. If the sauce is too thick, add one tablespoon of water at a time until desired consistency is reached. Toss the veggies in the sauce so everything is evenly coated. Remove from heat.
Cook the noodles as directed on the packaging. Once cooked, toss the noodles into the pan with the sauce and veggies and mix it all together.
After reheating this bowl at work/school garnish with toasted sesame seeds and chopped green onion
Lunch #3 – Chickpea Sandwich
- 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- celery, finely chopped
- carrot, finely chopped
- Green onion, finely chopped
- Salt and pepper
- Dijon mustard (1-2 tsp usually works well)
- Juice of 1/2 small lemon
- Mayo or humus to combine ingredients
- Cajun spice
- Whole grain bread
- Monterey Jack cheese, grated (optional)
Mash chickpeas into a paste. Toss in the veggies, salt and pepper, Cajun spice, lemon juice, mustard, and mayo/hummus. Make a sandwich to your liking, add your choice of leafy greens (I like spinach with this sandwich), sprinkle on the cheese and there you have it!
Snack Assortment #1
- 1 cup honey Greek yogurt
- 3 fruits/berries (banana, strawberries, blueberries are always a good combo)
- 1/2 cup of almonds in a zip-lock bag
Snack Assortment #2
- Popcorn with garlic, smoked paprika, and Parmesan cheese (toss popcorn with a some unsalted butter, garlic powder, Parmesan, dash of smoked paprika, and salt)
- Apple slices with side of honey for dipping
- Baby carrots with tzatziki for dipping
Snack Assortment #3
- DIY trail mix: Cashews, coconut shavings, dark chocolate chips, dried fruit of choice, and almonds. Cut all the dried fruits into small pieces and combine in a zip-lock bag with the nuts and dark chocolate and coconut for an awesome snack.
- Triscuit crackers with a bottle of low-sodium V8 juice
- Fruit salad: kiwi, mango, pineapple tossed with dash of honey and coconut shavings
There you have my suggestions for some filling yet light lunches as well as delicious snacks to keep energy levels up throughout the day.
Have a great week!