Having lunch at your desk – again? Here’s how to enjoy healthy lunches even if you can’t leave the office.
Herbed Chicken Salad
Not every salad has to be soaking in mayonnaise and this is a good example of a light and tasty lunch option. Take some skinned chicken breast or chicken tenders and cook them in a pan until they’re brown. Put the cooked chicken in a bowl, shred it with two forks, then add diced tomato, sliced cucumber and a little red onion slices if you’re feeling brave. Sprinkle the mixture with a tablespoon of cider vinegar and some olive oil and some finely chopped mint, salt and a pinch of dried oregano. Stuff it all inside each half of your pita bread with some lettuce and you’re away.
Quinoa, a grain-like crop grown for its edible seeds, is a good source of protein, amino acids, and calcium. It is also, by the way, gluten free. Quinoa can be a perfect lunch staple because it is so healthy and easy to make. Try making your own quinoa salad by cooking two cups chicken broth with one cup of quinoa according to the package directions. Add cooked broccoli florets, cherry tomatoes, and feta cheese. Toss with extra virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt and pepper.
Beef, Orange, and Gorgonzola Sandwiches
Grilled flank steak with oranges and blue cheese combine in a sandwich that will make you the envy of coworkers when you open your lunch box. For the best results, use crusty rolls because they stay pleasantly crisp.
You could make a standard Mexican version by melting some cheese between two tortillas and tossing in some mushrooms or roasted peppers and topping it with salsa. Replace the cheese with some guacamole for a vegan version. Or do away with the Mexican theme entirely and use hummus (black-bean hummus is a nice change) and fresh vegetables.
Salad in a Jar
This work lunch idea involves packing your salad in a mason jar rather than a container. The trick is to layer each salad ingredient in the backwards order that you will want it on your salad. Your dressing should be at the bottom of the jar and your lettuce should be at the top. This will prevent your lettuce from becoming saturated and slimy. On top of your dressing, use a hearty type of vegetable, such as shredded cabbage, pea pods, or shredded carrots that can withstand the acidity of the dressing. Make sure you pack your salad as tightly as you can in the jar to prevent the layers from moving around. When you’re ready to eat, simply pour into a bowl! The great thing about making your salad in a jar is that you can make a whole bunch at once and store them in the fridge for an easy and colorful grab and go work lunch!
Steamed Veg and Fish
If you have access to a cooker it takes little time to steam some vegetable and serve them with fish. What veg you have is your choice, but broccoli, carrots and green beans make excellent partners for a fillet of grilled cod or salmon. The fish provides protein and essential oils while the vegetables ensure you get your intake of antioxidants.
8 whole eggs or 4 cups liquid egg substitute 1 cup each chopped onions, peppers, and mushrooms Oil spray.
Beat the egg mixture until light and frothy. Set stove to medium heat. Spray a nonstick pan with oil spray and place it on the burner. Add the egg mixture and swirl in the pan. Allow eggs to set until cooked around the edges. Scatter the vegetables over the top of the egg mixture, and cook until eggs are set. Using a spatula, fold the frittata in half, and gently slide onto a plate.
Tuna is a great source of protein and also essential fats. Try to get the tuna in heart healthy olive oil rather than sunflower oil, or opt for tuna in brine. Add a selection of colours to your salad leaves to give a variety of nutrients, such as red pepper, cucumber, onion, tomatoes and avocado. If you think that salads don’t fill you up enough, you can add some chick peas, or lentils to your bowl.