Eat Healthy no matter how busy you are
In today's fast-paced professional world, the 'sad desk lunch' is a reality for many of us who are working in an office. My reality is also that many times I used to skip breakfast before going to work, then ending up eating a bland salad or a cold sandwich for lunch, or downing latte midday. I guess I realized that would not give me the mental boost I need to tackle the rest of my workday. We need a good mix of carbs, protein and good fat to fuel up.
So, I discovered a couple of quick, yet filling and nutritious recipes that I would like to share, for those days when you may not have time to cook, nor order some proper lunch.
In those times, try one of these portable, out of the (lunch) box ideas to liven up your lunch at work. All it takes is a bit of preparation the night before, and perhaps some assembly at your desk.
Hummus & Veggie Wraps
Hummus is a versatile pantry ingredient and an easy make-ahead, no-cook recipe. You can buy it ready made from your local store (which I always do) or, if you wish, you can prepare your own, here’s how:
Rinse chickpeas from a can and blitz in a food processor along with tahini (sesame & olive oil paste), garlic, salt, lemon juice, olive oil and cumin or paprika (optional).
To make the wraps:
· Slather whole-wheat tortilla with 1-2 tablespoons of hummus.
· Place a mix of julienned vegetables down the center (carrots, cucumbers, bell peppers or cabbage all work well). You can add cooked shredded chicken or meat of your choice to ramp up the protein in this dish
· Roll up the tortilla tightly like a burrito and wrap in cling film.
Sesame-Ginger Soba Noodles
Both soba noodles and this sesame-ginger dressing can be made the night before:
· Cook the noodles according to packet instructions, toss in a bit of sesame oil and refrigerate.
· For the dressing, whisk together canola oil, sesame oil, chili oil, soy sauce, minced ginger and garlic, and salt to taste.
· To assemble, mix the noodles with seasonal vegetables of your choice (asparagus, bell peppers, bean sprouts, scallions, mushrooms, snap peas, carrots all work well), and toss with the dressing. Garnish with roasted sesame seeds and chopped cilantro
Cook a batch of quinoa in advance and you can mix it with different veggies and toppings to make a variety of lunch bowls throughout the week. Here's one idea:
· Mix cooked quinoa with black or edamame beans (from the can, rinsed and drained), chopped avocado, orange segments, pomegranate seeds, cooked corn and cilantro. If you wish to get more creative, you can add some mango and red cabbage, it’s delicious!
· Dress with some lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper, and a dash of honey and voila, your colorful quinoa lunch bowl is ready
You can cook the pasta the previous night, and the dressing is a make-ahead recipe as well. Use a small pasta shape for this recipe, like macaroni, farfalle, conchiglie or ditalini:
· For the dressing, whisk together olive oil, red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, salt & pepper. Honey woks wonders with this dressing too.
· Mix the cooked pasta with white kidney beans (from the can, rinsed & drained), crumbled goat's cheese, rocket leaves, and half sliced cherry tomatoes, sliced cucumber and some olives (optional). Toss with the dressing and eat immediately.
Give these easy pack-and-go recipes a try, you can get creative and add your favorite ingredients- they're not only healthy, but will also help you look forward to your desk lunch!