We’ve all been there; it’s 6:00am, coffee’s barely brewing, dog(s) are whining to go out, kid(s) need to be dressed for daycare/school, and lunches made for hubby and children. You’ve quickly checked emails, had just enough time for one cup of coffee, showered, and now making a mad dash to get to work before rush hour traffic. You’ve forotten one little thing–you’re own lunch.
We live in a a crazy society, where “dash and dine” is not only common place but accepted practice. WE DON’T HAVE TO LIVE LIKE THAT PEOPLE!!!! No matter how crazy life gets, there is always a way to build in at least a semi-nutritious lunch for ourselves. Food trucks are great (trust me, I’m obsessed), but we can’t live off of them five days a week. Nor should we. And there is no reason to be dishing the quid, (that’s British for bucks–roll with it, I like the word), for take-out healthy meals that can really add up by the end of the work week. I have two very simple meals that can be made the night before, (with very little fuss), packed up quickly in the morning and heated up/ or spooned out at 12 o’clock on the dot.
Salad is simple but doesn’t have to be boring! I like to combine two different types of the leafy greens. However, I don’t use bagged lettuces if I can help it. Head to the organic section of your grocer and pick up two bunches of your favorite flavored greens.
Organic Green Leaf Lettuce (it comes in a bunch, so tear off your desired amount. Make sure to thoroughly rince all lettuce ahead of time)
Organic Spinach (same as above)
Ocean Spray dried Cranberries/Craisins- about 1/4 of a cup. (These have 28 g of sugar so you don’t want to many).
Garbanzo Beans- 1/4 to 1/2 a cup. (I love garbanzo beans so I use a lot).
Shaved unsalted almonds- roughly a handful. I normall crush these into smaller bites in the palm of my hand before adding to the salad. Almonds add great texture, and have been known to help lower cholesterol.
Olive Oil (Unrefined, true Greek, Spanish or Italian Olive Oils are best). 1/3 of a cup.
A pinch of sea salt
Romano Cheese- 1/3 of a cup, shaved. (I get my romano cheese from Chef. Robert Klaczyk of KB Holdings Food).
Simply mix all your ingredients together, minus the oil. Pack in tupperware and put the oil in a separate container. Pre-bag and toss in the fridge and grab and go in the morning. Talk about re-defining dash and dine!
Next is a wonderful whole grain brown and red rice mixture with green beans and garbanzo beans.
Again this is a simple dish, using much of the same ingredients as above, that can be made the night before and packed away in the fridge. One caveat is that the rice takes a bit longer to cook, but can be split into two meals. What i love about this dish is that it’s healthy, gives me the vegetables, beans and grains I need for the day, and doesn’t spoil or go bad over night. It also gives you a boost of energy after lunch.
French cut green beans (these can be organic frozen or canned all-natural. However, if canned, they must be rinsed under cold water).
Garbanzo Beans- 1/2 a cup.
Shaved unsalted almonds- roughly a handful.
Romano or Parm Cheese– 1/3 of a cup
Pinch of sea salt/pepper
Olive oil– 5 tbsp
Land O’Lakes olive oil and sea salt butter (healthier for you)– 1/2 a spoonful
Whole grain blend rice (I use Whole grain Royal Blend for this. It’s organic and non-gmo)– 1 cup.
Add your rice to boiling water, add butter (per directions on container), cover and let simmer for 45 minutes, on low heat. You can literally leave and attend to other things while this cooks.
Once rice is about 90% cooked, start your green beans, add roughly 15 oz. of beans to a pan with 5 tbsp of olive oil. Let cook for about 10 minutes.
Add in the garbanzo beans and cook for another 5 minutes. Sprinkle in your sea salt and pepper about this time.
Mix in shaved almonds to the green beans, add the cheese and then turn off the heat.
Add about half of the the green bean mixture to half of the rice, spooning it on top of the rice. Add lemon at this time if you desire. Just squeeze over the mixture and stir contents together to mix all that goodness in.
Place the other halves of bean and rice in the fridge for a second meal.
Pack in a microwave safe tupperware container for the next day, and your healthy veggie bean lunch is ready to eat–just heat in a microwave for 3 minutes.
It’s very easy to make healthy lunches to take with you to the office. It just takes a little bit of planning ahead and some creativity that unfold into scrumptious non-boring lunchtime meals!