With a hectic work schedule, it can sometimes be difficult to maintain a healthy diet. Many people resort to unhealthy fast food options because they don’t think they have enough time to eat well. But with a little preparation and all natural ingredients, you can prepare and store several healthy lunches at home, ready to take to work.
Nori and Vegetable Slaw Wrap
Nori is an iodine-rich sea vegetable like kelp that is sold in sheets. For the vegetable slaw you will need cabbage, cucumber and bok choy and carrots. Prepare the slaw by tossing the vegetables in rice vinegar, honey and soy sauce. Line a piece of whole grain flatbread with nori and slaw and then roll. For a little kick, add wasabi or grated ginger.
Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Couscous Salad
Couscous is a grain, easily blended with many fresh ingredients. Begin this salad by cooking couscous and chilling it in the refrigerator. Prepare a selection of fresh fruits and vegetables, such as strawberries, baby spinach and yellow bell pepper. Once the couscous has chilled and the fruits and vegetables are chopped, toss and bind together with honey, basil and olive oil.
Lime Chicken and Avocado Salad Wrap
Mix up a quick chicken marinade using lime, minced garlic and olive oil and add it to skinless chicken breasts, trimming away fat. Chop fresh avocado, bell pepper, cilantro and onion. Shred the chicken and add it to the chopped vegetables, binding it with low-fat sour cream. Roll the mixture into a wrap, using flatbread or a tortilla.
Sweet Potato and Squash Soup
Both sweet potatoes and squash are sources of fiber and nutrients. Peel and chop the sweet potatoes and squash and drizzle with olive oil, pepper and sea salt. Bake the vegetables until they are soft and then puree them, adding vegetable or chicken stock, honey and cinnamon. You can eat this soup cold like a gazpacho or warm it up.
Mediterranean Pasta Salad
Using whole grain pasta, vegetables, olives and feta cheese, you can make a Mediterranean-inspired pasta salad. Chop cucumber, red bell pepper, baby spinach and onion, and then toss them with the pasta, olive oil, fresh cracked pepper, olives and feta. Because olives and feta are high in sodium, measure the portions carefully.
Red Beans and Rice Soup
A takeoff of a classic southern dish, prepare red beans and rice soup using dry or low-sodium canned kidney beans, rice and low-sodium cajun seasoning. Begin by dicing onion, bell pepper and celery, and then saute in olive oil and cajun seasoning. Add vegetable stock, kidney beans and rice and simmer.
Fresh Mozzarella and Tomato Wrap
Fresh mozzarella is light and spongy and is also high in calcium and vitamin D. Using flatbread to wrap, layer fresh mozzarella, sliced tomatoes and fresh or dried basil. Drizzle olive oil and balsamic vinaigrette lightly onto the layers and roll.
Fruit and Nut Trail Mix Salad
For a sweet and crunchy salad rich in fiber, antioxidants and protein, mix nutrient-dense couscous with a variety of fruits and nuts. Add raisins, figs and dried cranberries to a combination of chopped almonds, cashews or walnuts. Add this mixture to chilled couscous and bind with orange juice, honey and olive oil.
Salmon Salad Tea Sandwiches
Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, one of the building blocks of neural cell membranes, salmon can help the body prevent oxidation damage of heart and brain cells. Combine cooked, flaked salmon with fresh, diced cucumber and parsley, and bind with either low-fat cream cheese or plain low-fat yogurt. Spread the salmon mixture on dense, whole grain bread.
Southwest Black Bean and Vegetable Salad
Another salad rich in protein and flavor is a Southwest Black Bean and Vegetable Salad. Begin by cooking dry black beans, and chop vegetables and herbs, such as corn, tomato, green and red peppers, cilantro and onion. Chill the black beans and then mix in the chopped vegetables. Bind the ingredients together with a mixture of lime juice, sea salt, cracked pepper and olive oil.