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26/09/11 Lunch Box Health

Your lunch box needn’t be a chore every time you have to think about making something.  Jo from our nutrition team has made these nutritionally balanced dishes out of things readily available.  If you are on a budget, buying dried beans and following the instructions on soaking them can save money, as can always making the most of your joints of meat if you are using them, boiling the bones of your chicken makes a wonderful broth and you can freeze the stock for use at a later date.  We will write more on credit crunch meals or if you would like more info why not book a workshop for your employees?  Here are a few of our favourite, along with some inspired choices from the Workplace Healthcare team’s recent travels.

Bean salad: ½ tin mixed beans, ½ bag of salad, 2-3 chopped tomatoes, 1 grated carrot, 1 chopped pepper, ½ chopped avocado, drizzle on 1 tbs olive oil, squeeze of lemon and mix well

Apple & bean salad: : ½ tin mixed beans, ½ bag of watercress/rocket, 1 chopped apple, 1 chopped stick celery, 1 handful coriander chopped, ½ chopped avocado, drizzle on 1 tbs olive oil, squeeze of lemon and mix well.

Greek inspired dishes:

Feta salad:  Chop cucumber and tomatoes and mix in bowl with olives, feta and som e fresh thyme (optional) and lots of cold pressed olive oil.

Souvlaki: This can be eaten as a dinner and the remainder brought to work as a lunch box treat!  Chop chicken (breast or thigh) and add to skewers along with chopped peppers and onions.  Coat in olive oil and season and grill for 20 minutes or until meat is cooked through.  Eat with salad and wholemeal pitta bread.

Egg/cottage cheese/ ham/ chicken salad: as either of above but replace beans with 1-2 eggs or 1 tub of cottage cheese or 1-2 slices of cold meat or marinated tofu chunks

Leftovers from dinner: Cook enough dinner to eat the next day for lunch cold e.g. baked chicken/fish and baked vegetables (add some more salad if needed)

Quick Soup: 1 handful lentils, 1 chopped carrot, 1 chopped celery stick, 1 chopped clove garlic, 1 pinch chilli, 1 bayleaf, 1 pint vegetable stock. Boil till lentils are soft, then liquidize. Eat with rye/whole meal bread and handful of green salad.

French Inspired Potage or Quick chicken soup: Boil leftover chicken bones + 2-3 slices chopped chicken (cooked) with 1 handful brown rice in 1 litre vegetable stock, 3 sprigs thyme (or any other fresh herbs) until rice is cooked. Remove chicken bones and add juice of one lemon.   To make it interesting on different days you can add some freshly made crutons, some gently fried onions, some soy sauce and coriander.

And to Japan for the Miso soup: 1-2 tbs miso +1 piece dried seaweed + 1 litre water. Simmer for 10 mins and then remove seaweed. Add 1 packet of silken tofu chopped and 2-3 chopped spring onions. Cook for a few more mins.

Sandwich toppings/fillings:

Mash 1 avocado with juice ½ lemon+ 1 chopped garlic clove. Spread on rye/wholemeal bread/ryvita/oatcakes. Top with 1 spoon of cottage cheese and slices of orange/apple.

Mash 1 tin sardines/1 fillet smoked mackerel with 1 squeeze lemon juice and 1 tbs plain yoghurt. Spread on rye/wholemeal bread/ryvita/oatcakes. Eat with handful of rocket/watercress

Chop 1-2 hardboiled eggs and mix with 1 chopped tomato, 1 handful of cress, pinch of pepper. Spread on rye/wholemeal bread/ryvita/oatcakes. Eat with handful of rocket/watercress