|A typical lunch salad, “taco style” with beans, avocado,|
tomatoes, salsa, tortillas chips, low fat cheese
I choose the absolute healthiest things on the menu and always have lots of salad and/or vegetables, lean protein and small portion of grains/rice. But, it’s a lot harder to eat healthy at restaurants, for me anyway, so I prefer to take my own lunches.
1. Salads–please see previous posts describing spinach salad (what’s for lunch?) and red leaf lettuce salad (a salad a day). I take salads nearly every day and add grape tomatoes, avocado, a protein (fish, chicken, beans, hard boiled egg), crunchy things like pita chips or tortilla chips,almonds, dried cranberries, and leftovers. I always make my own vinaigrette in a minute by putting a tsp of balsamic vinegar, a little Dijon mustard, a drop of honey, some water, garlic powder, salt and pepper, 1 T of olive oil in my little to go container and shake it well. Sometimes I vary it with red wine vinegar and lemon in addition to the balsamic vinegar.
I don’t like bottled dressing at all, and the more you make your own dressing, the easier it gets.
2. Oven Roasted Fish–any fish can be easily prepared this way: 1 pound (or 1/2 pound) salmon, halibut, snapper rinsed and dried. Place a piece of foil on a baking sheet. Spray it with olive oil or non-stick spray. Place whole piece of fish, skin side down, on foil. Season with Mrs. Dash, 21 Seasoning Salute, or your favorite no salt seasoning. Lightly sprinkle with sea salt.
I have a convection oven so I convect roast it at 400 degrees for 20 minutes, less for thin fish, so if you’re making flounder it make only take 10 minutes. If you have a regular oven, just bake at 400 degrees. Fish is done when it flakes easily with a fork.
Don’t overcook it! I can use the fish for 4 lunches, and salmon tastes great warm or cold.
I will put the fish on my salad or sometimes eat it with 1/2 cup brown rice and leftover cooked vegetables such as green beans or carrots. A Japanese style obento is always good too. This would be a section of fish, some Japanese rice, hard boiled egg, seaweed, and cucumbers or maybe cooked squash, and pickled ginger. (I will do a post on obento soon.)
3. Soup–I posted previously about the “treasures in my freezer” which included several types of soups, all homemade. By lunch time the frozen soup is thawed a bit and heats up quickly in the microwave. A hot bowl of chicken and wild rice soup or vegetable chili with a few whole wheat crackers and low fat cheese is a great lunch.
4. Sandwich–I only use 1 piece of bread, a tortilla or a very small bun for sandwiches. I like to get the roasted turkey breast at Central Market which is made in house and does not have preservatives and does not seem oversalted. I also make my own grilled chicken, either on the grill outside or in the oven. Like the fish, I place boneless skinless chicken breasts on foil and convect roast for 20 minutes, turning halfway in between. The chicken is tender, juicy, and flavorful. I can use a few slices of this chicken for a sandwich, on a salad, or with rice and vegetables. If I make a wrap sandwich I’ll use a little mustard, lettuce, tomato and low fat cheese.
5. Amy’s Organic dinners–The only frozen, prepared meals I ever eat are Amy’s. I always keep a few on hand in case I’m rushing around in the morning and don’t have time to fix my lunch. The Amy’s burgers are great on sandwiches as well. I like the black bean enchilada dinners or the Indian dinners.
There you go–my typical week of lunches.