Our nutrition coach, Suzanne Farrell with Cherry Creek Nutrition shares some mid-day boosts for those who are still working from home.
Lunch can often be an overlooked meal that can either fall by the wayside, or end up looking like an accumulation of snacks. What we eat mid-day impacts our energy levels, mood, productivity, and determines our eating behaviors and choices later in the day into the evening, for better or worse.
Lunch certainly doesn’t have to be elaborate or time-consuming. Here are some ideas for fast and easy lunches that provide the right blend of nutrition to help get you through the rest of your day.
- Aim for foods rich in 3 key components: Protein, Fiber & Fat. This combination can help keep us feeling fuller longer and provide sustained energy levels.
- Lunch proteins include: canned beans, chicken breast, salmon, tuna, hummus, eggs, salmon, Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, fresh mozzarella, tofu, nuts, seeds, and deli meat.
- Foods rich in fiber include: mostly all fruits and vegetables such as apples, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, peaches, oranges, grapefruit, leafy greens, peppers, carrots, sweet potatoes; whole grains such as whole-wheat bread, quinoa, whole grain pasta, farro; and nuts such as almonds, walnuts, pistachios, and seeds
- Healthy fats to add at lunch include: olive oil, avocado, nuts, seeds, and salmon
- Double up at dinner. Make extra servings when cooking dinner so that you have leftovers for the next day.
Mango & Black Bean Quinoa Salad
(makes 4 servings)
1/3 cup quinoa
2/3 cup water
1/4 cup cilantro (chopped)
1/2 cup Kuner’s Black Beans, drained & rinsed
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 lime, juiced
2 tbsp olive oil
1 avocado, chopped
1 mango, chopped
1/4 cup feta cheese
Salt & pepper to taste
- Combine quinoa and water in a saucepan. Place over high heat and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to a simmer and cover with a lid. Let simmer for 13-15 minutes or until water is absorbed. Remove lid and fluff with a fork.
- While quinoa is cooking, in a small bowl, combine lime juice, olive oil, pinch of salt & pepper for the dressing.
- Once quinoa is cooled, stir in the dressing and mix with the remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Adjust salt as needed. Enjoy!
Serve in a lettuce wrap or over mixed greens. Can add chopped chicken breast or salmon for more protein.
Hummus, Avocado & Veggie Wrap
1 Whole Wheat Tortilla (large)
1/4 cup Hummus
2 leaves Romaine (large, whole)
1/4 Cucumber, sliced
1/4 Red Bell Pepper, sliced
1/4-1/2 Avocado, sliced
- Lay tortilla flats and spread the hummus in the center.
- Layer the romaine leaves, cucumber, bell pepper and avocado. Roll the tortilla tightly while folding the ends in. Enjoy!
Mediterranean Tuna Pasta Salad
(makes 4 servings)
2 cups Fusilli (whole grain or vegetable)
1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Lemon, juiced
1 tbsp Italian Seasoning
Sea salt & black pepper to taste
1/2 cup Green Olives, sliced
1/2 cup Cherry Tomatoes, cut in half
1 can Tuna, drained
8 cups Arugula
- Cook pasta according to directions on the package.
- While the pasta is cooking, combine the olive oil, lemon juice, Italian seasonings, salt and pepper in a small bowl and whisk to combine.
- When the pasta is done cooking, drain and rinse with cold water until cooled.
- In a large bowl, toss the pasta, olives, tomatoes, tuna, arugula, and dressing until well combined. Divide between plate and enjoy!