Aaahh... The ever present lunchbox dilemma. Whether you're packing your own to office or for every kind in the house to school, there are real challenges when thinking about your mid-day meal. We want healthy options that keep us full enough. Most importantly, you'll want to follow this winning lunch formula: high fiber carbohydrate + lean protein + vegetables and/or fruit.
1) Monday - Asian Chicken Salad Lettuce Cup
- Mix 2 cups finely chopped chicken, 2 medium green onions (diagonally sliced), 1 can sliced water chetsnuts (drained and finely chopped), 1/2 cup spicy peanut sauce, 1 tbsp fresh mint leaves (chopped), 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes in a bowl.
- Spoon about 2 tbsp of the chicken mixed onto lettuce leaf and sprinkle with nuts.
2) Tuesday - Black Bean Quinoa Salad
- Combine 1 1/2 cups uncooked quinoa and 3 cups organic vegetable broth in a saucepan; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes or until broth is absorbed and quinoa is tender. Remove from heat.
Place 1 (14-ounce) package reduced-fat firm tofu (cut into 1/4-inch cube)s on several layers of paper towels. Cover with additional paper towels. Let stand 5 minutes. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add tofu, sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Sauté tofu 9 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from heat and cool completely.
Combine remaining 2 tablespoons oil, remaining 1 teaspoon salt, 1 cup chopped fresh basil, 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard, 1 teaspoon sugar, 2 teaspoons grated lemon rind, 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper and 3 garlic cloves (minced) in a large bowl. Stir with a whisk until blended. Stir in quinoa.
Cook 1 (10-ounce) package frozen baby lima beans according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Cool completely. Add the lima beans, tofu, 4 cups chopped tomato, 1/2 cup sliced green onions, 1/2 cup chopped carrot, and 1 (15-ounce) can black beans (rinsed and drained) to quinoa mixture. Stir gently to combine. Store, covered, in refrigerator until ready to be packed!
3) Wednesday - Pea and Noddle Fritter
- Place 1 1/4 cups frozen peas in a heatproof bowl. Cover with boiling water. Stand for 2 minutes or until bright green and tender. Drain. Refresh under cold water. Return to bowl. Roughly mash peas with a fork. Add 1/2 x 440g packet shelf-fresh hokkien noodles, 1/4 cup self-raising flour, 1/4 cup milk, 2 eggs (lightly beaten), 1/4 cup grated parmesan and 1 red onion (finely chopped). Season with salt and pepper. Stir to combine.
- Heat 1/4 cup rice bran oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Drop 1/4 cup batter into pan, spreading to form a circle. Repeat to make 4 fritters. Cook for 2 minutes or until golden underneath. Turn. Cook for 2 minutes or until cooked through. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towel to drain. Repeat with remaining batter. Serve with cherry tomatoes and carrot and celery sticks.
4) Thursday - Tuna Pita Sandwich
- Cut pita pocket in half and toast.
- Combine tuna with dressing and mustard in a bowl. Mix well.
- Stuff pita pocket with the mixture. Add tomatoes and lettuce.
5) Friday - Easy Snack Wrap
- Spread cream cheese evenly over the tortillas.
- Top the cream cheese with lettuce leaves.
- Arrange the turkey slices in even layers on top of the lettuce.
- Sprinkle the carrots and tomato over the turkey slices.
- Roll the tortillas into wraps. Cut the wraps diagonally into bite-sized pieces. Secure with toothpicks.