Monday, April 4, 2011

Nutricious and Delicious

  Lunch ... The second most important meal of the day. For those with a crazy schedule, and I’m pretty sure that’s all of us, lunch is not only nourishment to the stomach, but also to the brain. After a busy morning, the lunch break is crucial in refueling the body and preparing the mind for the rest of the day. However, taking a well needed lunch break is often not the case. Many of us eat on the run, grab an unhealthy snack or skip lunch altogether. During the week, it seems lunch leaves us with just as few options as breakfast.

  Not eating, is a big problem. Just like skipping breakfast, missing lunch causes your blood-sugar to crash dangerously low. This result is needing an instant sugar fix, which is usually an unhealthy snack.  Another problem is that "on the run" lunches are generally sugary and carb laden, high in fat and cholesterol and nothing but empty calories. These “fast foods” are usually pretty fast at clogging the arteries. 
  These problems may have you thinking that a nutritious lunch is just a myth, but with a handful of tips, there can be a nutritious lunch and a bit of lunch therapy in your very near future.
Quick and Healthy Lunch Options
- Stock up on lunch possibilities at your grocery store. Buy random ingredients such as mango’s, raisins, peas, and cauliflower to add some life and color to your salad. You can mix and match any of your favorite ingredients.

- Keep it easy!

- Prepare lunch the night before. Refridgerate overnight and in the morning pack in an insulated box or bag with frozen ice or gel packs. A premade lunch will drastically reduce the sence of being rushed.

- Add a sweet treat to your lunch. Use fresh fruits in place of candy bars, cakes, or cookies.

Eating Tips

- Eat slowly       - Sit during lunch        - Eat off of a plate                 
- Focus on your meal           - Eat only if you’re hungry

Sandwich                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               -

- Choose a whole grain bread, pita, or tortilla shell.

- Use 2-3 ounces of lean meat or poultry that has been roasted or

- Use a minimal amount of fat free or reduced fat dressing

- Load on the vegetables. Use cucumbers, green peppers, tomatoes, and other veggies to add flavor and texture.
Other Quick Options

Vegetable Quiche

1 unbaked deep-dish pastry shell (9 inches)

1/2 small red onion, sliced
1/4 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
1/4 cup diced yellow summer squash
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup carrots, thinnly sliced
1/4 cup red pepper, sliced
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup fresh baby spinach
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Swiss cheese
4 eggs
1-1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
1/4 teaspoon pepper


- Bake pie shell at 400° for 8 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. Reduce heat to 350°.
- In a large skillet, saute the onion, mushrooms, squash and garlic in butter until tender. Add spinach; saute 1 minute longer. Spoon into crust; top with cheese.
- Whisk the eggs, cream, salt, rosemary and pepper until blended; pour over cheese.
- Bake for 40-45 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean.
- Let stand for 10 minutes before cutting.

Yield: 6-8 servings.

1/2 lb. carrots, sliced
1 med. onion, sliced
2 stalks celery, sliced
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 can (14 oz. each) whole tomatoes in juice
1/2 sm. head bok choy, thinly sliced
1/4 lb. green beans, trimmed and each cut into thirds
1 yellow squash, sliced
1 red pepper, sliced
1 bunch scallions, sliced
1 can (48 oz) vegetable broth
Salt and pepper
1 bag (6 oz. each) baby spinach leaves

- Coat 8-quart stockpot  with nonstick cooking spray. Over medium-high heat, add carrots, onions, celery, peppers, squash, and garlic; cook 8 minutes or until vegetables soften, stirring occasionally.
- Add tomatoes with their liquid, breaking up tomatoes with side of spoon. Add bok choy, green beans, broth, water, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper; heat to boiling over high heat, stirring occasionally.
- Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Increase heat to high; stir in  spinach and heat to boiling. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 10 minutes or until all vegetables are tender.

  Having a healthy, light lunch is important because it gives you the energy to stay alert. A satisfied stomach will remain growl free and allow you to concentrate. Remember, eat lunch, after all, it is the most important break in your day.
Happy and healthy eating,
Chef Heather

No comments:

Post a Comment