Posts tagged lunches
10-Minute Healthy Weekday Lunch

I bring my lunch to work every day. It's healthier and definitely saves money. My favorite kind of weekday work lunch is a hodge podge of leftovers from the night before. Meal prep and planning is essential for success and I follow the principle of 'cook once, eat at least twice.' This means if I am cooking chicken breasts + veggies for dinner (for two people), I will cook 4 chicken breasts and 4 servings of veggies so lunch is sorted for us the next day.  If, for some reason, this leftovers plan doesn't pan out, or we went out for dinner, then I have to have something up my sleeve that is simple, delicious and can be prepared quickly the night before or in the morning before heading to work. This salmon and collard green burrito is my go-to! All it entails in terms of prep is a quick steam of the collard greens so they're soft enough to roll like a tortilla and a messy stir of the salmon salad ingredients in a bowl. Throw the burritos into a glass tupperware container and you're off to the ten minutes (including clean up)! 

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Steak Salad with Ginger-Wasabi Dressing

One of the first principles I teach my clients is to make lunch the biggest, most nutrient dense meal of the day as the digestive system works most efficiently between 10am - 2pm. With lunch being the main meal, that means dinner should be small and light because your digestion is weaker in the evening. You could do a soup or stew in the autumn and winter and a salad in the spring and summer. This nutrient-dense steak salad is a great option for a light weeknight dinner. You'll feel full from the protein, healthy fat and fiber while keeping the calories pretty low at around 400. Plus it's totally delicious and satisfying!  

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Spring Chicken Tacos

Spring is here! So it's time to start transitioning away from the heavier comfort foods of winter and into light, cleansing spring fare! This doesn't mean you have to eat salads three meals a day. Instead, focus on flavored steamed veggies, brothy soups, sprouts and lighter proteins like beans/legumes, lean meat and fish. These tacos are a wonderful option for a weeknight dinner. Maybe you can even eat them outside on the porch like we did last night! 

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Indian Dal Comfort Food

This stuff is straight Sunday night comfort food. Not mac n' cheese, not pizza, not take-out sushi....Nope, I want mushy, creamy, Indian-spicy dal. For my dal, I use split yellow mung beans. I've already expressed my love of mung beans here. But these are special mung beans. These have had their green husks taken off which removes the gaseous content of the bean making it much easier to digest. Without a husk to keep each bean intact during cooking, they all turn to mush. Mmmm.. So split yellow mung beans are the perfect food for babies/the elderly, as well as for healing the gut and cleansing your digestive tract.

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Gluten Free Pizza

When people choose, or are instructed by their doctor/nutritionist, to start following a gluten free diet, it's common for them to feel like all of their favorite foods are being taken away from them -- pizza, pasta, sandwiches, muffins, cereal, cookies, beer, etc. While I completely understand how it can feel this way at first, I love providing my clients, friends, family, etc. with recipes that are delicious and naturally gluten free, as well as surprising them with ways to make their favorite gluten bomb foods sans gluten! This recipe is a perfect example of one of those surprises! Gluten free pizza? YES. While there are a few ways to make gluten free pizza crust, using polenta is definitely in the top three. It's pretty much fool-proof and hardly takes any time or effort. The nature of polenta is that it firms up and becomes quite dense when cooked. This is perfect for our pizza-crust purpose as the goal is to be able to cut it and hold your slice with your hand without it falling apart on you. While it looks like there is a lot to do in this recipe, it's really quite simple. If you're proficient at multi-tasking, you could have your pizza on the table in 45 minutes!

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Buffalo and Sweet Potato Chili

Ok guys, here I am delivering on my promise from last week. If you're thinking of giving the Two Week Red Meat Experiment a try, this is the perfect dish to make on Sunday for a week's worth of no hassle red meat lunches. Portion it out into mason jars and bring one to work with you each day. Too easy! Even if you aren't doing the Experiment, this recipe is sure to please! I'm on a bit of a chili-making kick at the moment and this one is by far the best from my repertoire. Hearty, protein-y, spicy and moreish -- what more could you want from a winter lunch? It will get you through your afternoon without thoughts of chips or chocolate (I can pretty much promise). I'd definitely recommend doing one of the two creamy-add-ons, as well as garnishing with a healthy handful of cilantro to get some green into your midday meal.

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Ayurvedic Green Gram

I haven’t eaten any animal protein (meaning: chicken, fish, pork, red meat, etc.) since I left Australia last Christmas to travel in Asia. I began my meat-free life in India at the Ayurvedic detox center, as animal products (except for milk) were not an option. The wellness retreat in Thailand where I stayed for yoga teacher training served only vegetarian meals. In the Himalayas in Nepal, we learned that no animal is allowed to be slaughtered in the Everest region (the Sherpas who live there are Buddhists) and therefore meat for the trekkers comes to the region either by plane or by road. It is then transported up the mountain to the teahouses on the back of a yak or Sherpa, in a straw basket “protected” from the sun and flies by a tarp over the top. After walking past a few of these yak trains or over-loaded Sherpas, my vegetarianism while trekking was confirmed. From there, we headed to Ubud (Bali) which is like a healthy hippie vegetarian heaven. There are at least a dozen restaurants right in the main part of town serving up incredible and unique plant-based cuisine so I thought choosing the meat option seemed like a waste. By the time I got back to the U.S. in April, I figured I would want to tuck right in to a nice piece of wild-caught Alaskan salmon or a beautiful organic and pasture-raised chicken breast, but I didn’t. There was nothing in my body or mind telling me I wanted meat again. I didn’t feel malnourished, weak, or tired; in fact, I felt light, energetic and wayyy less bloated! The latter being the most exciting for me as I have struggled with my digestion for quite some time. While I’m not saying my digestion is 100% healed with perfect elimination and zero bloating, I am confident that it is much better than it was six months ago. No longer eating animal products may be a large factor or a small factor in that equation, but one thing is for certain - you need a strong digestive fire to digest animal protein and, at the moment, mine is still a little flicker.

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Go-To Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner

I love this meal.  Any time of day, it hits the spot beautifully. I have no qualms about eating breakfast foods for dinner or lunch foods for breakfast.  You'll often find me having a bowl of porridge for dinner or a piece of salmon for breakfast.  I don't categorize foods or meals as only appropriate for certain times of day.  If it's delicious and healthy, I'm down.  

Eggs are, in my mind, the perfect food, not only for their nutritional profile but also because of their versatility for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  They are chock full of high-quality protein, healthy fats, as well as being an awesome source of antioxidants, Vitamin A, D, potassium, folate and calcium.  

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Asian Fusion Chicken and Raw Veggie Noodle Salad

I absolutely adore clean, fresh and vibrant Asian flavors.  My first exposure to, and subsequent adoration of, Asian cuisine was during my first visit to Asia four years ago with two of my best mates, Anna and Alexandra.  "The Asian Crew," to which we are often referred (which is funny, but more strange, considering we went to high school and college together too - not just Asia - ha), backpacked around the southeastern countries of Asia (Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, and Singapore) for two months after graduating from UVa.  In addition to visiting temples, getting scuba-certified, hiking through jungles, rafting down rivers in inner-tubes, and drinking vodka from buckets (as you do when you're 22), we embraced each country's slightly different cuisine and were even 'cultured' enough to take a cooking class in Cambodia! While none of us had much of a cooking background, we had such exciting experience learning about and experimenting with all the Asian ingredients which were so foreign to us at the time.  I remember being so inspired to get home and cook up for our parents all the recipes we learned during our class.  Unfortunately that plan never eventuated (maybe because we couldn't find banana leaves in Richmond?), but hopefully the recipe notes are still somewhere at home that I can dig up now that my Asian food passion has made a resurgence. 

When I say I love Asian food, what I mean is that I enjoy certain flavors and styles of cooking, rather than any particular country's cuisine.  If I had to choose, though, I would say I favor Thai, Vietnamese and Japanese the most, over Chinese, Malaysian or Indonesian. When you consider that many of these Asian countries share borders, and inevitably, common ingredients, it's no wonder Asian Fusion cuisine, which is just combining flavors from different countries, has become so popular. 

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Work Lunch + Quinoa and Chicken San Choi Bow Recipe

Wanna know the secret to cutting the office afternoon snack attack?

Eat an amazing lunch!

So simple, but so crucial.  

When we eat the same ol' unsatisfying meal day after day, or simply don't eat enough, for lunch, it's no wonder we find ourselves raiding the kitchen in the break room or, worse, the vending machine come 3 o'clock. Instead, if you make your mid-day meal delicious and satiating by including some good fats and protein, those heavy eyelids and uncontrollable sugar cravings will become distant memories. 

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