You know that feeling: as your day creeps toward 2 p.m. your body starts to slump into sluggish/tired mode. Work seems arduous and you begin counting down the hours until you get to go home. To that sensation we say, “No more!” You don’t have to feel like your afternoons are a slog. Simply dig into a delicious and nutritional lunch that will fuel your metabolism and keep you energized throughout the day. Here are three top-notch lunch recipes.
Turkey spinach panini
Sandwiches are the perfect way to get nutrients into your day — just power-pack them full of healthy ingredients like hummus and low-fat Canadian cheese.
- 2 slices whole grain bread
- 2 tablespoons hummus
- 1/2 cup fresh baby spinach
- 4 ounces low sodium turkey breast
- 1 slice low-fat swiss cheese
- Spread hummus over each slice of bread.
- Rinse spinach leaves with cold water, and dry. Stack on one slice of bread.
- Top spinach with turkey and cheese.
- Cook for five minutes in a panini maker, or grill for three minutes per side in a skillet over medium heat.
- Add other fresh veggies such as bell pepper, red onion and cucumber as desired before grilling.
Avocado egg salad recipe
Egg salad sandwiches can be delicious, but they can also be fatty. Instead of the recipe your mom used to make, reach for this concoction, courtesy of Grab a Plate. Top with a slice of low-fat Canadian cheese as well as a tomato and lettuce, and you’re looking at one powerhouse of a lunch.
- 6 hard-boiled eggs, chilled and peeled
- 1 to 2 avocados cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 5 radishes, finely chopped
- 1 green onion, finely chopped
- 1 to 2 tablespoons low-fat mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon parsley, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- Zest of half a lemon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt, to taste
- 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper, to taste
- Hard-boil six eggs. Once cooled, peel them and separate the yolks from the whites. Dice the whites into small pieces.
- In a large bowl, combine the egg yolks, avocado and low-fat mayonnaise. (Note: If you use two avocados, use one tablespoon of mayo. If you use one avocado, go with two tablespoons of mayo) and mash everything together with a fork or potato masher until combined and smooth (some people like to leave a few chunks).
- Mix in the lemon juice, zest, parsley, radishes, green onion and salt and pepper to the mixture. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
- Gently fold in the diced egg whites and combine.
- Chill until ready to use. Serve on sandwich bread or on lettuce leaves with your favorite fresh veggies.
Warm Mediterranean quinoa salad recipe
Not a sandwich person? Reach for a salad instead. This recipe is a mega-bowl of nutritional power — especially because it’s packed with high-fibre quinoa. Top with a locally sourced Canadian cheese (similar to feta) and this meal is so full of nutrients, it will fill your belly until at least dinnertime.
- 1 large head broccoli, cut into bite-sized florets
- 1 small eggplant, cut into bite-sized chunks
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup quinoa
- 2 cups water
- 1/4 cup minced red onion
- 3/4 cup dried currants
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
- 2 tablespoons pomegranate syrup*
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (205 degrees C) and spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.
- Place broccoli and eggplant on the baking sheet and drizzle with two tablespoons olive oil, tossing to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Roast for 15 to 20 minutes or until tender and lightly browned.
- Meanwhile, combine quinoa and water in a medium saucepan over high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover pan and simmer for 10 to 12 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed. Transfer to a large bowl.
- Add vegetables, onion, currants, herbs, remaining two tablespoons of olive oil and pomegranate syrup to quinoa and toss well to combine.
- Divide quinoa salad among four bowls and garnish with feta.
*Cook’s note: You can buy pomegranate syrup or pomegranate molasses in the ethnic section of many supermarkets. You can also make your own pomegranate syrup by combining 1/2 cup 100 percent pomegranate juice and 1/4 cup granulated sugar in a small skillet over high heat. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat and simmer until mixture reduces down and thickens into a syrup.