By Gina Grant
Most weight-conscious people would agree. So, get out of your rut and spice up your lunchtime with these healthy, delicious sandwiches that are also good-to-go. If you are trying to get in four to five meals per day, including snacks, you could be finding it difficult to keep your meals healthy and interesting. If taking your lunch means stepping into a fast food joint, then the chances are you’re feeling tired and lethargic into the late afternoon.
All it takes is a few minutes to prepare, and you’ve got yourself a lively lunch with just a few simple ingredients – five day a week. Most of the ingredients you will be using are regular foods, which you will put together in various combinations, creating tempting, tasty mini-meals. Caloric values can easily be altered by increasing or decreasing the ingredients, according to each individual’s requirements.
Day 1: Chicken Burrito
90g grilled, skinless chicken breast, shredded
30g cheddar cheese, grated
4 tablespoons salsa
1 cup lettuce, shredded
1 medium pita bread
Open the pita into 2 halves
- Divide and spread salsa over the two halves of pita bread
- Place lettuce on top of salsa
- Mix together chicken and cheese, then sprinkle over the lettuce
- Fold in the sides of the pita (about 2cm), then flip the bottom half up and over and roll so all ingredients are contained.
Nutritional Value: Calories 420. Protein 38g. Carbs 39g. Fat 12g
Day 2: Stuffed Turkey-Spinach Pita
1 whole-wheat pita or local balady bread
90g grilled skinless white turkey meat, roasted
1 medium tomato, sliced
1 medium green or red pepper, chopped
1 cup spinach, raw, shredded (just like lettuce)
Dip: 1 cucumber
1-cup plain non-fat yoghurt
1-tablespoon fresh dill
1-teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- Cut pita or balady bread to form a pocket
- Stuff with turkey, tomato, pepper and spinach
- Place all dip ingredients in a screw top jar and shake
- Pour half on top of the filling and use the remaining as a dip for your sandwich
Nutritional Value: Calories 470g. Protein 42g. Carbs 62g. Fat 8g.
Day 3: Mixed Bean Salad with Feta Cheese and Mint
1-cup green beans
½-cup kidney beans, drained and washed
30g feta cheese
1-teaspoon olive oil
juice of ½ lemon
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
- Boil water in a pan and drop in the green beans for 3-4 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water to keep fresh
- Put all beans and corn into a mixing bowl
- Crumble feta and gently mix with beans and corn
- Blend oil, lemon juice, mustard and mint.
- Season and toss with beans and cheese
Nutritional Value: Calories 321. Protein 17g. Carbs 41g. Fat 12g.
Day 4: Smoked Salmon on Whole-grain Baguette
1 whole-grain baguette (approx 17cm long)
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
60g non-fat cottage cheese
2 teaspoons capers
1 medium tomato, chopped
90g smoked salmon
- Slice baguette in half lengthwise
- Brush inside with balsamic vinegar
- Mix cheese and tomato and spread over two halves
- Sprinkle capers over cheese
- Divide and top with smoked salmon
Nutritional Value: Calories 560. Protein 39g. Carbs 68g. Fat 16g.
Day 5: Tuna Pockets
1-can tuna in water
1 carrot, grated
2-cups mixed green salad
1 whole-wheat pita or local balady bread
Dressing: 1-teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon mustard (preferably Dijon)
- Mix the first three ingredients in a bowl.
- Place all dressing ingredients in a screw top jar and shake
- Pour dressing onto tuna and mix well
- Cut the pita or balady bread into 2 halves forming pockets and fill each half with the tuna salad mixture.
Nutritional Value: Calories 466. Protein 41g. Carbs 62g. Fat 8g.
All the above lunches can be easily transported to the office; just wrap up in foil. For those with dips and dressings, simply put in a small pot or screw top jar and take it with you. Add to the sandwich or salad just before serving to keep the ingredients fresh and crunchy!
To give you an idea about how the above recipes compare to a fast food snack, look at the list below and decide for yourself which you would rather fuel your body with – and which will get you the results that you want from your training…
1 Tuna Sub Sandwich. Calories 663. Fat 37g
1 each Shrimp/Fish Taco. Calories 368. Fat 12g
1 serving Chicken Hot Wings. Calories 415. Fat 29g
1 serving fast food Coleslaw. Calories 147. Fat 11g
1 Big Mac. Calories 590. Fat 35g
1 medium portion French fries. Calories 320. Fat 17g
1 Cheese Croissant. Calories 493. Fat 38g
1 small packet Potato Chips. Calories150. Fat 10g
1 Cinnamon Roll. Calories 350. Fat 17g
1 medium slice Chocolate Cake. Calories300. Fat 12g
1 cup Vanilla Ice Cream. Calories 265. Fat 15g