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5 Healthy Lunch Ideas for Work

Eat healthy, remain healthy!

Our quality of health is directly reflected in the quality of our work output. No matter whether our work is physical or mental, our health is the result of our eating habits. And in today’s competitive working environment, who has the time to get sick? It therefore becomes a major agenda item to keep an eye on our food habits.

This raises the issue for most of the people about how to prepare a lunch that is healthy as well as appealing. I know it’s a big time-drain to think about keeping your lunch varied on daily basis, so here are 5 different and nutritious lunch recipes to bring a complete makeover to your midday meal at work:

1. Cheese and Tomato Lover’s Salad

Cheese and Tomato Lover's Salad

1 tomato, cubed
1 oz mozzarella cheese, cubed
1 cup fresh baby spinach leaves
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
3 tbsp sunflower seeds
1/4 tbsp black pepper
A pinch of salt

1) Mix all ingredients in a bowl.
2) Add 1/2 tbsp lemon juice.

2. Veggie-Packed Folds

Veggie-Packed Folds

2 carrots, shredded
4 lettuce leaves
2 tbsp black olives, sliced
2 tsp Italian dressing
2 whole wheat pita breads, cut in half into semi-circles
2 tbsp cream cheese
1 red pepper, cut into eight rings

1) Mix carrots, olives and Italian dressing.
2) Spread cheese over pita bread halves, and lay a lettuce leaf on half of each piece. Top lettuce with red pepper slices and carrot mixture and fold pita bread in half.
3) Folds are ready.

3. Baked Cottage Cheese Wrap


Makes 2-3 serves.

50 grams cottage cheese
5-6 slices brown bread
3 spring onions, finely sliced
1 tsp red chili powder, or to taste
1/2 tsp salt
Small handful cilantro/coriander leaves, chopped
1 tsp garam masala
3 tbsp salsa sauce
1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste, or to taste (this can be purchased from Indian grocery stores, or simply mix one part crushed ginger with two parts crushed garlic. Refrigerate any leftovers for up to a week.)
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1) Preheat oven to 170°C/340°F.
2) Crumble cottage cheese into a medium bowl. Add the red chili powder, garam masala, salt, coriander, and spring onion and mix well.
3) Add 3 spoonfuls of salsa sauce and the ginger-garlic paste to the mixture and blend. Set aside while you prep the bread.
4) Remove the crusts from your bread.
5) Place about 1 tbsp, or so, of filling along one end of the bread slice.
6) Gently roll in from filling end, making sure that the filling stays well within the first turn of the roll.
7) Go ahead and roll it all up!
8) Repeat with the remaining bread slices.
9) Wrap up the rolled, filled bread slices in a clean, damp kitchen towel.
10) Set aside for about 15 minutes.
11) Now, lightly brush the rolls with the oil on all sides.
12) Lightly roast in a pan in the preheated oven until all sides are browned. Don’t they look lovely! Once cooled, store in an airtight container to keep crispy for your work lunch.

4. Masala Egg

Masala Egg

Makes 3-4 serves.

8 free-range eggs
2 tbsp oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp ginger, finely chopped
2 green chilies, finely chopped
3 onions, finely chopped
3 tomatoes, cubed
1 tbsp red chili powder, or to taste
1/4 tbsp turmeric powder
1/2 tbsp garam masala powder
Salt to taste
2 tbsp fresh cilantro/coriander leaves, finely chopped

1) Heat oil in a non-stick pan. Add cumin seeds, ginger, green chilies and onions and sauté lightly.
2) Add tomatoes and cook until they are pulpy.
3) Add red chili powder, turmeric powder, garam masala powder and salt, and sauté.
4) While sauce is cooking, hard boil eggs in a saucepan. Cool under cold, running water, peel and cut into pieces.
5) Add eggs to prepared gravy.
6) Add coriander leaves and mix gently. You are all set to go!

5. Yogurt Rice


Makes 3-4 serves.

1/2 cup rice
1/4 cup split green gram (also known as split mung beans or moong dal), washed
3 cups of water
1 tbsp oil
1&1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
1 cup yogurt
1/4 cup shredded cucumber
1/4 cup shredded carrots
1 tbsp finely chopped ginger

For Seasoning:
2 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
2 whole red chili peppers
1 tbsp finely chopped green chili pepper
8-10 curry leaves (available at Indian grocery stores)
2 tbsp chopped cilantro/coriander leaves

1) Wash rice and split green gram, changing water several times until the water appears clear.
2) Drain the rice and split green gram and put into a saucepan.
3) Add water, oil, ginger and salt, and bring to a boil over high heat.
4) Once the water is boiling, reduce the heat to low (do not cover the pan yet).
5) Cook for 10-12 minutes so that rice and split green gram soften.
6) Cover the pan and cook for about 15 minutes further, so that the mixture becomes very soft and mushy.
7) Let the rice cool down to room temperature, add the yogurt and mix in well. NOTE: Adding the yogurt to hot rice will make yogurt sour and watery.
8) Next add cucumber, carrot and ginger and mix.

Prepare the seasoning:
1) In a small saucepan heat the oil over medium-high heat.
2) Add the mustard seeds and cumin seeds.
3) When seeds crack and pop, add red chilies, green chili, curry leaves and cilantro.
4) Stir for about a minute. NOTE: As you add the curry leaves, the oil will splatter, so be careful.
5) Turn off the heat and mix the seasoning with rice mixture.

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