By United Supermarkets Registered Dietitians
United Supermarkets’ Lifestyle Desk
Lunch can be a tricky meal when you’re standing and staring in your refrigerator at 6 a.m. getting ready to head out for work and wondering what you’ll be eating midday. You’ve planned for your kids, but what about yourself?
Let’s take a look at what that could look like in a few different ways.
Think about having transitional ingredients to reduce food waste, use less space in the refrigerator, and stretch your budget. For example, shredded carrots and cabbage could go in a taco salad or an asian fusion bowl; frozen riced cauliflower can be a great addition in oatmeal with some apples and cinnamon for breakfast or mixed in with your mac n’ cheese at lunch; plain greek yogurt can be enjoyed at breakfast with some fresh fruit and nuts or as a dressing at lunch with a few additional seasonings like a dry ranch packet or harissa.
Have a plan! Here are a couple of scenarios:
Is work providing you lunch? Load up on the protein and non-starchy veggies to start and add in a complex carbohydrate to help fuel you through the afternoon.
Will you be out and about? Think road trip friendly while hitting every part of the MyPlate model. Pack something car-friendly like a squeeze pouch of fruit (no rotten stinky core to remember or and no napkins needed), finger friendly veggies like sugar snap peas/carrots/cucumbers, whole grain crackers, jerky, and a shelf stable ultra-filtered milk like Fairlife.
Do you need to work through lunch? Take at least 10 minutes to acknowledge you are eating the lunch you packed instead of shoveling it down or skipping right past it and overeating later in the day.
Running low on time? Utilize the leftovers from last night or the night before dinner.
Whether you carry your lunch in your lunchbox, backpack, or purse, having a handy way to transport it is key. Keeping items relatively close to temperature can be a tricky part to help prevent them going outside the recommended temperature range. Using things like insulated containers, ice packs, frozen sponges in plastic bags, foil, or any other way is key.
Getting in the daily recommended servings of fruits and veggies can be challenging. Well, not with this lunch time hack! Pull out those measuring cups and look at what you are truly consuming. Take the guesswork out of it and add more!
Another hack to keep things super cold or hot for up to 8 hours would be an insulated cup!
In a 1,000 person survey, 60% of recently promoted millennials took a break at lunch, whether it was to rest and recharge, make connections, or enjoy a light physical activity.
In a 1,000 person survey, people who bring their lunch are 54% more likely to eat fruit and vegetables at that time. The recommended servings of fruit and vegetables is 5-9 servings per day. Remember that 1 serving is half a cup cooked or 1 cup raw.
Guacamole Chickpea Salad Collard Wrap
What You Need
2 cans of low sodium chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 medium stalks of celery, finely chopped
1/2 cup fresh cut bell pepper
1/2 cup shredded carrots, roughly chopped
1 1/2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 cup fresh-made deli guacamole
A pinch of salt
A pinch of pepper
6 collard leaves (Without holes/tears are best)
Package of Flatout FlatbreadⓇ
How It’s Made
1. In a large bowl, mash chickpeas with a potato masher.
2. Add celery, bell pepper, carrots, lemon juice, guacamole, salt and pepper to the bowl, mixing until well combined.
3. Thoroughly rinse the collard leaves and gently shake dry, leaving a little excess water.
4. Remove the tough, lower stem. (If it has a large, protruding center rib, use a sharp paring knife to shave it off, making the rib even with the rest of the leaf.)
5. Place the leaves on a dinner plate, separating each leaf with a paper towel, and microwaving for 30-seconds.
6. On a plate, lay a collard leaf flat on one of your Flatout FlatbreadsⓇ and add a 3/4 cup scoop of the chickpea salad on top.
7. Fold in the edges and roll it up like a burrito before enjoying.