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lunch

We've all been there: we arrive in from school, college or work – we're absolutely exhausted, fed-up and oh-so tempted to order food from the chipper or Chinese.

The only issue: take-aways are hardly good for your health, waistline OR your pocket.

But there ARE amazingly simple and delicious recipes that take just ten minutes (or less!) to prepare.

We've kept these six meal ideas veggie – but you can easily add in the likes of pre-cooked sliced chicken if you feel you'd rather a meat-hit too.

1) Breakfast taco

Lightly oil a pan and then stick it over a medium-high heat.

Scramble three egg whites, a small handful of spinach leaves, and a tablespoon of drained and rinsed black beans (from a can is fine). Season with salt and pepper.

When the mixture has set, remove from the heat.

Wrap it all up in a whole-wheat tortilla and top with some salsa.

2) Cold pizza

Great for hitting the spot when you've a craving. Toast two bits of thickly-sliced whole-grain bread and brush with a garlic clove. 

Top with two tablespoons of ricotta or torn mozzarella, a large basil leaf, tomato slices, a drizzle of olive oil, and salt and pepper.

Pop under the grill for five minutes – then eat.

3) Mediterranean pita

Split open a whole-wheat pita and spread one side with hummus.

Grill a red pepper (sliced) and then add to the pita. Also throw in a sprinkling of crumbled feta, some black olives, and five slices cucumber.

Top with mixed salad; then it's ready!

4) White bean sandwich

Mash around a quarter can of rinsed and drained white beans with some olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper.

Toast two bits of thickly-sliced whole-grain bread and then spread with the bean mixture.

Top with slices of red onion, cucumber, and avocado.

5) Loaded Sweet Potato

Prick one small-to-medium sweet potato with a fork around five times.

Microwave on a piece of kitchen paper or a microwave-safe plate for five minutes.

Split open lengthwise and top with a couple of spoonfuls of Greek yogurt, a drizzle of honey, and two tablespoons of drained and rinsed black beans.

Top with a pinch of paprika.

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Getting our five-a-day isn’t always easy and it’s even better to get even MORE than just five portions of fruit and veg a day – but how?

Here are some super simple ways you can fill your everyday diet with lots of fruit and veggies which are perfect for keeping your skin, body and mental health in peak condition.

Breakfast
Many people love having fruit for breakfast – in smoothies, on toast or stirred into their porridge. If you’re not one of these people then you need to be!

Porridge: Top your porridge with a whole chopped banana or some fresh berries and grated apple.

Toast: Skip the butter and grab some nut butter topped with chopped banana on toast. Perfect energy release for the long wait to lunch!

Smoothies: If you’re used to having primarily fruit in your smoothies then why not add some veg to up your intake? Kale, spinach, celery, cucumber and carrot all work really well in juices and smoothies.

Lunch
Everyone waits all morning in work and college for lunchtime – so make it a good (and healthy!) one.

Wraps: If you love a wrap for lunch, why not pack a salad and add the salad into the wrap yourself. Rather than filling up the entire wrap, fill half first and then the when you’re finished the other half. This will ensure you will fill up on the good veggies rather than the wrap.

Soup: This is a healthy option but sometimes soup that you buy in shops can be loaded with salt and often cream. Soup is incredibly easy to make in bulk and freezes very well. Make some soup loaded with veggies and place in individual lunchboxes in the freezer.

Sandwich: The best way to increase your intake of veggies in your lunchtime sandwich is to take out the majority of other things such as cheese. Half the cheese you would normally ask for and instead opt for extra lettuce, cucumber or tomato.

Dinner
It’s important at dinner that the biggest portion of your plate is taken up by vegetables, the other half divided into proteins and grains. Here is how to incorporate more fruit and veggies into dinnertime.

Spaghetti Bolognese: Cut your beef down and bulk up your Bolognese sauce with grated carrot, courgette and chopped spinach.

Curry: Sweet tastes always match perfectly with curry so accompany your dinner with mango rice – simply dice an entire mango into your rice. So easy!

Pizza: Frozen, homemade or delivery, it’s so easy to add more fruit and veg onto your pizza – mushrooms, pineapple, peppers, tomatoes, broccoli, courgette…the list goes on. 

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Soup is great for bulk-making those weekly lunches – just cook ahead of time and store in the fridge or freezer. Healthy and satisfying, this soup is great with brown bread on those cold winter days.

What you need:

  • 2 carrots
  • 1 onion
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 1 leek
  • 1 parsnip
  • fresh parsley
  • 1 tsp vegetable bouillon powder
  • salt and pepper

What you do:

  1. Chop the onion, carrot, parsnip, leek and celery into pieces; you’ll be blending it anyway so it doesn’t need to be perfect.
  2. Heat a tbsp of olive oil in a large saucepan and add all the veg. Cook for about 5 minutes and season well.
  3. Add the tbsp of bouillon powder and cover the veg with boiling water.
  4. Cook over low-medium heat until the veg has softened.
  5. Add the chopped fresh parsley.
  6. Allow to cool and use a hand-blender to blend the soup.
  7. Serve with your favourite brown bread.
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