When looking to make healthier habits, it is important to have a basic understanding of nutrition and why certain food choices are better for you than others.
These three-ingredient lunches are based around the concept of a lower carb, higher protein meal with healthy fats. They are easy to prepare and affordable too, so there’s no excuse not to give them a try.
- Eating a lower carb meal can not only help with weight loss goals for many people, it can also help to prevent the common mid-afternoon energy slump after eating lunch.
- Higher protein meals can help to keep you feeling fuller for longer and stop you reaching for a sugary snack later in the day.
- Healthy fats have been included in some of the recipe suggestions, as they can help to provide your body with energy, especially when on a low carb diet.
Lunch times might seem difficult when it comes to eating healthy as we’re often away from home and the safety of our kitchen. Preparing healthy meals in advance doesn’t have to be complicated, nor does it need to be time-consuming. Below are some recipes that are seriously simple and easy to prepare.
Chicken Fried Rice
- 1 Chicken breast
- 2 Eggs
- 50g Uncooked brown basmati rice
- Roast your chicken in the oven until cooked.
- Boil a portion of brown basmati rice and drain.
- Pull apart your cooked chicken or slice into bite-size pieces.
- In a pan, heat 1tsp of coconut oil and stir fry the cooked rice and chicken together in the oil.
- Crack into the pan two beaten eggs, and scramble with the chicken and rice.
- You could add spring onions, garden peas, diced pepper or even courgette to this meal to keep things exciting and why not season with a drizzle of sesame oil or light soy sauce for that authentic taste.
- 1 chicken breast
- 100g Greek yoghurt
- 1tbsp curry powder
- 1tbsp raisins
- 1tbsp fresh coriander
- 1tsp turmeric
- Marinade one chicken breast with the curry powder and 20g of Greek yoghurt.
- Roast in the oven at 160 for 30 minutes.
- Pull apart the cooked chicken with forks and add to a mixing bowl.
- Add the remaining yoghurt and turmeric and mix well.
- Season to taste.
- (Optional: add raisins and chopped coriander.)
Serve with a baked sweet potato, brown basmati rice or cauliflower rice (cauliflower blitzed up to the consistency of rice) and a side of veggies. You could also simply top a leafy salad with the coronation chicken or make into a wrap with salad leaves.
Tip: Make a big batch of this and portion it into containers to be stored in the fridge. This recipe will keep for three days in the fridge.
Smoked Salmon Egg White Wrap
- Smoked salmon
- Egg whites
- Whisk the egg whites together well.
- Heat a non-stick pan and add the egg whites so that they cover the pan.
- Cook like you would an omelette, then flip your wrap with a spatula to finish on each side.
- In a pan of boiling water, cook your asparagus spears for 3-5 minutes and then submerge in cold water.
- Lay the smoked salmon over the wrap and top with the asparagus. (A squeeze of lemon would be delicious here too!)
- Season well and wrap up with rocket leaves.
Tip: You can use these egg white wraps as a low carb, high protein alternative to wheat wraps and fill with whatever sandwich fillings you might usually have for lunch. Try to stick to fillings that are a good mixture of protein and vegetables, avoiding mayonnaise and condiments.
Smoked Salmon Butternut Spaghetti
- 80g smoked salmon (sliced into small pieces)
- 2 tbsp cream cheese
- 80g butternut spaghetti
- Squeeze of lemon
- In a pan, gently heat the cream cheese so that it is a smooth, runny consistency.
- Add the smoked salmon and butternut spaghetti and cook for 5-10 minutes until the butternut spaghetti is cooked.
- Finish with black pepper and a squeeze of lemon and top with a handful of rocket leaves.
Tip: Make this in advance or place all your ingredients in a container and heat through in the microwave at work. Heat for 3 1/2 minutes, stirring halfway through.
Baked Sweet Potato
- 1 Medium Sweet Potato
- Mozzarella, sundried tomato and Italian chicken breast, or…
- Pulled spicy chicken, red onion and chilli flakes, or…
- Hummus, peppers and olives, or…
- Mixed Beans, chilli flakes and avocado slices (with a squeeze of lime)
- Bake your sweet potato in the oven until tender in the middle.
- Slice across the top and fill with your chosen fillings. Simple.
- 50g uncooked quinoa
- 30g pomegranate seeds
- 30g feta
- Optional: fresh coriander, toasted sunflower seeds.
- Cook the quinoa as specified on the packet.
- Once cooked, stir through with a fork to fluff up.
- Add the pomegranate seeds and crumble the feta through the quinoa.
- Mix well, season and store in the fridge for up to four days.
Being prepared is key to succeeding when it comes to most challenges in life, in particular when it comes to staying on track with any food or diet plan. It is much easier to stay focused when you have your food ready in advance. That being said, meal prep doesn’t have to be boring or a chore, as I’ve highlighted above, so give some of these go-to recipes a try and you should find those new healthy habits much easier to stick to.