It is very easy to get stuck in a bit of a lunchtime rut. We all do it! Whether you prepare your own lunches at home or pop down to the local sandwich shop or supermarket it is tempting to stick to the same old thing day in day out! I appreciate that many of us are extremely time poor but eating the same old things every single day can get a tad dull! And I believe that food is to be enjoyed!! You might also find that by sticking to one thing all the time you are not exposing your body to as many different nutrients as you could do by eating a wide range of different foods. Plus if you are bored at meal times then you are more likely to seek out naughty treats later on in the day!
So, I encourage you to take a look at your lunchtime menu, have you had the same thing everyday this week? If so it’s time to try something new! Try a new protein source that you wouldn’t usually have or select a couple of new vegetables next time you go shopping and try and make a soup with them. Add some seeds, herbs and spices to your salad and try different combinations or try and make a new healthy salad dressing. Look at the existing foods that you eat, how could you make them even more tasty?!
Here are a few (slightly different!) lunch ideas that you could try to spice things up a bit!
Cottage Cheese with a difference
It has a reputation for being a little bland sometimes – it’s one of those that you either love or you hate! BUT if you can bare to stick with it cottage cheese is extremely high in protein (1 cup contains between 25 and 28 g of protein!) which makes it a great lunchtime filler, helping to keep those mid afternoon hunger cravings at bay. To spice it up a bit and add another dimension try adding some sun-dried tomatoes, Italian mixed herbs and a tablespoon of mixed seeds to your cottage cheese, honestly it is soooo yummy!
Serve your cottage cheese with a green salad of rocket and spinach and you could create an open sandwich by adding on top of one slice of low GI toast. Alternatively you could chop up sticks of celery and carrot and use to dip.
Tuna and Cottage Cheese
If you are not a huge fan of tuna than try mixing together with cottage cheese and a few chives. The cottage cheese tones down the fishiness of the tuna and the chives compliment it perfectly. Another great high protein mix that will leave you feeling full for HOURS!
Serve on top of a Dr Karg Seeded Spelt cracker with a tomato, cucumber, celery and carrot salad.
Yoghurt and Garlic Chicken
Cold left over chicken can be a little bland or dry when served on it’s own. Mix together a couple of tablespoons of natural unsweetened yoghurt, a clove of crushed garlic, a good squeeze of lemon juice, a good drizzle of olive oil and some black pepper (add a little salt too if required).
To serve mix into your pieces of chicken (a bit like a healthy coronation chicken) or place chicken on top of a salad and drizzle the yoghurt dressing over the top.
The Soup and Protein Combo
To add a bit of variety why not make a healthy vegetable soup and serve with a portion of protein? Fry 1 onion in a little olive oil for about a minute and then add 1 chopped pepper, 2 chopped courgettes, 1 large chopped carrot, 3 stalks chopped celery and fry for about 5 minutes. Add some chopped sun-dried tomatoes, 2 cans of chopped tomatoes and 1 litre of good quality vegetable stock cubes (such as bouillon) you could also add a glug of white wine (optional!). Bring to a gentle boil and then simmer on a very low heat for about 30 mins. Liquidise with a hand blender.
To serve make sure you add some protein! We like to add some cubes of feta cheese or some canned tuna to the soup. If not then just serve with a portion of smoked salmon or chicken breast on the side.
I believe that Fritatta’s are hugely under-rated! They are delicious served hot or cold and they are so versatile, you can experiment with a never ending combination of flavours and can’t really go that wrong!
For a VERY easy Fritatta that takes minimal ingredients, pre heat the oven to 170 c and lightly fry a leek and a red pepper. Pour into the bottom of a baking dish, lined with baking paper that has at least 1.5 inches in-depth which is about the thickness of the finished fritatta. Mix together desired number of eggs along with some milk, some Italian mixed herbs and a little salt and pepper. Use around 8-12 eggs depending on the size of the baking dish you are using…baring in mind that it will puff up a little when it has cooked. Pour the egg mix on top of the leek and peppers and add some cubes of feta or goats cheese. Cook in the oven for around 30-40 minutes or until the egg is cooked through and the fritatta is lightly brown on the top.
Serve hot or cold with a green salad.
Alternatively for a taste sensation try Laura’s Blissful Fritatta bites;
EXPERIMENT AND ENJOY! Would love to hear how you get on!