Step away from the Vending Machine: 13 ingredients, 5 Simple Lunches

Seriously, step away from the vending machines! Get out of the fast-food line! Please, your body can’t take it!

I get it. Eating healthy isn’t always convenient. We’re busy and we have to commute, work 9 hours a day, work out, run errands, do wash, clean the house, do the dishes…..then do it all again the next day. Who the FRIG has time to make their own healthy lunch!?!?!??!

Healthy, simple work lunches are possible!
Healthy, simple work lunches are possible!

You have time to make a simple, healthy, nutrient dense lunch. Yup, YOU!

Here are 13 ingredients you probably already have in your house (or can easily get at your local grocery store) that you can use to construct 5 healthy lunches you can eat throughout the week. With a little bit of prep, these lunches take no time at all to grab and go. Your body will thank you for feeding it real food.

Ingredients

1 cucumber peeled & sliced
1 Avocado
1 tomato sliced
2 handfuls of almonds (raw/organic) chopped roughly
2 cups of spinach
1 can of organic garbanzo beans
5 radishes – chopped
1 lemon
4 slices of multi-grain organic bread
2 cups of shredded carrots
4 spring roll wrappers
4 nori sheets
4 tablespoons of olive oil

Prep

If you’re making all of these fabulous lunches at once, prep all your veggies first and put aside. Shred your carrots, chop your cucumbers, slice your radish.

Meal Prep
Meal Prep

Use 1/2 the can of garbanzo beans to make a homemade paste – putting 1/2 can in a food processor with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and a tablespoon or two of lemon juice. Peel the avocado and slice.

Happy Lunch
Happy Lunch

Lunches

  • Veggie Spring Rolls
    Take your spring roll (one at a time) and wet with warm water. Place on a plastic cutting board. Lay a nori sheet ontop. Put about 4-5 pieces of raddish, 2 slices of avocado and a tablespoon or two of shredded carrots in the middle of the roll. Fold in and roll up. Make 4 – these are delicious with hummus, a peanut dipping sauce or just plain! They’ll keep in the fridge for 2-3 days.
  • Open face hummus sandwich
    Toast two pieces of wheat bread. Slather with your hummus and pack each with radish, cucumber, avocado, a few pieces of tomato and 2 tablespoons of shredded carrots. Sprinkle with lemon juice.
  • Spinach Salad with garbanzo beans
    Pack a big bowl with most of the spinach. dump half the chopped almonds, garbanzo beans and a few radish for crunch. Top with a few slices of avocado. Sprinkle with olive oil and lemon (as much as you want!)
  • Panzella Salad
    Take two pieces of bread and cut into bite size pieces. Toss with 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil. Toast. Take a few slices of tomatoes and cut into bite sized pieces. Toss in a 1/2 handful of spinach, the rest of the almonds, a few squeezes of lemon juice and toss.
  • Tomato Stacks
    Layer the remaining tomato with the left over goods – avocado, hummus, shredded carrots, radish. Sprinkle with a bit of olive oil & lemon juice.

You can use more veggies, different veggies, more hummus, more bread…..whatever healthy additions you’d like. Top with seeds, more nuts, spices. Serve with an apple, banana, strawberries, blueberries, kale chips, sweet potato chips. There are a million variations here!

With a little bit of prep and a little bit of conscious thinking, you can make a huge difference in the way your day goes, the way you feel, the way you allow your body to feel.

Healthy is a lifestyle – live it well!

Happy lunch!

Sweet & Savory

Being efficient in the kitchen is super important. With today’s busy schedule, if you’re going to take the time to make something whole, nutritious, a little more elaborate…..isn’t it best to stretch your time to get the most out of your meal? Re-using dishes/kitchen appliances, using the same ingredients, accessing the most nutrients possible? Yes, yes indeed!

So, this past week I decided to make sweet & savory Pie Crusts for two dishes:

Tart Crusts: Sweet & Savory
Tart Crusts: Sweet & Savory

A Zucchini & Tomato Tart & a Vegan coconut cream pie

WHAT!?!?!?!?! Yup, I’m telling you I used most of the same ingredients, re-used my food processor (not cleaning in between) and made two extremely different dishes. And here’s how.

Tart crusts!
Tart crusts!

Savory Tart Crust

10 graham crackers (small kind)
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 small hand full of almonds
1 1/2 tablespoons coconut oil

Put almonds in first, pulse until crumbled. Put the rest in a cuisine art and blend, pulsing until all is mixed. Press into a tart pan and bake 10 minutes at 375. I filled with a zucchini tart goodness, that I’ll delve into in another blog!

Sweet Tart Crust

11 graham crackers (small kind)
3 tablespoons raw coconut flakes
2 tablespoons of agave

Blend all in a cuisine art (the same one from above! No need to wash). Press into a pie pan and bake for 10-15 minutes at 375.

Bake at the same time, make two gorgeous dishes and save some time! Plus, the ingredients are simple, delicious and not processed.

Happy Baking!

Healthy Math

I just got back from the grocery store on this beautiful Saturday morning. Mike and I eat in 85% of the week, so my the time Saturday comes around, our supply is running low to say the least!

The Arvada Farmers Market started up for the season (YAY!) and knowing I’d be heading there, I refrained from buying a ton of greenery. Our farmers market has a local farm stand that allows you to fill a whole bag of veggie goodies, for $10!!!!!!! Like a kid on Christmas!

Hearty grocery Bill!
Hearty grocery Bill!

So, that being said, I went, I shopped (not buying my usual veggie stash) and walked out having spent a cool $144!

Holy cow!!!!! (And I don’t eat meat!)

Grocery Goodies
Grocery Goodies

Driving home though, I started doing the math….the whole trip spurred from us debating whether or not to go to Panera and just grab breakfast. Well, a healthy breakfast sandwich there, plus coffee, for two is about $18.

Here’s how my bill compares, just considering the breakfast items I used this morning:

Organic brown eggs (a dozen): $3.29

A bunch of organic kale: $.98

Organic tortillas: $1.99

Tofurkey Sausage: $4.49

Total: $10.75

And I only used 3 eggs, 2 pieces of kale, 1/3 of the sausage, and 2 tortillas. So we have enough for another 4-5 breakfasts!!!!! We also paired our meal with purple grapes & watermelon (around $6 for 2 watermelons and a bunch of grapes).

Happy Breakfast
Happy Breakfast

Healthy isn’t expensive, it just takes time. And it’s time well spent!

Happy Breakfast!