5 HEALTHY LUNCH BOX IDEAS

We all know that we should try and eat a good mix of carbohydrates, protein and healthy fat in every meal. However, this is especially important while you’re participating in the Aspire Channel Swim to make sure that you are refuelling your body properly and preparing yourself for your next swim! If you’re struggling to think of lunchbox ideas why not try one of the following delicious meals? Remember to have 2 healthy snacks throughout the day as well – healthy doesn’t mean you go hungry!


Spicy Chicken and Salad Wrap

What’s great about it?: Super easy and quick recipe with minimal effort! The chicken provides a great dose of protein, and all the veg equates to 2 of your 5 a day.

Ingredients (1 serving):

1 tbsp Greek style yoghurt.

¼ teaspoon curry powder.

¼ teaspoon cumin.

Pinch chilli powder.

Handful of cooked chicken breast cut into pieces (or quorn chicken for vegetarian alternative).

1 wholemeal wrap.

Handful of lettuce.

3 slices of cucumber

Couple thin slices of pepper.


Method:

Mix together the chicken, spices and yoghurt. Spread mixture over wrap and layer the salad on top. Wrap and go!


Broccoli Pesto and Vegetable Pasta

What’s great about it: This is an easy meal to prep ahead and store in the fridge for quick lunches on the go. It’s also super healthy with all the vegetables; a whopping 3 servings of veg per portion! If you’re a firm meat eater feel free to add chicken or prawns (but we think it tastes delicious without!).

Ingredients (2 servings):

1 whole broccoli.

2 handfuls cherry tomatoes cut in half.

2 handfuls of frozen peas.

2 handfuls whole-wheat pasta.

½ cup grated parmesan.

Handful fresh basil leaves.

Drizzle of olive oil.

Lemon juice.


Method:

- Remove the stalk of the broccoli and finely chop the head into small florets. Boil the stalk in lightly salted water for around 3 minutes, then add florets and cook for 3 minutes more. Remove from the water with slotted spoon and put aside for a second.

- Add the pasta to same pot of boiling water and cook according to packet instructions. Add the peas when the pasta only has 5 minutes left.

- While the pasta is cooking, put all of the broccoli (bar a handful of florets) to a food processor and add the parmesan, basil oil, lemon juice and seasoning. Process until smooth.

- Drain the pasta and peas (keep a little of the cooking water), and mix with the broccoli pesto, remaining broccoli florets and cherry tomatoes. Use the remaining cooking water to thin out the pesto so it covers everything evenly if needed.


Lemon Parsley Bean Salad

What’s great about it: This is the perfect recipe for taking to work; the recipe makes 6 portions and will keep in the fridge for several days (just make sure you cover it properly). Even better; this recipe is totally gluten free and vegan! Serve with a whole-wheat pitta and couple dollops of hummus for a perfectly balanced lunch.

Ingredients (6 servings):

2 cans red kidney beans (rinsed and drained).

1 can chickpeas (rinsed and drained).

1 red onion – diced.

2 celery stalks – diced.

1 tomato - diced.

1 medium cucumber – peeled, seeded and diced.

Handful of chopped parsley.

2 tablespoons chopped dill or mint.

3 tablespoons olive oil.

3 tablespoons lemon juice.

3 garlic cloves - grated or finely chopped.

Hummus and pitta to serve.


Method:

- Make the dressing by mixing together the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and salt and pepper.

- In a separate bowl mix together the remaining ingredients, and pour over the dressing.

- Serve with hummus and pitta on the side.

- On the salads 5th and 6th day (if it makes it that far!) revive it with a splash of lemon juice and some salt and pepper.


Baked Salmon with Dill Yoghurt and Avocado

What’s great about it: This lunch feels like a real treat, but actually you’re still being incredibly healthy! Salmon and avocado are packed with healthy fats which are great for your hair, skin and nails.

Ingredients (1 serving):

1 salmon fillet.

Handful of rosemary.

Drizzle of olive oil.

2 tablespoons of natural yoghurt.

Dill to taste

1 garlic clove

Half an avocado.

Squeeze of lemon juice


Method:

- Preheat your oven to 200C / 400F / gas 6. Put the salmon skin side down in a roasting dish with the rosemary on top and drizzle over the olive oil. Rub the oil and rosemary into the fish, season, and bake for 20 minutes.

-  Meanwhile scoop out the avocado from its skin, and place in a blender with the yoghurt, dill, garlic and splash of lemon juice. Whizz up.

-  Serve the salmon with the avocado and yoghurt mixture. If the lack of carbs will leave you hungry add a portion of quinoa, sweet potato chips, or wholemeal pitta bread. 


Roasted Veggie, Chickpea and Mozzarella Wrap

What’s great about it: This wrap is absolutely packed with vitamins and goodness from all the vegetables. The mozzarella and chickpeas offer a good dose of protein by themselves, but you can also add meat for a non-vegetarian option. The vegetable mixture will last for about 3 – 4 days in the fridge, so make ahead and then create your wrap on the day you’re going to eat it.

Ingredients (4 servings):

2 Portobello mushrooms – sliced.

1 red pepper – sliced.

Handful of green beans.

2 tbsp olive oil.

1 can chickpeas.

3 tbsp lemon juice.

4 wholewheat wraps.

1 ball of mozzarella.

Chilli powder (optional)

Method:

- Toss the mushrooms, red pepper and green beans in olive oil (with a pinch of chilli powder if you like spice), and roast in a 200C oven for 30 minutes or until they begin to crisp.

- Mash the chickpeas with the lemon juice and pepper and spread over the wrap (or put in the fridge if preparing ahead).

- Top with the veggies and mozzarella, wrap and enjoy!


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