Healthy weight Liven up lunchtimes
New Year – same old menu for lunch? Whether it’s filling a lunchbox for yourself or your family or grabbing a sandwich when you’re out, do you feel you’re stuck on the repeat button – ‘What shall I have between two pieces of bread today?’ While a daily ‘sarnie’ can be a healthy option (unless it’s a Subway meatball marinara!), it helps to add variety to ensure your diet is balanced and packed full of nutrients. And you’ll be less tempted by less healthy options if you keep lunch times interesting.
Soup it up In the wintry months, soups are a great option. If you don’t have a microwave at work, invest in a leak-proof thermos flask. For fresh, seasonal ideas visit the Harvest website
recipes/winter) for recipes such as Badger Soup, inspired by the Tuscan stew Ribollita or Cauliflower and Coriander Soup to spice up mid- day meals. Healthy eating
tips: Opt for vegetable-based soups, and for recipes with cream replace this with low-fat yoghurt or crème fraiche.
Love those leftovers Don’t forget last night’s leftovers – a great way to save money while cutting down food waste. Try homemade pizza eaten cold the next day, accompanied by a green salad. Or transform an evening’s Indian or Asian takeaway into a tasty rice-based salad with extra veg and toppings for tomorrow’s lunch. Visit the Food Partnership’s Love Food Hate Waste campaign for further ideas and recipes at www.bhfood.org.uk/reducing-
Sensational salads Start with a salad ‘base’ such as rice, noodles or pasta (choose wholegrain options for extra fibre, nutrients and slow-release energy); or potatoes, couscous and bulgur wheat. Pulses such as lentils and chick peas also make good options. Add a variety of colourful salad and vegetable items (to
ensure a range of vitamins and minerals). Boost ‘rainbow’ appeal with green or red peppers and tinned sweetcorn; beetroot is also great for colour and flavour. Add fruit such as raisins or dates if you like a sweet n’ sour combination:
nAdd lean protein such as chicken, fish such as tuna or mackerel, prawns, tofu, hummus, cheese (grated or as a spread) or a hard-boiled egg;
nMix together with reduced fat mayonnaise or yoghurt, or make your own dressing – combine olive oil, balsamic vinegar and lemon juice with crushed garlic and English mustard;
nTop with toasted sunflower or pumpkin seeds, nuts or a sprinkling of fresh chopped herbs such as fresh basil, parsley or coriander.
Sandwich suggestions If you still miss your daily bread, make sure it’s wholegrain (for fibre and extra vitamins) and inject some interest by trying other options:
nDifferent breads eg granary, oat-topped, seed-based, rye or pumpernickel;
nBagels, wraps, pitta, baguettes, rolls, chapattis, English muffins or crumpets;
nRice cakes, oat cakes, ryvitas or seeded crisp breads.
Experiment with fresh filling ideas such as: oily fish specials like mackerel & cucumber or sardines & watercress (avocado and tomato also work well with oily fish); mozzarella, tomato & pesto; hummus, cheese & celery (green beans and peppers make a tasty combination with hummus). Or try toasted versions of your favourite sandwich – be limited only by your imagination!
Lunchtimes out and about When you’re grabbing lunch in the city, look out for the Healthy Choice sign at sandwich shops and cafes to find healthy options on the menu (to find that places have an award, visit www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/healthychoice
). Many lunchtime delis have a wide selection of ‘build- your-own’ lunch selections, enabling customers to opt for healthy options for sandwich fillings or salads. Award-holders must offer choices such as: wholemeal
or granary bread and rolls, lower-fat fillings such as reduced fat mayonnaise and margarine; and healthy alternatives to crisps and biscuits such as unsalted dried fruit and/or nuts and fresh fruit. All healthy choices should be competitively priced compared to other menu options.
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