We all aspire to be healthy and active, but we are not sure about what to eat in right quantity to stay fit. Preparing a lunchbox that is healthy and at the same time easy to make is a daily struggle you face. Most of us end up in making poor nutritional choices that reduce our energy levels, make us feel lethargic after lunch and obviously make us gain unwanted weight. Keeping this fact in mind, I have designed easy and nutritious lunch plan for 5 working days. Links to all the ingredients are available in this blog, so sit back and relax.
Tip: To prep up a meal real quick you can do the cutting and chopping over the weekend and store in zip lock pouches.This will hasten up the process. Do remember to suck out excess air from the zip lock pouch before storing it in the refrigerator.
So lets begin.
1.Monday – Low Carb Healthy Rice bowl
1.Brown Rice(Soaked for 3-4 hours) – 3 to 4 oz, which is approximately 90g to 120g. If you are under 1200 carbs diet plan go for 2 oz. Try not to consume more than 4 oz for lunch.
5.2 Green chillies or Cayenne Pepper
6.Ginger garlic paste
7.Vegetables of your choice(Carrots, Beetroots, beans, capsicums etc)
7.Salt to taste
Take a pressure cooker and add all the ingredients.Now, you basically do not need any oil to cook this up, but if you would still want to you can add a table spoon of olive oil to the mixture. You can also add a few vegetable of your choice and pressure cook it till 4-5 whistles.
Once done, add a few chopped onions, coriander and add a dash of lime. Your perfectly healthy meal is ready.
Tuesday – Quinoa rice Bowl
Quinoa is a superfood.Do check my blog on the advantages of including Quinoa to your diet.
4.Vegetables of your choice(onions, broccoli, beans, spinach, carrots, bell peppers, cauliflower etc)
One of the ways to make quinoa more palatable is by cooking it in chicken or vegetable broth.While the quinoa is getting cooked, take a pan, spray it with olive oil, add the crushed garlic. Smells delicious. Now, add the paneer or tofu and all the vegetables, sprinkle salt and pepper, mixed herbs(optional) and saute it for a good 5-7 minutes.
Now take a mixing bowl, and give the quinoa and veggies a good mix.Add the tomato and cream sauce, give it one more mix and your Tuesday lunch is ready!!
3.Wednesday – Healthy Whole wheat pasta.
4.Chilli/Cayenne Pepper and Tomatoes.
Give the pasta a good rinse and then boil it for a few minutes.Add a few tablespoons of salt while you boil the pasta.Now let’s make the sauce.Chop the tomatoes roughly into bite size pieces.Now in a pan, heat some butter and add the chopped tomatoes.Once the tomatoes start boiling. add green chillies/cayenne pepper , chopped coriander leaves and garlic paste. Now transfer this whole thing in a grinder and grind it into a fine paste. You can add a little more water if you want your sauce to be more runny.
Add butter to a pan, add the tomato puree. After giving it a good stir, add the salt, onion and garlic powder (optional) , black pepper and mix it really well.Here you can add cream, again that’s optional, so you can always skip it. Now add the pasta and give it a nice mix.Try to keep pasta a little runny, as the sauce might thicken up by the time you have lunch.You can garnish it with some cheese and you are done.
Tip :Do not add cream on high flame.
4.Thursday – Summer Sprouts Salad
Summer sprouts salad is packed with nutrition, flavors and crunch and a perfect hunger buster.It is light and packed with proteins at the same time.It is always preferable to make the bean sprouts at home.Here is a simple technique of preparing bean sprouts at home.
1.Moong beans/Green gram whole(sprouted and boiled) 100g or 3.5 oz.
Sprouting Method: Take sprout seeds in a jar, cover it with mesh and secure it with rubber band. Add water, swirl it well and drain it off. Again add lukewarm water and soak it 4-8 hours.After 8 hours, rinse and refill the jar with water 2-3 times.Lots of rinsing will help in better sprouting.
Tip: Grow the bean sprouts in the dark to avoid bitterness. You can either use a jar or a sprouting tray for the purpose.
2.Finely chopped vegetables(Onions, coriander leaves, cucumber, carrots, green chillies and tomato)
3.Raw mango(finely chopped)
4.Salt, pepper and lemon juice
Take a mixing bowl.Add the sprouted and boiled moong beans.Now add all the freshly chopped veggies, raw mango, salt, pepper and lemon juice and give it a nice mix. You can also top it with a few more chopped corianders and green chillies if you like it spicy and your delicious sprouts salad is ready.
5.Friyay – Spinach Pulao
Spinach is low in fat and cholesterol and high in niacin and zinc.Here’s an extremely simple and tasty way to add spinach to your friday lunch.
1.Rice(Brown or White)-Soaked for 1 hour
3.Ginger garlic paste
4.Finely chopped onions
Take a pan and spray it with olive oil.Now add a few cashews(optional), cumin seeds and chopped green chillies and let it crackle. Then add finely chopped onions and ginger garlic paste.Once it turns brown add the carrots and the spinach.Do not add water and allow the spinach to be cooked in its own juices.Add salt and pulao masala and cook it for 2-3 minutes.Add the soaked rice, give it a good mix and add add water.cover the lid and allow the rice to cook.D check on the quantity of water you are adding as it should not be more than the required amount.This recipe will get cooked in 40 minutes time and you will get a yummy Friday lunch.
Make sure that both Saturday and Sunday isn’t your cheat day.Try out the recipes and let me know how it goes.