When packing quick meals, beans are your best friend. They can be made in advance and can be thrown together in a snap! I usually soak and cook a large batch of chickpeas or black beans at the beginning of each week so I can enjoy them day to day. If I end up making too many beans I just make a quick batch of Hummus to use them up! Though beans seem like a common food, they really have more to offer than we think. Eating a cup of beans a day can help maintain both a healthy body weight and blood sugar levels. While most of us think colorful veggies house all the health benefits, scientists have found that black beans in particular contain a very healthy dose of phytonutrients. Another tip to packing daily lunches is to have plenty of veggies in plain sight. Have them ready in your fridge, already cut or sliced (with an exception to some like avocado). Carrots can be sliced and kept in a jar of filtered water to keep them crisp and fresh, you can do the same with sweet peppers. So, now you have no excuse to be eating those pre packaged baby carrots which have been preserved in chlorine, yes the same stuff used in swimming pools!
Apple cider vinegar is almost always a part of my salad mix ups. It provides both tangy and sweet after tones to dressings while also helping to balance out the flavors overall. This unique vinegar also contains some health benefits apart from the usual. Vitamins C, E, A, B1, B2, B6 and minerals Potassium, Calcium, Magnesium and Phosphorus are only some of the nutrients packed into this superfood. Apple cider vinegar is also helpful in regulating the amount of water within the cells of the body in addition to maintaining a healthy metabolism. There really are too many benefits to list in one paragraph so check out this site for more common benefits of apple cider vinegar!
Other Lunch Worthy Recipes on the Blog:
Millet Berry Salad with Herbal Dressing
Beautiful Black Bean Salad
Herb Roasted Chickpeas over Creamy Pumpkin Millet
(I have no affiliation with the company advertised above)
Summer's Bounty Corn Salad
1 cup cooked black-eyed peas or black beans
2 raw bicolored ears corn, shucked and removed from the cob*
1/2 cup halved cherry tomatoes
1/4 cup sliced greek olives
1/2 tsp smoked sea salt or more to taste
pepper to taste
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
juice of one lemon
2 tbs olive oil
6 tbs fresh chopped herbs ( I used basil and parsley)
Serve alongside some homemade Kale Chips
Add all salad ingredients to a small bowl and toss to combine. Now, add all the dressing ingredients to a small jar with a tight lid and shake vigorously to combine. Pour the dressing over the salad and stir to combine. This also can easily be made the night before and left to marinate in the fridge. Serves about 6 side dishes or 3 lunches!
*I would suggest tasting your corn raw before using it in this recipe, just to make sure its good corn. If your corn seems a little dry or tasteless, try boiling it for about 2 minutes just to soften it up.
Quick Summer Chickpea Salad
1/2 cup cooked chickpeas
1/2 cup cubed zucchini or cucumber
1/2 cup baby spinach, torn
4 black olives, sliced
2 tbs feta or goat cheese, crumbled
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tbs apple cider vinegar
salt and pepper
Serve along side fresh summer fruit (cherries, watermelon, peaches)
Add all ingredients, except spinach, to a small bowl and toss to combine, or use a container with a lid and shake to combine. This can easily be made the night before and left to marinate in the fridge. Serve over the torn spinach along side organic blue corn chips! Recipe serves one.
Thai Quinoa Salad
1/4 cup, dry quinoa
1/4 cup cooked chickpeas
1 tbs tahini
1 tbs liquid aminos or soy sauce
1 tsp agave nectar
juice of one lime
1/2 fresh mango, sliced
1/2 fresh avocado, sliced
sesame seeds for garnish
1 tbs dried cilantro for garnish
To cook quinoa, add it to a stock pot along with about 3/4 cup water. Bring the quinoa to a boil, then remove it from heat and set aside leaving the lid on.
After about 5 - 10 minutes, once most of the water has been absorbed, fluff the quinoa with a fork. Now, add in the chickpeas, aminos, tahini, lime juice and agave. Stir to combine and taste before storing in the refrigerator. This recipe can be eaten cold or hot. Garnish with mango, avocado slices and more cilantro. Serves one.