3 simple, healthy lunch recipes to try at home
During these times of restricted movement and home working, it’s incredibly important for your mental wellness and productivity that you keep your mind fuelled with healthy food.
As mental health charity Mind has noted, a well-balanced and nutritious diet has a hugely positive effect on both a person’s attitude and ability to think. Eating regularly helps to keep your mood in check, vitamins and minerals can help maximise your energy, and essential fats and proteins can help your brain to process and regulate thoughts.
Armed with these nutritional requirements, we’ve collected together 3 simple and healthy lunch recipes to try at home with ingredients found in your kitchen cupboards.
Spicy Peanut Chicken Wrap
This wrap is the perfect protein-packed post-workout lunch, full of fresh flavours. Peanut butter is mixed with chilli and ginger (fresh or powdered), and lime (fresh or concentrate) to create a delicious savoury sauce, which is then tossed with shredded cooked chicken breast, carrot and lettuce. The mix can be rolled into a wrap, or be served with any other bread type you have to hand. For those looking for a low carb fix, the peanut chicken can be eaten solo or alongside some greens.
There’s a great version of this recipe, along with a selection of other quick wraps, on cooking magazine Olive’s website.
The humble bean salad is easy to make, adaptable to available ingredients, and loaded with nutrients, proteins, anti-oxidants, healthy fats and fibre. Olive oil, lemon juice, and chilli and garlic powder are mixed with chopped onion and canned beans (cannellini, chickpea or mixed) to create a rich and vibrant base from which to add personal flourishes. In BBC Good Food’s recipe, they recommend serving the mix with cooled boiled potatoes and tuna, however, it works just as well over brown rice, on a bed of salad, or with a side of tenderstem broccoli. For those on a plant-based diet, hummus or your preferred meat substitute can also help make the meal more substantial.
Cupboard noodles are all about versatility. With dried noodles and a handful of cupboard essentials, you have everything needed for a tasty, nutritious lunch. Dried noodles take only minutes to cook and are low in calories, but they’re also low in nutrients, so this is where you can really make the most of your basic key ingredients: frozen, canned or fresh vegetables add essential vitamins and fibre; nuts, nut butters, leftover meats and beans add proteins; spices and low-salt stocks add antioxidants and anti-inflammatories, while sauce-bases like olive oil and coconut milk add essential oils.
The dish can be as complex as you like, and it’s a fun way to freestyle with taste combinations. We’d recommend combining a little stock with peas, carrots and sweetcorn to get a super quick, healthy instant-noodle meal, as described in Good To Know’s recipe. Or, alternatively, a little bit of oil, chili, soy sauce, and peanut butter will get you an umami protein feast, similar to Fuschia Dunlop’s delicious recipe for The Guardian.