Fatten your wallet while trimming your waist line. Sure, the economy is in the tank and the overall population's stress-level is bubbling way beyond the brink of sanity, but that doesn't mean you can't take small personal steps to improve your quality of life.
Sick of $10 salads and sandwiches on your lunchbreak? Us too. With some careful searching and a little help from our friends at Health.com, we've been able to track down a list of lunches to bring to work with you that are both budget-friendly and, most importantly, delectable to boot. (Recipe's included!)
This leaner version of the French-inspired fave is ripe with flavor and amazingly healthy, not something you'd initially think of when considering a deli-dish for lunch. The cabbage and plum tomatoes are full of antioxidants, the carrots provide cancer-reducing vitamin A, and the turkey adds lean, filling protein and a savory taste.
Salmon Salad with Dill Vinaigrette
The right combo of protein, good fats, phytonutrients and tangy dressing - yum! The salmon has all the omega-3 you need, the cucumbers contain silica, which helps your complexion, and the red bell peppers pack a punch of antioxidants, fiber, and folic acid.
Barley and Black Bean Salad
If you fall victim to hunger again towards the end of the workday, this salad is a surefire cure. The whole grains and protein will you keep your energy blasting until that 5 o'clock whistle blows...and beyond. The protein and antioxidant-rich black beans are filling, the tomatoes are full of cancer-fighting lycoprene and the barley can help lower your cholesterol.
Mediterranean Shrimp and Pasta
It doesn't initially sound like a dish for the health-conscious, but you'd be surprised what this pasta dish supplies your body with. Shrimp is lean, low-fat protein, tomatoes are stocked with antioxidants, and garlic boosts your immune system. In addition, you can spice things up with capers, olives, and feta cheese to get a Mediterranean flavor for under 500 calories. It is advisable you pop a breath mint before the afternoon meeting, though.
Red Pepper, Goat Cheese, and Fresh Mint Wraps
In less than 10 minutes, you can prepare this dish, which means an extra 10 or so minutes of sleep...
Goat cheese is rich, tangy, makes a great base for the peppers, and is lower in fat than other popular cheeses. The beta carotene in the red peppers can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and if you want a fiber boost, swap the spinach tortillas for the whole wheat variety.
* Editor's fave!
Hoisin-Mango Chicken Sandwich
Roasted chicken combined with iron-rich mango and cholesterol-lowering red onion with a spicy hoisin sauce that won't up the calories? Sign us up! Since this sandwich is a little vegetable-light, packing a small mixed-green salad is perfectly acceptable.