This post is Part 3 of a series called Fuelled for Work. Every few weeks we will share a post with recipes and ideas for workplace lunches and snacks that keep your brain fired up, your stomach satiated and your tastebuds stimulated. Check out last week’s post for Banana Cookies here.
The paperbag lunch has certainly made a comeback. We’ve all seen the health websites and HR magazines promoting homemade lunches as a means for improving employee wellness. To us at Salopek & Associates that seems like a no-brainer. Making a large batch of salad or portioning out cooked meat and vegetables will turn homemade lunches from a nice idea into a reality.
Need more persuasion to bring a lunch from home?
- Productivity can be maximized. With a meal ready to eat in the office refrigerator, there is no excuse for skipping lunch. By maintaining level blood sugars and fueling the brain with necessary nutrients, productivity and focus is actually achievable.
- It ensures you know exactly what you are eating. No more unidentifiable sandwich fillings.
- You can control portion sizes. It is widely accepted that North American food stores notoriously offer double sized servings in one meal. Avoid eating for two by using measurable food storage containers.
- You will naturally eat foods closest to their natural source. Unless you love deepfrying and manipulating the chemical compounds of your foods in your spare time.
- There is less waste from your workplace. And I’m not talking just food waste. That plastic clamshell, plastic cutlery, plastic bag and handful of napkins can all be avoided with the use of a reusable lunchbox. No more stuffing Styrofoam into the office garbage can.
Grain salads are an excellent alternative to the sandwich and provide a satiating, nutritious and protein filled lunch. Made at the beginning of the week, this Quinoa Salad will eliminate the need to wait in line during the workday and will avoid the notorious food coma that commonly occurs after eating out. Portion it into 1 cup servings ready to take to work each day – in the time it takes quinoa to cook, your week of work lunches can be complete!
Curried Apple Quinoa Salad
As published on De La Casa
Makes 4 mains or 8 sides
This is a simple grainy salad using mostly storable ingredients and made extraordinary with the perfect combination of sweet, spicy and sour in the dressing. The recipe was found in a Martha Stewart magazine many years back and scrawled into a journal. Ever since it has been a lunch staple, providing a nutritious snack or a full lunch, especially good paired with chicken or boiled eggs. Enjoy the perfect combination of sweet and spicy, crisp and crunchy in this hearty protein-packed meal.
1 cup white quinoa
1 granny smith apple, diced
¼ cup almonds
2 spring onions, greens only (reserve the whites) sliced thinly
handful fresh mint, finely chopped
½ cup currants
For the Dressing
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon curry powder
white parts of spring onions, finely chopped
¼ cup lemon juice
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
salt, black pepper to taste
In a medium saucepan, bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Add quinoa, return to a boil. Stir with a fork, reduce to a simmer and cook for 12 – 15 minutes until al dente. Meanwhile, place almonds in a pan and toast over moderate heat, gently tossing until browned on all sides.
In a small bowl, whisk together honey, curry powder, finely chopped whites of spring onions, lemon and olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Combine cooked quinoa with diced apple, toasted almonds, greens of the spring onions, mint and currants. Pour over the dressing and mix through.
Serve cold or at room temperature. Flavours become more enhanced overnight in the refrigerator. Divide salad into 4 1-cup containers for a wholesome 300-calorie lunch.
Christina is a member of the Salopek & Associates team and while she’s passionate about HR, she’s also an advocate for healthful eating and its positive effect on productivity. This has spurred her series of Fuelled for Work as she strives to enable all workers to eat well and maintain a healthy worklife balance. You can find more of her recipes and photos on her food and photography blog, De La Casa.