Tuna and White Bean Salad

On Sundays, I like to make a big batch of soup or a salad that will keep for a few days, so I have leftovers for the week. While it’s noble to attempt to prepare a fresh lunch from scratch every evening or morning, schedules and snooze alarms can sidetrack the best-laid plans. It’s nice to have a big bowl of something in the fridge as a backup, so that if I sleep through the alarm bell in the morning, I won’t drive through the Taco Bell® in the afternoon. This recipe’s a great source of protein and fiber, and if you want to improvise, it’s a great way to use up leftover veggies in the fridge. This meal is good for up to 2 days after you make it.

  • 2 6-oz. cans of water-packed tuna (reduce olive oil amount if using oil-packed tuna)
  • 2 cups canned white cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 1 cucumber, chopped
  • 2 plum tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 cup canned or jarred artichoke hearts, chopped (reduce olive oil amount if using oil-marinated artichoke)
  • 1 bunch parsley, stemmed and chopped
  • 1 tsp. fresh rosemary, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp. lemon juice (or more to taste)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Mix first eight ingredients in a large bowl. Mix garlic, olive oil, and lemon juice in a small bowl or cruet with salt and pepper to taste. Toss garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, and salt and pepper mixture with first eight ingredients. Serves 4. (For extra zip and fiber, serve on a bed of raw arugula or spinach leaves.)

Preparation time: 15 to 20 minutes

Nutritional information (per serving):

Calories Fat Carbs Fiber Protein
372 12 grams 40 grams 11 grams 33 grams

Turkey Avocado Wrap

  • 1 lavash wrap
  • 1/2 avocado, mashed
  • 4 slices (3 oz.) deli-style turkey breast or (2 oz.) firm tofu
  • 2 slices low-fat Swiss cheese
  • 1/4 cup arugula
  • 1/2 tomato, chopped
  • 2 thin slices red onion

Spread mashed avocado on flattened lavash. Layer remaining ingredients on top of lavash.

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Nutritional information (per serving):

Calories Fat Carbs Fiber Protein
460 20 grams 31 grams 14 grams 45 grams

Healthy Chicken Caesar Salad

This recipe uses a tofu-based dressing, so you get extra protein instead of extra fat and calories. You won’t taste the difference. And if you skip the chicken, this makes a great vegetarian meal or side dish. The dressing also makes a great sandwich spread or veggie dip.

Tofu-Caesar Dressing

  • 1 package (10 oz.) soft silken tofu
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce (use anchovy-free sauce, if you’re vegetarian)
  • 2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. cracked black pepper
  • 3 Tbsp. Parmesan cheese, grated

Mix all ingredients in a blender or a food processor until creamy. Makes 16 2-tablespoon servings.

Nutritional information (per serving):

Calories Fat Carbs Fiber Protein
40 3 grams 1 gram < 1 gram 3 grams

Salad

  • 3 cups romaine lettuce, torn
  • 1 skinless, boneless chicken breast, broiled and diced
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat croutons
  • 2 Tbsp. of Tofu-Caesar Dressing
  • 2 Tbsp. Parmesan cheese
  • Fresh ground pepper

Toss lettuce, chicken, and croutons with dressing. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese and ground pepper on top.

Total Preparation Time: 15 minutes (less if dressing is already prepared)

Calories Fat Carbs Fiber Protein
311 9 grams 18 grams 4 grams 39 grams

Lentil and Feta Salad

  • 3 cups cooked or canned lentils
  • 1 cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1 cucumber, diced
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 cup mint leaves, chopped
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Combine first nine ingredients in a large bowl. Whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, thyme, and salt and pepper, and toss with first nine ingredients. Cover and refrigerate for an hour or two. You can eat it as soon as it’s done, but it just gets better the longer the flavors combine. The next day is the best! Makes 4 servings.

Preparation time: 20 minutes (mostly chopping)

Nutritional information (per serving):

Calories Fat Carbs Fiber Protein
424 19 grams 45 grams 16 grams 21 grams

Pita Party

This is a great desk lunch. It’s like having a cocktail party at your desk (minus the cocktails). You can combine the ingredients so that no two bites are the same. For a busy day without time for a proper sit-down lunch, this is a good way to graze. If you have a bento box–style container with compartments, this is a perfect time to bust it out. The fat and salt contents of hummus vary greatly by brand, so if you don’t make your own from scratch (we’ll have a recipe in an upcoming newsletter), make sure you read the nutrition label. To reduce the caloric content even more, invite a coworker to your party! (If they don’t have tzatziki at the store, combine 1 cup of nonfat yogurt with one minced garlic clove, half a chopped cucumber, fresh chopped dill, and salt to taste.)

  • 1 whole wheat pita, quartered
  • 1/2 cup hummus
  • 1 cup tzatziki
  • Optional: Cut-up carrots, celery, peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, cherry tomatoes, etc.

Bring containers of hummus and tzatziki to work, and dip pita pieces in either or both of them. Bring your favorite crudité-style veggies and dip them as well for a sinless end-of-the-week treat.

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Nutritional information (per serving, not counting veggies):

Calories Fat Carbs Fiber Protein
511 14 grams 71 grams 13 grams 30 grams

Mini-Pizzas

  • 1 spelt or brown-rice tortilla
  • 2 Tbsp. tomato sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh basil, chopped
  • 1/4 cup mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/4 cup chicken breast, chopped
  • 1/4 cup part-skim mozzarella (or soy cheese), shredded
  • 4 tomato slices

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Lightly toast the tortilla. Be careful not to overcook it—just a couple of minutes, enough to give it the structural integrity to hold the toppings. After you’ve toasted the tortilla, spread the tomato sauce thinly on top. Add basil, mushrooms, and chicken, and finally top with cheese and tomato slices. Return to oven for 5 minutes or until cheese has melted. Let cool slightly and serve. It’s so low in calories, you could even have two!

Preparation time: 10 to 15 minutes

Nutritional information (per serving):

Calories Fat Carbs Fiber Protein
310 12 grams 35 grams 2 grams 14 grams


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Filed under: Recipes

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