Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Rabbit Food

I have spent a fair amount of money telling you all about my love for all things breakfast.  However, as much as I love it, there are two other mealtimes of the day that haven't been getting as much love from me lately, and I am excited to fill you all in on how I get Bizzy living, lunch style. 

For the past few months, my go-to lunch (I'd say four out of five days of the week) has been the ever-popular, super easy:

Yep.  Salad.  Or, as it is colloquially known, rabbit food.  

It has become my go-to for a few reasons.  
First, it's super easy for me to obtain because the cafe in my office has an awesome salad bar (I tried bringing my own for a while, but I found myself missing the second point, below).  
Second,  it's a dish that can easily be adjusted to fit my mood.  If I'm not feeling peppers one day and want to overload on tomatoes instead, I can go for it. If I'm feeling iffy about beets but love cucumbers, I can heap it up.  If I just want to eat a big bowl of radishes, I can, um, do that too.   
Third, I can eat a lot since the majority of the ingredients are just vegetables and fruit, and as we learned from my Weight Watchers post yesterday, they're zero points+!  And less points for lunch means more points for dinner (and dessert)!  

I typically pair the salad with a cup of whatever the soup of the day is, and that is more than enough food for me to last until dinnertime.

One word of warning:  As amazing and healthy of a choice as salad can be for a lunch or dinner option, please be careful with the salad dressing - it can turn a super light meal into the caloric equivalent of eating a bacon cheeseburger, which kind of defeats the point.
yes, please.  (source)
To avoid these problems, always ask for dressing on the side.  I tend to stick with just an eyeballed tablespoon (two if it's a big salad) of fat-free Italian dressing (zero points+ for one tbsp, one point+ for two tbsp) or a teaspoon of olive oil mixed with a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar (one point+).  One of my favorite methods is dipping your fork into the dressing and then stabbing the salad afterwards (thank you, Weight Watchers!).  You still get a good taste of the dressing without packing on the extra calories and fat.  

Here was my lunch yesterday:

Consisting of:
(note: everything is zero points+ unless noted otherwise)
  • Lettuce (I usually like spinach but they were out that day)
  • 2 oz smoked turkey breast (2 points+)
  • 1/2 cup cucumbers
  • 1/2 cup tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup beets
  • 1/4 cup green peppers
  • 1/4 cup artichoke hearts (not marinated) 
  • 1/4 cup hearts of palm
  • 1 tbsp fat-free Italian dressing
I paired the salad with a side of vegetarian curried-carrot soup (~2-3 points+).

Some other variations I love to keep things fresh (pun intended) include:
  • Grilled chicken or roasted turkey breast instead of smoked turkey breast (2-3 points+)
  • 1/4 cup edamame (1 point+)
  • 1/4 cup broccoli
  • 1/4 cup cauliflower
  • 1/8 cup feta cheese (1 point+)
  • 6 medium-sized olives (1 point+)
  • Dressing: 1 tsp olive oil & 1 tbsp of balsamic vinegar (1 point+)
As you can see, the possibilities are endless.  Salads don't have to be boring or repetitive because there are so many ways to keep changing them up.  

I used to feel uncomfortably full and icky after trying to wolf down a gigantic sandwich smothered in cheese and dressing, a bag of chips, or a bowl of pasta.  Now I feel full and re-energized heading into my afternoon, and it's all I need to get me powered through the end of my workday and on to dinnertime.

What is your favorite lunch food?  Have you ever considered taking the salad route?  Post your comments below!    

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