The back-to-school season is upon us, which also means a return to routine and packing lunches. This year, be innovative and revamp your work lunches – you’ll be eager to enjoy your meal at midday. Here’s a list of some surprising foods you can include in your lunch box.
1- Grilled chickpeas
Crispy chickpeas are inexpensive and quick to prepare for the ultimate nutritious snack. Drain, then dry canned chickpeas well. Coat with olive oil and your favourite spice blend. My winning combination is brown sugar and Cajun spice blend. Don’t have enough time to cook them? Now you can get them in any good supermarket – they’re the perfect on-the-go snack.
Swap your usual raw vegetables with a few pickles. In addition to being low in calories, they’ll satisfy your salty tooth. Know that the key lies in moderation since these will quickly increase your daily sodium (salt) intake. Choose dill pickles as they have only 4 calories per 28-gram pickle.
3- Bocconcini cheese
This soft cheese comes in different forms, including pearls, cocktail and sliced. Its delicate taste and fresh texture appeal to young and old alike. In addition to increasing your meal’s protein content, it will brilliantly enhance your pasta dishes, your pizzas and your salads. It pairs perfectly with tomatoes, strawberries and melons – so let your imagination run wild and create an exceptional salad!
4- Grated cauliflower
Cauliflower is a very interesting vegetable for creating original dishes. In fact, various restaurants have reinvented several classics, even going so far as to substitute meat with this versatile vegetable. For example, I’ve seen recipes for chicken wings made from cauliflower! Cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, kohlrabi, kale, to name a few, are part of the cruciferous vegetable family. They’re recognized for their beneficial effects in preventing certain types of cancer as they contain different phytochemicals. Naturally present in plants, these compounds provide several benefits to the body. In addition, cauliflower is filled with fibre that helps you achieve a state of fullness faster. Since they have a very mild taste, you can easily integrate grated cauliflower into your couscous, soup and tabbouleh preparations as a replacement for couscous and rice!
Recently, while browsing through the grocery store, I stopped in front of the mustards section and I was surprised to see the panoply of choices available. Classic yellow mustard, truffle mustard, old-fashioned mustard, Dijon mustard, or even garlic mustard are just a few examples of the products available. Mustard’s nutritional value is very low in calories, unlike many other condiments, such as mayonnaise and dips, which makes it a great ingredient when it comes to cooking and enhancing the flavour of our dressings, salads and sandwiches.
In short, simply bringing something new to the menu will break the weekly routine. Add these foods to your next grocery list and make them part of your lunchbox. Enjoy the back-to-school season!
Familiprix in collaboration with Hubert Cormier