Tuesday, April 1, 2008


When lunch time rolls around on a weekday, I am typically focused on preparing food for my one and five year old daughters. Like most moms I know, I would rarely fix something for myself for lunch. I would eat the leftover half of my older daughter's pb and fluff, or nibble on some crackers that I would also be feeding to the baby. Of course, by five o'clock, I would be absolutely starving, and at that point, I would shove anything into my mouth that I could lay my hands on- a stack of girl scout cookies; a chunk of cheese; several handfuls of pretzels.

I decided to start watching my weight shortly after the baby turned one at Christmas. No better time than the New Year. I decided that I would try to eat a healthy lunch everyday. At first, I found myself most often microwaving a healthy choice, or a lean cuisine, or a lean pocket. Then, my Mother drew my attention to the high sodium content in these meals.

When I went out to lunch, I loved to order a grilled chicken salad, but the thought of fixing those at home during the week seemed impractical. I didn't have time to slice and grill meat, chop lettuce; etc.

While at the grocery store one day, however, I realized that by buying a few convience items I could make a restaurant-like salad in nearly the same amount of time that it would take me to microwave a meal or make a peanut butter sandwich. Here is my recipe:

Dole salad bag- I like the field greens variety
Goat cheese
Pine nuts
Frozen chicken strips or beef strips; also you can buy grilled strips in the refrigerator section of your supermarket, if you prefer.
Vinaigrette dressing. I like Ken's Steak House Lite Raspberry Walnut Vinaigrette, which is 80 calories, and Neuman's Own Light Lime Vinaigrette, which is 60 calories.

Fill a plate with lettuce. Spoon craisins on top. Sparingly crumble goat cheese on to lettuce. Mean while, cook chicken or beef strips according to package directions. Use pam or a small amount of olive oil to coat pan. Strips can usually be microwaved as well, but they taste better when cooked on the stove top for about 3-4 minutes. Top salad with hot meat, salad dressing, and a sprinkle of nuts.

Enjoy with a nice glass of Perrier or pellegrino with lime. This lunch will taste good and energize you for the rest of the day. Take a couple of minutes to try it!

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