Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Low-calorie lunches for work

For any of you professional ladies and gents out there who are sick of boring salads or dry sandwhiches for lunch but don't want to sacrifice calories and fat for taste, here are a few of my lunch recipes I have decided to share with you.
The beauty of these recipes are that they are:
  • low in fat
  • full of vitamins and minerals
  • rich in flavour
  • so incredibly easy for you to prepare the night before of the morning of!
Salmon pasta salad

Salmon, (buy pre-cooked for ease) torn up
250g pasta shapes
140g frozen peas
pack parsley, chopped
small pack chives, snipped
zest and juice 1 lemon
2 tbsp olive oil


Cook the pasta, adding the peas for final 2 mins cooking time. Drain, rinse with cold water to cool, then drain again. Tip into a bowl with the salmon, chopped herbs, lemon zest and juice, olive oil and plenty of seasoning and mix well. Cover and chill, spooning out portions as and when. If you're making this for one person, by days 3 and 4 you'll need to stir in a little olive oil or something creamy to loosen the pasta.

Creamy pesto and chicken pasta salad

85g pasta shapes
½ red pepper, chopped
handful halved cherry tomatoes
1 cooked chicken breast
1 tbsp basil pesto
2 tbsp low-fat crème fraîche


Cook the pasta following pack instructions. Meanwhile, mix the red pepper with the cherry tomatoes and chicken. Mix the pesto and crème fraîche. Drain the pasta, then stir it through. Toss through the veg and chicken and eat immediately, or pack into a container for lunch.

Tortellini with pesto and broccoli

140g Tenderstem broccoli, cut into short lengths
250g fresh tortellini
3 tbsp pesto (fresh if you can get it)
2 tbsp toasted pine nuts
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
8 cherry tomatoes, halved


Bring a large pan of water to the boil. Add the broccoli, cook for 2 mins, then add the tortellini and cook for 2 mins, or according to pack instructions. Drain everything, gently rinse under cold water until cool, then tip into a bowl. Toss with the pesto, pine nuts and balsamic vinegar. Add the tomatoes, pack into containers and chill. Let the salad get to room temperature during the morning to get the most flavour from the tomatoes and pesto.

Mustard Chicken with beetroot and orange salad

4 skinless, boneless chicken thighs
2 oranges
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp olive oil
140g bag spinach, rocket & watercress salad
4 vacuum-packed cooked beetroot, cut into wedges


  1. Put the chicken between 2 sheets of parchment paper or cling film and bash with a rolling pin to flatten. Grate the zest from ½ orange and mix in a bowl with the mustard, 2 tsp oil and plenty of seasoning. Add the chicken and stir well.
  2. Heat a griddle or frying pan and cook the chicken for 5-6 mins on each side until cooked through. Place on a plate to rest while you assemble the salad.
  3. Tip the salad leaves into a bowl. Peel and slice the oranges on a plate to catch any juices. Pour the orange juice over the leaves, add the slices with 1tsp oil and toss together. Add the beetroot, then slice the chicken and add to the salad along with any resting juices. Divide everything between your lunch boxes for the following day.

Supermarkets do such fantastic ranges of low fat dips like guacamole, tzatziki and salsas, add a dollop to your salads, sandwhiches and wraps to spice them up!

Alternatively, why not try adding some roughly chopped orange slices, some pomegranate seeds or chopped apples, grapes or pears to your salad? It will fill you up for longer, and quell the need for something sweet!

Please keep the suggestions for posts and recipes coming, I am going to be experimenting on healthy sweets this weekend, so stand by for more tried, tested and approved recipes from your dietitian!

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