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Add color to your lunches

Looking for a way to liven up your lunch? Here are some ideas for making your midday meal colorful and healthy.

Make your main dish a salad of dark, leafy greens and other colorful vegetables such as tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, avocado, celery, peppers and carrots. Add chickpeas or edamame (fresh soy beans). Drizzle with low-fat dressing. Fruits like mandarin oranges, apples, pears, dried cranberries also add color and nutrition to salads.

Looking to add more vegetables to your meal? Roast and combine them with low-fat cheese, hummus or avocado, and wrap it all in a whole wheat tortilla. Add an extra cup of frozen veggies to your soup. Microwave and enjoy a cupful of antioxidant rich soup. Colorize your baked potato by adding beans, salsa, broccoli and low-fat cheese.

To incorporate more legumes into your lunch, think about hummus, falafel, baked beans and black beans. For a protein boost, include a small handful of walnuts, pecans, cashews, Brazil nuts or even soy nuts in your lunch. For low fat dairy options, include a small carton of milk or yogurt. Continue Reading »

How to build a better salad

Just like building a wall, a salad has to start with a good solid base. Look for dark, leafy greens for starters, as these are rich in nutrients. After this foundation, you can start to add the other ingredients- the options are endless, so get creative!

Toss in shredded carrots and cabbage, spinach, watercress, tomatoes, oranges or sweet peas for a colorful, flavorful and fun salad. To add some uniqueness to your salad, try Greek olives, mushrooms and artichoke or palm heartsTry adding almonds or walnuts, which provide fiber, protein and healthy fats to satisfy your hunger. Pile on other veggies and add some crunch with celery, cucumbers, string beans, peppers or onions. Try adding in fruit like fresh strawberries, berries, pears or apple slices. Fruits sweeten your salad without adding too many calories. The more colorful your mix of fruits and vegetables, the more nutrients you will consume. 
You can add lean protein such as salmon, tuna or chicken, or try adding slices of hard-boiled eggs. Avocados are full of heart healthy fats and can be a great last minute addition to your salad. Soy beans are another add-in; you can find precooked edamame in the grocery store’s frozen-food section. Continue Reading »

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