Mexican-Style Couscous Salad

OMG!  I’m sitting here drooling while I’m thinking about this lunch I made! I cannot wait to share this recipe with you, it will for sure be a lunch staple in our house from now on.

The best part about this recipe is that it’s so easily modifiable for your own tastes and pantry supplies.  I got the idea for this lunch from my dietitian, John.  His original recipe calls for Quinoa (which would be more protein, so use it if you have it!) but I had already made Couscous for a different recipe so I simply substituted this time around.

Mexican-Style Couscous Salad

Recipe for 1 Serving

Ingredients:

1/3 cup Couscous (or quinoa), cooked

1/3 cup Black Beans, rinsed

1/2 cup Chopped Broccoli, frozen

1/2 cup Mixed Vegetables, frozen (I used the “baby” vegetable mix with corn, peas, carrots, and green beans)

handful of Chopped Tomatoes

1/8 cup Shredded Cheese

2oz Cooked Chicken Breast, cubed (optional)

1/4 cup Salsa*

Directions:

Microwave the frozen veggies and then put everything in a tupperware for the following day.  Reheat if you want, it will also taste delicious room-temp.

Recipe adapted from John the Dietitian

*I HAVE to share this recipe for homemade salsa with you.  It was ridiculous how simple it was to make, how much it makes, and how amazing it tastes.  Shoutout to Dave, he actually made this himself!

This recipe came up because both Dave and I wanted to try something new for our lunch this week.  We pretty much bring all of our meals with us to work, to stay healthy and save money.  I love this recipe because I could use whatever I wanted and had on hand.  The chicken and couscous had already been made for a dinner, so I was able to use that without cooking anything extra.

I love this recipe for lunch, give it a try!

photo (3)

Lunchtime Tuesday, Week 7

Well, there’s a reason the last Lunchtime Tuesday I wrote for you was almost an entire month ago:  I am no longer eating lunch!

Before you get your panties in a twist, “Beth you have to eat!”  Yeah, I know I do… if you’ve been paying attention at all: HELLO, I LOVE FOOD!  Hear me out:  I mentioned last week that I have been trying to lose another 5 pesky pounds that I just cannot get movin’ on.  My trusty dietitian,  John (commonly referred to on here as “John the Dietitian”.  Yup, I’m creative) motivated me to try something new.

That something new wasn’t exactly a welcome idea over here.  John suggested that I switch up my breakfast (new recipe here, looooving it) and replace my typical lunch with a protein drink.  I not only thought that protein drinks would gag me out, blech… but there was no question in my mind that I’d be left starving and wanting “real” food.

I am super pleased to finally report that I was wrong.  I was totally wrong.  I can do it!  And I have.  Not only has this saved me time and stress packing lunch the night before, but it has absolutely helped me to lose 2 pounds already!  I am seriously full after lunch, and sometimes don’t even feel like I need a snack between lunch and workout (something I ALWAYS did before).

A big part of why I love my new plan is because I found a seriously delicious protein drink.  If you’re going to try this out at any point, you should find Calnaturale’s Svelte.  The taste is amazing, I have tried all 4 flavors and really enjoy each of them (Cappuccino & Vanilla are my favs!).  Here’s a little info about what’s inside:

Svelte

1 16oz Drink (Chocolate)

260 Calories

10g Fat

9g Sugar

8g Fiber

16g Protein

It’s Organic, Dairy-Free & Gluten-Free in four flavors:  Chocolate, French Vanilla, Cappuccino, and (wait for it…) Spiced Chai.  YUM.

Flavor of the day! Happy Tuesday people!

Not too bad, right?  I love it!  I originally was going to just do this lunchtime makeover for the remainder of the month of October, but I’m still goin’ strong!

OH, and please let me mention that I will fully endorse ANY food that tells me I’m “Lookin’ Good”.  Just putting that one out there, people.

What are you having for lunch today?

Here are some new puppy pics for you 🙂

Mr. Marty is getting so big! We love playing with this fuzzy little guy 🙂

Stelly smiles for the camera! Is she a cutie, or what?

 

Lunchtime Tuesday, Week 6

I’m not gonna lie.  Today’s lunch is soooooo boring.  I ran out of time last night to make a substantial and interesting healthy lunch for myself.  Whoops!  In typical Good to be the Cook fashion, I’m eating a plethora of seriously random but healthy things today:

1/2 Leftover Grilled Chicken Breast

2 Large Carrots, peeled, cut, and ready to dip into 1 Laughing Cow Wedge

1 Salad, complete with a whole bunch of lettuce, sliced carrot, sliced sweet pepper, 3 sliced Grape Tomatoes and 1 Tablespoon Dressing… that’s all I had left!

and… 2 Hard Boiled Egg Whites.

See what I mean?  Like, how boring, and strange of me?  Oh well!  I save one Apple and a Greek Yogurt for later and I’ll be roarin’ and ready to go for my long workout evening.

Since today’s lunch is so not photo worthy, I wanted to tell you about a lunch I made last week…

If you didn’t see this ridiculous all-in-one dinner of Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Baked Potatoes, check it out now!

For this lunch, I used the leftover chicken I had while making this recipe.  I love to make enough food the night before that I’ll be able to use it over again for lunch.  It’s a great way to save money and time!

Grilled Chicken Wrap

1 Whole Wheat Wrap 

4-6 ounces Grilled Chicken Breast, diced or pulled

1 Tablespoon Honey Mustard

1 handful Lettuce

2 Slices Cucumber, cut into smaller pieces

2 Cherry Tomatoes, cut in half

1/4 Avocado, Diced

Directions:  Starting with the chicken, pile everything onto the middle of the wrap.  Drizzle with the honey mustard.  You can use more if you’d like… mustard is the best dressing you can use (in terms of healthy!)  Fold the wrap first lengthwise, then from the bottom, and then the long side.  I recommend starting the folding already on a sheet of foil, so you can use the foil to keep everything in place.  (Burrito style)  When you go to eat it, pull the foil back and keep it on the bottom so it doesn’t fall apart.

This was a great meal and an awesome change up from my normal Turkey Sandwich.  I think that the avocado replaces the need for cheese… it’s creamy and tastes so good!  I ate the wrap with a handful of baby carrots, a laughing cow cheese, and an apple.  It was really filling!  I wish I had this today too 😦

 

Lunchtime Tuesday Week 5

It’s boot weather in Philly!  That means take out your scarves and pumpkins too!

This Sunday, temperatures dropped to like, 50 degrees and I couldn’t be happier.  I guarantee this will only exist for another month or so, before I become the most miserable person ever when there’s frost on my car in the morning.  But for now… yay for boots, scarves and pumpkins.

My other favorite fall happening would be the beginning of soup season.  Soup is awesome.  Yay for soup.  Here are a few of the soups I’ve made since I’ve had the blog:

Corn & Potato Chowder

Creamy Tomato Balsamic Soup

 

Spicy Chicken Tortilla Soup

 

During my typical Lunchtime Tuesday, I try to have a healthy but super protein packed or filling meal, as I workout for 3 hours or so at night.  Today, I was contracted for my second job (Driving my boyfriend Dave around with his broken ankle) and am not going to be able to workout.  Sadface.  But, in terms of eating, that meant that I didn’t have to worry and I could just do something quick!

SO, if you haven’t heard about this yet, I think it’s pretty interesting and I’m going to share with you.  Apparently, Campbells Soup isn’t doing so hot (ha, get it) and in order to pick up business from a younger crowd, they started making two new lines of soups.  What are they inspired by?  Food Trucks.  Their new soups are easier to make and are inspired by ethnic ingredients and recipes.  Read about it here.

I’ve tried the “Go” line which I loved:  the Chicken Quinoa with Poblano Chiles.  It was spicy, healthy, and so easy to eat at work… you microwave the whole thing in the bag!  MMM!

Today for my lunch, I tried out the Butternut Squash variety from their Gourmet Bisque collection.  It is soooo yummy!  It’s low in calories and fat, super filling, and delish.  I ate it in my Stella mug today for lunch along with some Reduced Fat Triscuits.  Perfect!

 

 

Lunchtime Tuesday Week 4

I will warn you, that in trying to eat more than just a boring Turkey Sandwich for lunch, I’ve created a totally random meal.  Even though it was really random, it was so yummy!  Here are the facts:

1.  This entire meal only cost me just <250 calories.

2.  This lunch clocks in at just under 30 grams of Protein, with under 10 grams of fat!

3.  Great way to use leftovers!

I made two great-big salads for Dave and I last night.  While I was putting them together, I put some ingredients aside for lunch today.  First of all, a great idea is to cook ALL of your chicken you buy at the store.  I had purchased 4 breasts, used 2 for dinner and 2 I saved for lunches.

Next, before serving the roasted veggies I made for dinner, I put a scoopful of Roasted Yellow Squash aside for lunch.  Had i not done that, we probably would have eaten it (even though we were stuffed!).  I also brought in 1/2 of an avocado that we didn’t finish for the salad.  Keep the nut/seed in the avocado and put it in a plastic baggy in the fridge.  It will last and stay green until the next day.  I used 1/4 of this to eat with my chicken and gave the other 1/4 away to my co-worker.  Avocado is healthy but only in small portions.

Finally, today’s lunch was finished up with 1/2 of a cucumber sliced (again, thank you leftovers from my salad!) which I ate with a Laughing Cow Light Swiss wedge.  This was a nice change-up from my normal carrots for snack, and since it was still healthy, I can eat the carrots later if I want!

I’m totally still looking for some more healthy lunch suggestions out there… post if you have any to share!

Today’s cute puppy picture is in honor of my new Son-in-Law Puppy To-Be Marty who Mer & Mike are picking up today!  He is a Wheaten Terrier (just like the guy on the top of this post) and he is going to be Stelly’s boyfriend!

Lunchtime Tuesday

Now that we’ve gone over two different Lunchtime Tuesdays where I’m eating a Turkey Sandwich, I wanted to change it up a bit.

Today, I made myself a little lox sandwich, with some leftovers from what my Mom brought home on Sunday.

I put some of the leftover smoked salmon in a plastic baggie, measured out a Tablespoon of Low-Fat Veggie Cream Cheese (which was half of a serving), and wrapped up a Trader Joe’s Whole Wheat British Muffin (English Muffin… get it?).  When it was lunch time at work, I popped the muffin in our toaster, then spread on the cream cheese and lox on top.

Although I normally might eat lox with a fresh everything bagel, the whole wheat English muffin worked well and was MUCH healthier.  The sandwich was a great change in my routine and was very filling.  I ate the sandwich with a peach and then later on had my normal Fat Free Cottage Cheese w/ Strawberry Polaner All Fruit.  Yum!

Lunchtime Tuesday

After Brianne requested some lunchtime advice last week… I thought it would be a good idea to start posting some of my lunches.  Although they won’t be anything fabulous like this or this… it’s always nice to see the basics, and maybe you can get some good ideas for yourselves!

Lunchtime! Nom nom nom

For me, breakfast & lunch during the workweek is when I’m most strict on my diet.  I find that if I can be “good” at work, where there are little dietary distractions… I can leave room for a few “bad” eating decisions for dinner and weekends.  For all you Weight Watchers Point Counters… let’s just say I use my Bonus & Exercise points on Nights & Weekends.  Sorta like the opposite of a phone bill.

One of my favorite lunches just became a wee bit more exciting.  My friend Lauren, who I visited 2 weeks ago in NY gave me this great new kick to my normal turkey sandwich:  Laughing Cow Cheese.

If you’re paying attention, you should already know about this stuff:  It’s AWESOME.  Go ahead, do yourself a favor if you haven’t already… go buy a wheel.  You won’t be disappointed.

Anyway, Lauren (who has a pretty similar breakfast/lunch diet to my own) suggested I spread one LC Cheese wedge onto my bread, instead of cheese.  It’s so good!

This brings me to today’s lunch:

I packed a Turkey Sandwich on Sara Lee’s Delightful Wheat Bread (45 cal/slice!), with 1 Laughing Cow Light Swiss Wedge, 3 oz of Boar’s Head Turkey Breast, some lettuce, and Trader Joe’s Whole Grain Dijon Mustard.  

I also packed some baby carrots to eat with another LC Wedge (Blue Cheese flavor), a banana, a nectarine, and 1/2 Cup Cottage Cheese w/ All Fruit Jam.  

YUM, check out that mustard… you don’t need much!

 

This mustard is really hot, so be careful! It has great flavor though, you’ll love it.

 

I actually measure out 1/2 cup of Cottage Cheese… measuring is KEY with dieting. Did you know this little baby 1/2 cup is what ONE serving of ice cream / fro-yo should be?! EEEEEEK!

 

My post-lunch/pre-workout snack. If you haven’t tried Polaner’s All Fruit, please do. It’s amazing. I can’t remember the last time I had Smucker’s Jelly… you will NOT miss it, and this stuff is really good for you. (And, yes measure out 1Tbsp of that too)

 

Tuesday is my BIG workout day, so it’s super important for me to make sure I have a full breakfast, snack, lunch, and snack… or else I get SO hungry by the time I’m done at 7:30.

I’d love to hear what you’re eating for lunch and try it out myself!  Let me know if you have any favorites or suggestions!