Whole Living Daily

Lunch in the Test Kitchen: Healthy Lunch Bag Makeover

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I love a makeover, so I jumped at the opportunity to come up with a healthy, budget-friendly lunch bag for a segment on PIX 11 Morning News. The total cost for this meal: $6.25

  • Mashed White Beans with Broccoli, Extra-Sharp Cheddar, and Red Bell Pepper on Whole Wheat Bread
  • Crispy Kale Chips
  • Clementine and Apple Salad
  • Peanut Butter Bites
  • Citrus Infused Water

Here’s how you do it . . .

Home cooked or canned, sauté drained white beans with a clove of minced garlic in olive oil; mash with the back of a spoon. (Add water to adjust the consistency.) Spread on whole wheat bread and pile on the veggies for a colorful, filling vegetarian sandwich. Kale chips provide the crunchy-salty fix (and were a surprise hit at the TV studio this morning). For sweets, a simple fruit salad of orange segments and chopped apples do the trick, but don’t throw the citrus peels away! Use them to infuse a pitcher of water. I had Rice Krispie Treats in mind when I rolled brown rice cereal, peanut butter, and a little honey into snack-size bites.

Baked Kale Chips

  • 1 bunch kale, stems removed, leaves torn into 3-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • coarse salt

Heat oven to 350º.  Arrange leaves on two rimmed baking sheets. Drizzle evenly with olive oil and season with salt. Bake, rotating trays once, until crisp, about 12 to 15 minutes.

Peanut Butter Bites

  • 1 cup puffed brown rice cereal
  • 1/4 cup crunchy peanut butter
  • a drizzle of honey, to taste

Combine ingredients in a bowl and shape into balls.

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