Monday, 17 March 2014

Easy, Healthy Lunch Idea: The Fajita Salad

Working in the middle of a field really does have it's benefits; fresh air, nice views from the office and most importantly, no shops nearby so I can't nip out and get a sneaky Subway for lunch.  I make a packed lunch every evening right before I go to bed, so that I get maximum sleep time and just so it's done and out the way.

Recently, as we know, I've been trying to make a lifestyle change.  Whilst I've got going to the gym down, and I'm sorted on the fitness side of things, my eating habits definitely need some work.  I've been trying really hard to eat well whilst I am at work.  I usually have a sandwich or a wrap, but it gets a bit boring and there are more healthy options to be had!  I'm a bit of a salad dodger - I can think of a million and one things that I'd rather eat than a salad.  And I always end up hungry through the afternoon.  I wanted a lunch with all the healthy bits in a salad, just...nicer.  I'm quite good at throwing things together and hoping for the best, but here I am writing my second recipe post which is this fajita salad - all the ingredients of a fajita, but without the high calories.

Easy Healthy Packed Lunch Idea Recipe

You will need...

           35g BROWN BASMATI RICE
           CHICKEN BREAST
           SMALL RED ONION
           1/2 RED PEPPER
           1/2 YELLOW PEPPER
           1/2 TOMATO
           2 CLOSED CUP MUSHROOMS
           HANDFUL OF SPINACH
           GROUND CUMIN
           HOT CHILLI FLAKES (OPTIONAL)

Weigh out your rice - it's so easy to go overboard on rice, so weighing it out is the best way to ensure a perfect portion for lunch.  On the packet, it's usually 75g of rice for a portion, but seeing as this is just a lunch, I halved my portion and found it to be just right.  It's important to get brown rice, because it has a low GI meaning that it will keep you fuller for longer, and it's just better for you than white rice!  You'll want to put your rice on now, as this takes the longest to cook - usually around twenty five minutes.

Easy Healthy Packed Lunch Idea Recipe

First things first, you'll need to chop all your ingredients.  I sliced my onions and peppers into fajita style slices, sliced my mushrooms and diced my tomato.  My chicken breast was ready chopped, but if yours isn't, just roughly chop your chicken into bite sized pieces.

To avoid extra calories, use a non-stick frying pan so that you don't need to use oil!  I dry fried my onion and my chicken breast.  If you absolutely must use oil, try using the spray one calorie oils to make sure you don't go for it on oil.

Easy Healthy Packed Lunch Idea Recipe

Add your peppers and mushrooms to the pan and stir fry until they soften.  I add my diced tomato last just as a bit of an extra flavour.  The main part to the fajita flavouring is your ground cumin.  If you give this a sniff, it's just screaming fajita to me - I give this a good sprinkle across the ingredients and stir in.  If you are wanting a little extra spice, add some hot chilli flakes or some fresh chillis.  Remove the pan from the heat and wait for your rice to finish cooking!

Easy Healthy Packed Lunch Idea Recipe

Easy Healthy Packed Lunch Idea Recipe

When your rice is done, drain and rinse with boiling water to get rid of all the starch.  Add your rice to your fajita pan, and stir in to mix with all the ingredients and coat it with the fajita flavour.

Easy Healthy Packed Lunch Idea Recipe

Put the pan back on a low heat, and add a handful of spinach.  Stir until the spinach has wilted slightly and then remove from the heat and put in your lunch box to cool.

Easy Healthy Packed Lunch Idea Recipe

You can eat this cold, but I prefer to reheat mine again at lunch the next day.  I literally don't know how I would make this an amazing food photograph, but you'll just have to trust me that it's nice!  I always get compliments on how good it smells, and not to blow my own trumpet, but it tastes pretty damn nice as well!  The best part that it is really filling and comes in according to My Fitness Pal at just 270 calories!  If you wanted to, you could also serve this with a bit of guacamole on the side!  You can find my recipe for that here.  So there it is...my one pan, low calorie lunch wonder.

What's your favourite thing to eat as a healthy lunch?  Will you try my Fajita Salad?