3 Easy Bring-to-Work Lunches, Part II

According to Integrative Nutrition Health Coach and Entrepreneur in Residence Maria Marlowe, there’s no reason you can’t work hard and eat healthy, too. She’s assembled three quick and basic bring-to-work lunches you’ll want to add to the rotation, immediately.

From Maria: Last year, I wrote about Salad Jars, which were a huge hit, so here I’m giving you a few fresh new ideas for bring-to-work lunches that are easy to make and travel well. They’re all packed with fiber, protein, and plenty of nutrients to keep you satisfied ‘till dinner time—and with food this photogenic, don’t be surprised if your cube-mates develop lunch envy.

3 Easy Bring-to-Work Lunches, Part II
Guacamole Greens
Serves 2 Most salads get soggy within hours of making, but this one actually tastes better when you allow it to marinate overnight. This is absolutely my most popular and beloved kale recipe that even the typically kale-averse will enjoy. If you’re tight on time, skip roasting the chickpeas and use them straight from the can or package for faster prep-time.
For roasted chickpeas
Ingredients 1 1/2 cups of chickpeas (1 can) 2 tsp olive oil 1 tsp turmeric 1 tsp cumin 1 tsp garlic powder 1 tsp paprika 1 tsp cayenne or chipotle powder (optional) Pink salt, to taste Black pepper, to taste
Directions Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
In a bowl, mix chickpeas, oil and spices (you can add salt and black pepper to taste) until well coated.
Lay chickpeas out flat on a baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes, give the pan a shake to move everything around, then bake for another 10-15 minutes. (You can pre-make a large batch of these and use them throughout the week. Store in an airtight container in the fridge).
For salad
Ingredients 1 bunch curly kale, stems removed, torn into bite size pieces 1 ripe avocado, chopped ½ lime ¼ tsp. salt, or to taste 1/4 cup red onion, chopped 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro Red pepper flakes, to taste 1/4 cup seeds (raw or sprouted sunflower, pumpkin, hemp or a mix of all three)
Directions Put kale in a large bowl.
Top with avocado, salt and juice of lime.
Use your hands to “massage” and squeeze the avocado into the kale for 1-2 minutes. (Your hands will get messy, but it won’t taste the same if you just mix it with utensils.) The kale will shrink in size and appear darker.
Wash your hands.
Top the kale with the remaining ingredients: red onion, cilantro, red pepper flakes, seeds and roasted chickpeas (optional). Mix well with utensils.


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3 Easy Bring-to-Work Lunches, Part II
Black Rice Sushi
Serves 3


Ingredients Rice 1 cup of black forbidden rice* 2 ¼ cups water 6 sheets of nori
Tezu 2 Tbsp. brown rice vinegar 1 Tbsp. water 1 tsp. honey 1 tsp. sea salt
Filling 1 cucumber 3 thin carrots 2 watermelon radish, julienned ½ avocado
Directions Bring water and black rice to a boil. Cover and bring heat down to low. Allow to cook for about 25-30 minutes, or until all water is absorbed.
Meanwhile, prepare your filling ingredients. Cut the cucumber lengthwise into quarters, then use your knife to remove the seeds. Next, cut each quarter lengthwise into two or three strips.
For the carrots, slice each lengthwise, so they should be about the size of the cucumber strips. (If using thick carrots, cut into thirds or quarters.) Steam the carrots to soften by placing them in a steamer basket over boiling water. Put lid on and steam for 3-4 minutes, or until tender.
Make the tezu (sushi rice vinegar) by combining all ingredients in a small bowl and whisking well with a fork.
When rice is cooked and has absorbed all the water, remove to a bowl to cool. Stir in the tezu and mix well for a minute or two, to help the rice become more “sticky.”
When rice has totally cooled, lay nori out on top of a piece of plastic wrap with the long edge perpendicular to you. Take about ¼- ½ cup rice and spread out evenly in a thin layer on top of the nori, leaving about a 2-inch edge on the right side.
About 1.5 inches from the left side, place your filling ingredients, so that you can roll left to right. (Use one strip of carrot and cucumber, make one line of the julienned radish, and two slices of avocado end to end. You don’t want it to be too full!)
Use your thumb and forefinger to pick up the plastic wrap on left side, and gently start to flip the edge over the veggie fillings to create a roll. Continue rolling until the roll is completely closed (You can dampen your hand with water and run it along the edge to help seal the roll.)
Use a wet sharp knife to cut into 6 pieces.
Serve with tamari (soy sauce) and pickled ginger.
Note: Use any veggies you like here, raw or steamed.
*You can cut down on cook time and increase protein by using quinoa instead of black rice. Bring 1 cup of quinoa with 2 cups water to a boil, then cover and let simmer for 10-15 minutes, until all water is absorbed.


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3 Easy Bring-to-Work Lunches, Part II
Asian-Style Veggie Pockets with Almond Ginger Dipping Sauce
Serves 1


Ingredients Three 8.5 inch rice paper sheets (spring roll skin)
Veggies 1 Tbsp. olive oil 1 Tbsp. julienned ginger 3 cups dark leafy greens (chard, cut chiffonade or baby spinach work well) 1 cup purple cabbage, shredded thin 4 oz carrots, julienned
Dipping Sauce (makes approximately 4 servings) 1/3 cup almond butter or peanut butter 1/8 cup tamari (gluten free soy sauce) 1-2 garlic cloves 1 green onions 1/2 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled 1/2 -1 tsp red pepper flakes Juice of 1 lime 1 Tbsp. sesame seeds (or tahini or raw sunflower seeds) 1-2 Tbsp. water
Directions First, sauté the greens and cabbage: Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a pan over medium low heat. Add ginger, cook for about 30 seconds. Then add the purple cabbage, 2 tablespoons of water and a pinch of salt. Cook for about 7 minutes before adding the greens and giving it a good stir. Cook an additional 2-3 minutes, until everything is wilted and tender. Cabbage should still be slightly crisp, yet tender.
Remove to a large bowl.
Meanwhile, steam the carrots. Place them in a steamer basket over a pot of boiling water and cover, allowing to steam for 4 minutes, or until tender.
Remove from heat, transfer to the bowl with the cabbage and greens. Mix everything well. Allow to cool before assembling the pockets.
While the vegetables are cooling, make the dipping sauce: Place all ingredients in a bullet blender and blend until smooth. (If using a standard size blender, continue to add water 1 tablespoon at a time to help it blend.)
To make the pockets, place a baking sheet in your sink and fill with hot water. Quickly submerge one rice paper sheet for about 3-5 seconds, until it becomes soft and translucent, but it should still hold its shape.
Transfer the rice paper to a cutting board and lay it out flat. Spoon about 1 cup of veggies into the center. Roll the bottom edge up over the veggies, then the two sides, and finally the top. Repeat with the other two sheets.
Refrigerate until ready to serve, and eat cold.
Note: Double or triple the recipe to make lunch for more than one day. These refrigerate well, and should last up to 3 days


Download the recipe card here

For more from Maria, read her columns on health and wellness on our site or visit mariamarlowe.com.