Eating healthy can be a challenge when there is no time to spare, and while bringing lunch always seems like a nice idea, more often than not I end up walking to the nearest food stop to grab something under the pretense of “needing to get some air."
However, with just a little planning and smart shopping choices you can have delicious lunches ready in just a few minutes. Today’s magical ingredients? Pita pockets and minute rice.
Cooking rice doesn’t take that much time or effort, but often it’s those 15 or 20 extra minutes that stand between me and making my own lunch. Minute® Rice Brown & Wild is the perfect solution for me: it’s rich in healthy fiber, cooks in 60 seconds and provides a great base for everything else. Pita pockets are an excellent alternative to sandwich bread: you can put anything inside them, the options are endless.
This week I made a pita sandwich that has a fresh, citrusy kick that I crave this time of year, when I’m practically certain that spring will never come.
Anna’s Pita Pocket Lunch:
You will need:
2 small whole wheat pitas or 1 large whole wheat pita
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
Juice of ½ lime
½ tbsp chili garlic sauce (you can skip this if you don’t like spicy)
Small handful of bean sprouts for crunch
Protein of choice: I used Quorn fake chicken because it is my latest food obsession. It’s meat and soy-free and has delicious deep flavor. You’ll find it at Whole Foods. You can also use rotisserie chicken or even cold cuts.
- Cook the rice (1 minute) and the Quorn (2 minutes)
- Mix the rice with lime juice, cilantro and chili sauce
- Cut the pita on the fold about half way and load the ingredients: rice, then sliced Quorn and top with the bean sprouts.
But don’t stop here – try other delicious combinations inside the pita. Top the rice with some olives and feta cheese for a Greek salad variation, load the pocket with hummus and veggies, or you can even make an Italian cold cuts and cheese pita. The sky – and your appetite – are the limit.
And if you find yourself with leftover pita bread that’s not quite fresh enough for a sandwich, cut it into triangles and stick in the oven at 150 degrees F to make delicious chips.
Find the Ingredients Close to Home
Chili Sauce: International aisle at or Star Market (Porter Square) or in Union Square.
Quorn: Whole Foods Medford
P.S. Worthy of note: Bunch cilantro at Shaw's on Beacon St: $1.49. Bunch cilantro at on Somerville Ave. : $0.69.