Midday Meal Recipes
While going out to lunch at restaurants is constructive in work and personal relationships, it is also nice to take a midday pause alone at the kitchen table, outdoors under a tree or behind one’s desk. It can become a regenerating and meditative ritual to prepare for a productive afternoon, fueling body and spirit.
I once worked in an office with a service that refilled the cafeteria vending machines daily with things like fresh cornbread and white beans. I ate those beans nearly every day for the nine months I was expecting my first child. That meal offered a nourishing reprieve in the middle of a busy day. It sounds super corny, but I felt like somebody made those beans just for me. The complete protein that results when pairing legumes and grain gave me the energy I needed to push through the second half of the day with focus and enthusiasm.
These lunch suggestions lean toward the lighter side. Sometimes we consume more than we need midday and end up feeling groggy. This is especially true when we load up on carbs. Sure, they offer a nice burst of immediate energy. But that isn’t enough to sustain us until 5 o’clock. Pairing carbohydrates with protein and healthy fats at lunch gives us quick energy along with slower burning fuel. Think of protein as a dense power source. Recent studies restate that those who eat wisely portioned protein have better success in maintaining a healthy weight. It even helps us sleep better.
Adding a few ounces of leftover grilled chicken or salmon to the pasta salad, or a hard-boiled egg to the hummus lunch, will give you extra protein. Protein makes us more alert and ready to tackle the next task. It is especially nice when that task is a power nap under blooming trees with honeysuckle-scented spring breezes whispering through the air.
Fresh spring vegetables combine with cheesy tortellini in this chilled pasta salad.