Pack a Better Lunch

Stuck on PB&J? Cooper Clinic dietitian Meridan Zerner says no way. She stops by Good Day with some ideas for packing a better lunch for school or work.

1. The Bento box - use last nights leftovers with veggies with turkey bacon, snack beans, veggies
2. Tuna and white bean collard wraps - use the collard leaf as the wrap or also use a low carb tortilla
3. Mason jar squash and quinoa salad
4. Ready to go quinoa cup  
5. No nitrate refrigerated meal (kind of like a Lunchable for adults)
6. Perfect fit meals
7. Protein pancake mix with ham and cheese sandwich
8. Mix n Match - protein muffin cup, popcorn, veggie slices, good quality bars that have nuts and fruit

Mediterranean Tune & White Bean Salad Collard Wrap

10 large leaves collard greens, thick stems removed
1 cup cooked low-sodium canned cannellini beans, drained/rinsed
2, 6oz cans or pouches of solid white tuna, packed in water, drained and flaked with a fork
zest from 1/2 lemon
1/2 cup jarred (packed in water) chopped roasted red peppers
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
1/4 cup chopped toasted unsalted walnuts
2 tbsp finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 1/2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/8 tsp fresh ground black pepper

Fill a wide, deep saute pan with several inches of water and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium to reduce to a simmer. With tongs place 2 collard leaves in water and cook for 1 minute. Remove leaves, transfer to clean towel and pat dry. repeat with remaining.

In a medium bowl, and beans and mash lightly with fork. Add remaining ingredients and mix well.

On one collard leaf, shiny side down, spoon 1/4 cup bean mixture onto center of leaf and spread lightly. Fold sides of leaf in and roll up.

Serve immediately.

Harvest Squash and Quinoa Salad

1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded, cut into  1/2 in cubes
1/4 tsp sea salt, ground black pepper, ground cinnamon
1 beet peeled, shredded
1/2 cup quinoa rinsed
6 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup whole grain mustard
2 tbsp pure mable syrup
1/4 cup chopped unsalted walnuts
1 1/2 cups pomegranate
2 oz crumbled goat cheese
6 cups packed chopped kale
4, 1 qt jars

Heat oven  to 400. Arrange squash on baking sheet. sprinkle with salt, pepper, cinnamon. Roast 40-45 minutes, turning halfway. Cool to room temperature.

In small saucepan, bring 1 cup water to boil. Add beet and quinoa. Cover, reduce heat to simmer and cook 15 minutes, until liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and let stand covered for 5 minutes before fluffing with a fork. Cool to room temperature.

Prepare dressing: in a small bowl whisk together, vinegar, mustard and maple syrup. Divide among jars. Divide other ingredients  among jars. Shake in jars to distribute dressing.