Better Health and Wellness: Pack your lunch for National Nutrition Month

Better Health & Wellness

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – March is National Nutrition Month, a time to learn about making informed food choices and developing healthful eating and physical activity habits.

“I find so many people get in a rut about what they’re going to eat for lunch, that they end up going out to eat or doing impulse decisions around food choices, and then it’s not a very healthy option,” Greater Wichita YMCA healthy eating director Tammi Krier said.

Plant-based eating, or “plant power” is becoming more prominent in food and recipe labeling. The label does not mean strictly vegan or vegetarian, or only eating fruits and vegetables. Rather, it’s incorporating nuts, seeds, beans and legumes into a healthy diet.

“We know when people eat more fruits, more vegetables, more plants in general, they are just generally healthier. They have lower risk of cancer and type two diabetes and lower risk of Alzheimer’s,” Krier said.

To mark National Pack Your Lunch Day on March 10, KSN partnered up with the Greater Wichita YMCA to prepare a plant-based lunch with plenty for leftovers:

Ancient Grains Power Salad with Chicken and Lime Vinaigrette

Ingredients:

  • · 1 c. Farro, cooked according to package directions (note: can sub 1 c. brown rice, cooked per package directions)
  • · 1 sweet red pepper, diced
  • · 1 c. shredded carrots
  • · 2-3 green onions, thinly sliced
  • · 1 c. cooked edamame (try frozen edamame that cooks in the bag in your microwave)
  • · 1/4 c. chopped cilantro
  • · 1 1/2 c. chopped, cooked chicken breast or rotisserie chicken
  • · 1 avocado, sliced
  • Vinaigrette:
  • · Juice from two limes plus zest of one of these limes
  • · 1 tbsp. soy sauce
  • · 2 tbsp. canola or olive oil
  • · 2 tbsp. sugar
  • · 1/4 tsp. cracked red pepper

Directions:

1. In a large bowl mix farro, peppers, carrots, onions, edamame and chicken.

2. In a small bowl whisk together the vinaigrette ingredients. 

3. Drizzle the farro and chicken mixture with the desired amount of dressing. Serve or chill for later. Garnish with avocado when serving.

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