Happy Earth Day
Earth Day is a day designed to inspire awareness and appreciation for the Earth’s environment. With all the talk about global warming and the current condition of our Earth, we have to wonder: what can we do to help protect our planet?
There are organizations online that offer the opportunity to adopt a rainforest, or donate money to preserve our wildlife, but what would you say if I offered a suggestion that would help you lose weight, save you money, and help the environment all at once?
Bring your lunch to work.
Believe it or not, something as simple as bringing your lunch to work can reduce your carbon footprint – which means that you can be proud of yourself on Earth Day (and every day) that you’re not contributing to the 1.8 million tons of trash created by the packaging that take-out food comes in. That’s a whole lotta trash!
An added bonus is that you’re not only helping preserve Earth’s environment, you’re also saving yourself the money of eating out. If you were to eat out during the work week, let’s say spending $7 a day on your eats, you’ll be saving yourself a whopping $140 a month by bringing your lunch to work!
Additionally, you’ll be sparing your body the aftermath of what you might have consumed had you gotten your fast food fix.
Even if you were attempting to make a healthier decision by heading to Subway for a tuna sandwich, you’d be consuming around 700 to 800 calories (that’s after the drink and bag of chips to make your meal a combo).
By packing your own lunch, you will be much more aware of what you’re putting in your body and therefore less likely to overdo the sodium, fat, carbohydrates, and overall calories.
So come Summer, not only will you be rockin’ your hot bikini body, you’ll know that you’ve done your part to preserve the planet we live on.
Little Italy Chicken Pitas with Sun-Dried Tomato Vinaigrette
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons sun-dried tomato oil
- 1 tablespoon chopped drained oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper $
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 4 cups shredded cooked chicken breast (about 3/4 pound)
- 1 cup chopped tomato (about 1 medium) $
- 1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated Asiago cheese
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil
- 6 (6-inch) pitas, cut in half
- 3 cups mixed baby greens
Combine first 5 ingredients in a large bowl. Stir in chicken, tomato, cheese, and basil. Line each pita half with 1/4 cup greens. Divide chicken mixture evenly among pita halves.
Lentil, Tuna, and Roasted Pepper Salad
Ingredients For the vinaigrette
- 2 Tbs. finely diced shallot
- 1 1/2 Tbs. white wine vinegar
- 1/2 Tbs. Dijon mustard
- 1/4 tsp. finely chopped garlic
- Kosher salt
- 3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
For the salad
- Kosher salt
- 1/4 cup brown or French green lentils
- 1 dried bay leaf
- 1 medium clove garlic
- 1 small carrot, peeled and halved
- 1 small yellow onion, unpeeled and halved
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced scallion (white parts only)
- 1/2 cup homemade or jarred roasted or grilled red peppers, peeled and cut into thick slices
- 2 to 4 tsp. fresh lemon juice
- 2 5-oz. cans tuna (preferably line-caught and packed in olive oil), drained
- 2 medium ripe tomatoes
- Kosher salt
- Extra-virgin olive oil
Make the vinaigrette: Mix the shallot, vinegar, mustard, garlic, and a scant 1/4 tsp. salt in a small bowl. Let the mixture sit for 10 minutes to soften the shallot and garlic. Whisk in the olive oil and then stir in parsley.
Make the salad: In a 1-quart pan of well-salted water, bring the lentils, bay leaf, garlic, carrot, and onion to a boil over medium-high heat. Lower the heat and simmer until the lentils are tender, about 30 minutes. Let the lentils cool completely in their liquid. Drain, discard the onion, carrot, bay leaf and garlic, and transfer to a medium bowl. Stir the scallions into the lentils and toss with 2 to 3 tsp. of the vinaigrette.
In a small bowl, mix the roasted peppers with 2 Tbs. of the vinaigrette; add salt and lemon juice to taste. In another small bowl, toss the tuna gently with the remaining vinaigrette.
For each serving, pack half of the lentils, peppers, and tuna in a segmented lunch box or separate containers; refrigerate. Bring along a tomato, a small container of kosher salt, and a little jar of olive oil.
Put it together
Slice the tomato into thick wedges and arrange on your plate with the lentils, peppers, and tuna. Sprinkle everything with salt and drizzle with olive oil.