Lunch time pasta edamame salad

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Struggling with workday lunches? You are not alone. Lunch is the meal where Canadians are most likely to eat out; 52% of Canadians find it challenging to manage portion size when they eat out.

Whether you work inside or outside the home, having strategies to help get a nourishing lunch in your belly will help you power through the afternoon without mid-afternoon slumps or cravings.

An ideal lunch will have these 3 components:

  • carbohydrate to give you fuel for your brain and body,
  • some fiber to fill you up and
  • some protein to help your energy last longer.

Carbohydrate is found in grains, starches, vegetables, fruits and somewhat in milk products and legumes.

Fiber is only found in plant-foods.

Protein is found in milk products, meat, fish, poultry, chicken, eggs, and legumes. Click here for sample protein choices to include in your lunch.

No sandwich? No problem!

I have worked with many people who either dislike sandwiches, or, because of dietary restrictions, need other lunch ideas beyond sandwiches.  One simple idea is to cook strategically the night before so you have left-overs to pack in your lunch.  Think roasted chicken, mashed potatoes, steamed carrots.

Think left over frittata.

Or garden veggie wraps in rice paper.

Whatever you make for your supper, plan on making a little extra so you can pack it for the next day’s lunch.

One lunch time packing solution that we find helpful in our house is to prepare a grain-based salad on the weekend, which we can then enjoy throughout the week. We simply:

  • choose a grain (a whole grain is ideal)
  • chop up and mix in fresh vegetables
  • add in a protein
  • toss in a vinaigrette
  • serve over some leafy green vegetables like spinach, mesclun mix or kale.

Once the salad is made, scoop an individual portion in a container, add in a crisp apple, a small handful of almonds, and you will be fuelled for the afternoon.

Here is a recipe from the Dairy Farmer’s of Canada that we enjoyed this past week.

5 from 1 reviews
Lunch time pasta edamame salad
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 8 servings
  • Cooked pasta of any grain (gluten-free pasta if needed)
  • Frozen and shelled edamame beans*
  • Chopped up cherry tomatoes and celery
  • Cubed cheese
  • Fresh herbs like basil or dill
  • ~2 parts olive oil, 1 part white wine vinegar
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Chopped kale for serving
  1. In a large bowl, mix together all ingredients.  Portion out individual amounts for lunch.  Here is a video demonstration of this salad.

* Edamame beans are a high-quality source of vegetable protein.  Every ½ cup portion of shelled edamame beans has 12 grams of protein and 8 grams of dietary fiber– a nutritional combination that contributes to satiety – or that feeling of being satisfied after eating.

You will find edamame beans in the produce section or frozen vegetable section in the grocery store.  Most Calgary stores sell these – Calgary Coop, Safeway, Costco, Superstore, Sobey’s, No Frills.  I prefer edamame in the pods when I am eating them as an appetizer. When adding edamame to a soup, hummus or a salad, I prefer to buy edamame beans shelled.

Kristyn Hall
Kristyn Hall
Kristyn Hall MSc, RD, Food, Nutrition & Culinary Coach, Registered Nutritionist and Calgary Dietitian, Calgary, AB.

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