Editor’s note: This post is one in a series with information to help you eat well for a healthy heart. Here we feature two satisfying lunch options.
Take the guesswork out of a heart-healthy lunch with these two simple meals.
Option 1: Slow cooker Thai chicken soup
- 1 serving of Thai chicken soup
- 1 serving of fruit
- 1 serving of low-fat dairy, like Greek yogurt or string cheese
Thai Chicken Soup
- 2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 14 oz. package onion and pepper stir-fry mix
- 16 oz. package white mushrooms
- 1/2 of a 13.5 oz. can light coconut milk
- 4 cups low-sodium chicken stock
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 10 oz. package frozen peas
- 1/2 cup fresh basil or cilantro, chopped
- 4 oz. rice or vermicelli noodles, roughly chopped
- Asian hot sauce or Sriracha (optional)
Place chicken in the bottom of a large slow cooker. Add stir-fry mix, mushrooms coconut milk and chicken stock. Cover and cook 4 hours on high or 8 hours on low until chicken is tender.
Transfer cooked chicken to a bowl. Stir lime juice, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper, peas, herbs and noodles into the slow cooker. Make sure noodles are mostly submerged. Turn the slow cooker to high if it was on low. Cover and cook about 20 minutes until noodles have softened.
Cut chicken into bite-size pieces and return to the slow cooker. Ladle soup into bowls and serve with hot sauce if desired.
Each serving (2 cups) has 343 calories, 30 g carbohydrates, 6.1 g fat, 40 g protein and 4 g fiber.
Source: American Heart Association
Option 2: Turkey or tuna sandwich
- Turkey on whole wheat bread or tuna salad on a whole wheat pita
- 1 serving of vegetables
- Kale salad with olive oil, lemon juice and garlic dressing
- Kale chips (season with black or cayenne pepper, garlic powder or low-sodium Cajun seasoning instead of salt)
- Pea pods or baby carrots
- 1 piece of fruit
- 1 serving of low-fat dairy, like yogurt or string cheese
Lunch tip: “Step away from your desk when eating lunch,” said Hannah Koschak, a Marshfield Clinic registered dietitian. “Eat slowly and mindfully instead of being distracted.”
Taking a break to enjoy your lunch will improve your concentration and productivity the rest of the day.