Quick & Easy Healthy Lunch ideas #MotivationalMonday

I received 3 free pouches from Merchant Gourmet as discussed in this post.

My own health and that of my family’s is pretty important to me. The one thing that I really struggle with is finding foods that are healthy but still convenient.  So I was really thrilled to get involved with Merchant Gourmet Merchant Gourmet, who provide quality pulses and grains which can be easily incorporated into everyday recipes and meals. These are a great source of protein and other essential nutrients. To help the nation to get cooking with them and start healthy habits they have teamed up with the UK’s youngest female Executive Chef, TV personality and published author, Sophie Michell, In their ‘Eat Well Live Well’ campaign Sophie showcases the versatility of ready to cook with pulses and grains to change our cooking for the better.Quick & Easy Healthy Lunch ideas

Time is a big factor as a family for eating healthily. Why is it that so many products that can be made in minutes are either unhealthy or need eating straight away. But Merchant Gourmet offer a range of ready to eat grains and pulses in poaches that are ready in minutes. I particularly need something quick after I have been for a run, and have no energy left, so was keen to help review them. The challenge was how easy I found it to incorporate them into my diet and how tasty they were.

Merchant Gourmet Mixed Grains: Quinoa, Lentils & Wheatberries

I am currently trying to get my sugar intake down. Per pack these contain only 1.1 sugar cubes (according to the Sugar Smart app). I like the colour coding on foods now and these are green for salt, saturates and sugars, Fat is yellow and everything else white – suggesting to me that they are rather healthy. However, they are in date until August 2017 – but once opened must be kept refrigerated and eaten within 3 days. Containing no artificial colours, preservatives or flavourings and suitable for vegetarians and vegans. Low in saturates and a good source of protein and fibre.

This combination of mixed grains can be served as a side dish and is ready to eat straight from the pouch. Great combined with grilled salmon – as a salad, or in a wrap. Alternatively add it to soups, heat it in the microwave in less than a minute, still through pesto, with roasted vegetables, or in toasted pitta pockets. It makes a great snack for picnics.easy healthy lunch

My Verdict: I hardly knew they were there in terms of changing the flavour but they gave the food a really nice texture.

Merchant Gourmet Red & White Quinoa

With its nutty flavour it adds great texture and is again ready straight from the packet and good to add to salads. These only have 1 sugar cube in, and again the same greens, yellows and whites as above. Red & White Quinoa is also good warm, mixed with vegetables and cheese. Other ideas are to stuff peppers or to fill pitta bread. Merchant Gourmet also offer recipes on their website – such as this Creamy quinoa and courgette salad. This one I have to admit I have not just slipped into my routine.

Merchant Gourmet Thai Flavoured Grains

Thai flavoured grains mixed with wheatberries, black rice, flavoured coconut milk, ginger and kaffir lime strands. These require heating but only around 30 seconds in the microwave or 5 minutes on the hob. Then serve with chicken, fish or salad.
easy healthy lunch

My verdict: Was a little spicy – but actually livened up a plain salad (just mushrooms, tomatoes and cucumber) without needing to use any sauces and was really quick to prepare. I think it would work well by adding it to curry to give it more texture and flavour.

I often have a tin of rice pudding. eggs on toast, a can of soup (which I know is not good) or go without. Do you have any lunch ideas I can make beforehand or are quick and stop me reaching for a bag of crisps?

I received free Merchant Gourmet samples for purposes of review.

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