Add this ingredient to your lunch to help you shed pounds

Published on December 01 2009 - 3:50 PM
Curried Chicken Pitas

My husband and I are fairly active people, but we’re always looking for more ways to shed a few pounds. (Who isn’t, right?) So when I read that adding more fiber to your diet can help you lose weight, I started to think about where I could sneak in some extra fiber during the day.

We already get a decent amount of fiber at breakfast and dinner, so lunch seemed like a good experiment. Especially when I realized I could turn some leftover dinner ingredients into high-fiber lunches.

Here are 4 easy ideas:

• One of my favorite quick lunch solutions is to make a big pot of soup over the weekend. Homemade soup tastes a lot better than canned and I can control what goes in it. One of my cold-weather favorites is Cumin-Scented Wheat Berry-Lentil Soup, packed with heart-healthy, fiber-rich wheat berries and lentils. We eat some for dinner, then I freeze the leftovers in individual containers. That way, it won’t go bad before I use it, and I can just grab a container from the freezer when I’m making my lunch.

Rice & Lentil Salad—Turn leftover cooked brown rice into a simple salad with canned cooked lentils and a delicious sherry vinaigrette.

Mediterranean Tuna Antipasto Salad—Packed with protein and fiber, this tuna and bean salad is ready in a flash. Serve with warm, crusty bread or pack it in a pita for a sandwich. For an extra kick, add a pinch of crushed red pepper or cayenne.

Curried Chicken Pita—Roasting a chicken for dinner is a pretty easy meal, and I always turn leftover meat into chicken salad. I like the sweet touch that cranberries and pear add to this tangy curried chicken salad. Toasted sliced almonds add a nutty crunch.

Carolyn Malcoun combines her love of food and writing as a recipe contributor for EatingWell. Carolyn has a culinary arts degree from New England Culinary Institute and a degree in journalism from University of Wisconsin—Madison. Carolyn lives in Burlington, Vermont, and enjoys cooking, gardening, hiking and running in her free time.