Nutritious Lunch

by Naila Sheikh

The hours between 2 and 5 PM are the most sluggish during the day. One can always opt for a power nap when the chance is given, but for me that option remains quite impossible unless Imaad decides to shut eye. So, I either complete my chores, prepare dinner or by 4ish make myself a heavy, nutritious lunch that will last all day. My late lunch then counts as dinner, followed by necessary protein intake after a workout, such as nuts and fruits. In the meanwhile, drinking lots of water, running around in the heat outside, getting organized is what keeps me busy and goin'. And to be totally fair, squeezing in an episode or two of Gilmore/Gossip Girls! (I'm guilty, Your Honor 😳).


My favorite go-to homemade lunch/ late dinner is my beloved quesadillas that are very easy to prepare, especially when you're not in the mood for any extravagant cooking. I use up all the vegetables and left-over dinners in my fridge for this meal, leaving this mamma satisfied and happy. Especially during times when I'm serious about my workout regimen, the best way to satisfy hunger is to stick to simple meals in the mid-afternoon. Simple, yet nutritious.


Organic bell peppers are a MUST - I prefer every color. I love Shitaki Mushrooms, Red Onions, Green Onions, Cabbage, Spinach, Kale (ALWAYS GOOD!) for a nice and quick stir-fry that can last for a whole week! I keep it simple when stir frying my veggies; I cut up everything very thinly, toss it in the wok with a little drizzle of Olive Oil. Next up is Sweet N Sour Sauce and Maggie's Chilli Sauce - both sauces give the perfect mixture of sweet and tangy. You can add Soya Sauce if you want. Also, half a teaspoon of red pepper flakes - just so it's not too sweet.


I put the lid on and let it stir until all veggies are absorbed in the sauce while keeping it on low heat. And viola! It's pretty much done. I use left-over rice and mix in a little bit of basil pesto (I keep that stuff in my pantry at all times, no kidding). Also, any chicken gravy left-over from either Biryani, Pilau is excellent. I shred the chicken meat off the bones, with my fingers, and mix it in with my veggies. You can keep it separate if you want. 


Cheese I can't live without - so thin slices of pepper jack cheese to cover one half of your whole wheat tortilla is a sure hit with your taste buds! Before placing the cheese slices, I cover the tortilla with a tablespoon of Prego Sauce (you can use any spaghetti Marinera sauce). 


Once my stir-fry is fully ready, I grab my tortilla, put it in the pan on low heat, covering it with Prego sauce and cheese, I then proceed to add some of the basil pesto rice, followed by my stir-fry of veggies and shredded chicken on one half of the tortilla before folding it. In the future, your prepared stir fry is stored in your fridge and all one has to do is warm it up before placing on the tortilla - easy peasy!


Now, if you want, you can pour some Hot Sauce over it. Flip over onto the other side until it's brown. Slice and serve for lunch or dinner with mashed/sliced avocados on the side! Bon Appetite! 😋 


post-swim 🏊🏼 hungry belly lunch:  Healthy, nutritious quesadillas!  

post-swim 🏊🏼 hungry belly lunch:

Healthy, nutritious quesadillas!