Brown bag meals: Apricot-turkey salad with whole grains

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As the dietitian at Green Mountain at Fox Run, I work with many nurses who struggle with chaotic eating. Chaotic eating can involve skipping meals or having huge stretches of time between meals, which often leads to overeating. Or chaotic eating can involve frequently munching on unbalanced snacks throughout the day, which can lead to frequent feelings of hunger and lots of food cravings. Neither of these patterns tends to yield positive results when it comes to health or weight management.

In our “chaotic eaters” series, we’re tackling the problem of meal skipping. Nurses most commonly miss out on a serious lunch, as work demands get in the way of finding time to eat.  Shift workers can have an even tougher time getting that mid-shift meal as they may also have trouble finding food during the overnight shift. It’s less likely that the hospital caf is open at 2 or 3 a.m.

Each article in this series provides a brown-bag lunch idea. Many of the ingredients used in these recipes can be prepared in advance to save time. For more information on pre-prepping or to learn more about chaotic eating, take a look at the first article in this series, “10 Signs of a Chaotic Eater — Are You One of Them?

Apricot-Turkey Salad with Whole Grains

1 Serving (For 4 Servings Use These Amounts)

½ cup cooked whole grains (2 cups grains)

(try quinoa, amaranth, hulled barley or millet)

4 oz. cooked turkey breast, diced (1 lb. turkey)

2 tbsp. diced celery (½ cup celery)

2 tbsp. diced red onion (½ cup onion)

¼ cup grated carrots (1 cup carrots)

2 tbsp. dried diced apricots (½ cup apricots)

2 tbsp. chopped toasted nuts (try walnuts or almonds) (½ cup nuts)

1 cup shredded romaine lettuce (4 cups romaine)

3 tbsp. Orange Vinaigrette* (¾ cup vinaigrette)

Directions for 1 serving: Mix all ingredients and refrigerate until lunchtime.

Directions for 4 servings: Mix all ingredients except dressing and lettuce. Stir 1 cup shredded lettuce and 3 tbsp. vinaigrette into 1½-cup portions as you need them.

* Orange Vinaigrette

½ cup orange juice

â…“ cup canola oil

½ teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon honey

1 pinch salt

1 pinch cayenne (optional)

Mix all ingredients in blender. Makes about 1 cup of vinaigrette.

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