Brown bag meals: Quick pasta salad

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Do you find it ironic that nurses, who are constantly in caregiver mode, are so likely to deprive themselves of self-care?

Specifically, when it comes to eating?

If you’re really good at taking care of others, sometimes it seems like there’s no time to care for yourself. If you find that buying, cooking or eating food is the last thing you have time to deal with, you may struggle with Chaotic Eating patterns.

As the dietitian at Green Mountain at Fox Run, I work with many nurses who are chaotic eaters. This pattern can involve skipping meals or having huge stretches of time between meals, which often leads to overeating. Or chaotic eating can involve frequent 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 this series, we’re tackling the problem of meal skipping. Each article in this series will provide 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, check out the first article in this series called “10 Signs of a Chaotic Eater — Are You One of Them?”

To access the previous recipes in this series, follow these links:

Spicy Rice & Bean Salad
Apricot-Turkey Salad with Whole Grains
Walnut Basil Pesto Pasta Salad

Italian Pasta & Veggie Salad

1 Serving (For 4 Servings, Use These Amounts)

Salad Ingredients:

1 cup cooked pasta (4 cups cooked pasta)

½ cup halved grape tomatoes (2 cups tomatoes)

2 tablespoons finely diced onion (½ cup onion)

½ cup small broccoli florets (2 cups broccoli)

½ cup cooked white beans (2 cups white beans)

â…“ cup diced fresh mozzarella (1â…“ cup mozzarella)

2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil (½ cup basil)

½ clove minced garlic (2 garlic cloves)

Vinaigrette Ingredients:

½ tablespoon red wine vinegar (2 tablespoons red wine vinegar)

1 tablespoon olive oil (¼ cup olive oil)

1 pinch dry mustard (â…› teaspoon dry mustard)

For 1 or 4 servings, mix all the salad ingredients and set aside. Whisk together the vinaigrette ingredients, then stir vinaigrette into the salad. Refrigerate until ready to eat. If you make the 4-serving recipe, 1 portion should be about 2½ cups.

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