Brown Bagging It!

Take your lunch, and donate the money you save to charity! Text SAMEALS to 41444



Brown Bagging It!

What’s on the menu for tomorrow?  Need some ideas?  I don’t really brown bag it- my lunch bag is big and pink.  I put everything I need in there for the day and take it everywhere.  It seems as if I’m constantly eating- every three hours, but I eat healthy foods in the right portion sizes.  I’m a planner by nature and typically meal prep on Sundays, but this weekend I was out of town and have been cooking as I go.  I have a George Foreman grill that collects dust in my garage, but I recently gave it a good wipe down and have been using it quite a bit lately…  I’ve been throwing things on it just to see how they come out- I love to experiment in the kitchen!

I picked up some lamb scaloppini the other day at HEB.  For red meat, it is pretty lean and I love lamb, so I gave it a go, along with some asparagus and other vegetables I had in my refrigerator.  Everything came out great, it was quick and simple, and I spent about 15 minutes making this meal.  I topped my dinner with a sprinkle of feta cheese and my dish was bursting with color and flavor.  There was enough for leftovers, so that’s what’s in my “brown bag” today.

Last week, I had some endives and was really curious to see how they would turn out after a few minutes on my indoor grill.  I threw them on and watched them until the grill marks were well defined, but I didn’t let the greens overcook.  I served them alongside some grilled chicken drizzled with a homemade lime-cilantro Greek yogurt sauce.  Again, simple, quick, and healthy- my favorite kind of meal.

If you’re in a pinch for something quick, butterfly filet some chicken breasts, sprinkle with a salt free seasoning of your choice and put them on.  I find that 5-7 minutes does the trick and having grilled chicken as a go-to is great.  It is versatile, tastes good hot or cold, can be incorporated into salads or main dishes, and travels easily.  The combinations are endless.

What are some of your go-to dishes?  What unique foods have you cooked on the grill?  Tonight I am going to try a seafood mix with grilled zucchini topped with lime juice and avocado.  I may even grill some fresh peaches.  Thanks to all this rain we’ve been having, my tree is full of them.  I’ll let you know how everything turns out!

Tiffany Batsakis, MS, RD, LD

Registered Dietitian

Meals on Wheels of San Antonio


The Power of the Brown Bag

Brown Bag Thursdays


Meals on Wheels recently started “Brown Bag Thursdays.”  We want our community members to eat out less and brown bag it more.  Not only does this allow you to eat more healthfully, but you can save money.  On Thursdays, we are asking you to donate that money to help feed a homebound senior!  It’s a win-win situation!

According to an article published in Forbes magazine in 2013, Americans have lunch out twice a week and spend approximately $10 each time.  In some cases, they reported that men spend up to $21/meal and women, $14/meal.  Over the course of a year, that amount adds up.  Let’s say you eat out twice a week and spend $15 each time.  That’s over $1500/year.  That could feed a lot of seniors, but even just a $10 donation would feed two of our homebound clients.

Text  SAMEALS to 41444 to pledge.

As a dietitian, my focus is always on health and eating a balanced diet.  Many people tell me that they don’t have time to eat healthy or prepare meals, so in the upcoming weeks, I will share some simple, healthy, and tasty meal ideas.  Preparing meals ahead of time can be simple and fun, and of course, you can nourish your body if done properly.  Coincidentally, I came across an article this morning entitled, “This Red Lobster meal has more than 3,600 calories.”  There are many stories out there like this- restaurants really play up our sense of taste by adding lots of salt, fat, and sugar, all things, that when consumed in excess, can lead to preventable chronic diseases.  Have a look.  Do any of the foods you order fall into this trap?

The average American requires about 2,000 calories per day.  Let’s look at calorie content of some typical lunch meals.

  1. Chili’s Original BBQ Ribs – Full Rack: Calories: 1360; Fat: 74 g; Sodium: 3330 mg
  2. McDonald’s Quarter Pounder with Cheese: Calories: 520; 26 g Fat; Sodium: 1110 mg
    1. Add an order of medium fries: 340 calories; 16 g Fat; Sodium: 190 mg
  3. Subway Footlong Meatball Marinara: 960 Calories; 36 g Fat; Sodium: 1840 mg
  4. Panera’s Chipotle Chicken Panini: 840 Calories; 38 g Fat; Sodium: 2190 mg
  5. Popeye’s Chicken Po’ Boy: 660 Calories; 38 g Fat; Sodium: 2120

The list of unhealthy lunch options goes on.  Brown bag your lunch, save some money, and donate to a good cause!  Check our FB page and blog regularly for some healthy meal ideas that you can enjoy at work!

Text  SAMEALS to 41444 to pledge as little as $1.00

Tiffany Batsakis, MS, RD, LD

Registered Dietitian

Meals on Wheels of San Antonio