Fretting about choosing something fried for that 4 pm ‘pick-me-up’ evening snack at work? Then don’t depend on the canteen chow – try these two healthy, easy-to-prepare mini-meals instead.

Chicken Salad

Chicken salad is high protein, low sodium. A cup of diced, roasted chicken meat has about 231 calories; 45 calories come from fat. The chopped celery and onions provide dietary fiber and contribute a healthy mix of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, vitamin B6, folate, manganese and potassium. Using curd to replace mayo lowers its calories and fat content.

Ingredients

50 gm chopped cooked chicken

1 medium-sized, finely-chopped red onion

2-3 tbsp finely-chopped celery

1 large egg, hard boiled, chopped

1/3 cup low fat curd

1/4 tsp salt, or to taste

1/8 tsp freshly-ground black pepper

Method

In a bowl, combine the chicken, onion, celery and egg; toss to blend. Add the relish, low fat curd, salt and pepper, mix well. Add more curd, if desired.

Vermicelli (sevia)

Pic for representational purpose only.
Pic for representational purpose only.

Semolina (sooji) vermicelli is made from durum wheat, so it is digested slowly. It helps you feel full longer and prevents you from overeating. It is a good source of two vital vitamins: E and the B group which boost immunity. For those who lead an active lifestyle, semolina (360 calories/100 gm) is a quick and nourishing source of energy.

Add chopped vegetables, it becomes a power-packed, delicious, meal in a bowl.

Ingredients

1 cup vermicelli (sevia)

2 tbsp oil

½ tsp mustard seeds (rai)

1 tsp chana dal

2 tbsp raw peanuts

1 tsp urad dal

1 tsp cashews, coarsely crushed

A pinch of hing (asafoetida)

¼ tsp haldi

A few curry leaves

1 small, finely-chopped onion

Green chillies to taste, finely-chopped

1 tsp ginger, grated

½ cup carrots and peas

Salt to taste

1 ½ cup water

Coriander leaves for garnish

Method

  1. Heat 1 tsp of oil in a pan on medium heat. Once the oil is hot, roast the vermicelli till it turns light golden. Stir continuously. (A lot of Indian stores now carry pre-roasted Vermicelli, so to save on cooking time, use that.)
  2. Once done, remove it from the pan to stop the cooking process. Set aside.
  3. In the same pan, add the remaining oil and heat on medium heat. Add rai, and allow it to pop.
  4. Add chana dal and peanuts and cook for 30 seconds.
  5. Add urad dal and cashew and cook till they turn to a light golden colour.
  6. Add haldi and hing. Mix well. Add the curry leaves and allow them to cook for 10-15 seconds.
  7. Add onions, carrots and peas, green chillies and ginger. Cook till the onions turn translucent.
  8. Add salt and water. Cover the pan and allow the water to come to a boil. Once it boils, open cover and add the roasted sevia. Give it a really good mix, lower heat, cover and cook for 6 minutes. Stir once in-between.
  9. After 6 minutes, turn the flame off and allow it to sit covered for another 5 minutes. Open, fluff gently, garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot.

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Written by Neha Jain

Neha Jain

She may have multiple degrees to back her expertise, but Neha Jain believes there’s nothing complex about nutrition. There is no magic formula for a healthy diet – the trick lies in balancing a variety of food groups and ensuring you’re eating the right portion size. With an MSc in Food and Nutrition from Delhi University and diplomas in naturopathy and yogic sciences, Neha is also a certified diabetes educator with extensive experience in endocrinological disorders and weight reduction, having worked with renowned endocrinologist Dr Ambrish Mithal in Delhi. Her goal is to help people find easy ways to make healthy choices, and believes HealthifyMe has simplified her task with its technology. Neha’s made the right choices for her family – she’s helped her husband control his high cholesterol levels and borderline diabetes by changing the meal plan at home, and introducing him to regular exercise – and now she’s hoping to ‘healthify’ you too.

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