Healthy Lunchbox Ideas

Renowned cookbook author Rose Reisman shares a few tasty and nutritious recipes.

Grilled Chicken And Chickpea Salad - Serves 6

Grilled Chicken And Chickpea Salad - Serves 6

This is a filling and tasty salad, ideal for the lunch box!

8 oz skinless boneless chicken breast



2 cups diced plum tomatoes
1 ½ cups drained and rinsed canned chickpeas
1 cup diced green bell pepper
1/3 cup chopped fresh tarragon or dill
1/3 cup diced red onion
2 oz lower-fat feta cheese, crumbled (optional)



2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
½ tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp minced garlic
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  1. In a hot nonstick grill pan or on barbecue sprayed with vegetable spray, grill the chicken for 5 minutes per side or just until no longer pink. Do not overcook. Cool slightly then slice thinly.
  2. To make the salad, in a large bowl, combine the tomatoes, chickpeas, green pepper, tarragon, red onions and feta (if using). Add the chicken.
  3. To make the dressing, in a small bowl, whisk together the oil, lemon juice, mustard, garlic, salt and pepper. Pour over the salad and toss.
Date And Orange Spice Squares - 16 Servings

Date And Orange Spice Squares - 16 Servings

The combination of dried dates and orange is delicious. Serve this as a morning bread, snack or dessert. 

8  oz whole pitted dates
1 cup orange juice
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1 1/2 tsp grated orange zest
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup lower-fat plain yogurt
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup Splenda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 9-inch square baking pan with vegetable spray.

  1. Put the dates and orange juice in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce the heat to low. Cook for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring often, or until the dates are soft and most of the liquid has been absorbed. Mash with a wooden spoon until combined.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the oil, eggs, orange zest, vanilla and yogurt. Stir in the date mixture and mix well.
  3. In another bowl, combine both flours, the Splenda, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda and nutmeg, and add to the wet ingredients. Mix until just combined. Pour into the prepared baking pan and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a tester inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Chicken And Hoisin Fried Rice - Serves 4

Chicken And Hoisin Fried Rice - Serves 4

Traditional fried rice is often made with lard or excess amounts of oil, adding greatly to the fat and calories. This version calls for only 1 tablespoon (15 mL) of vegetable oil, and the hoisin sauce adds moisture. Freeze in small containers for the kids’ lunches.

1 cup long-grain rice
8 oz skinless boneless chicken breast
1/3 cup chicken stock
3 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
3 tbsp hoisin sauce 
2/3 cup chopped carrots 
1 tbsp vegetable oil 
1 cup chopped sweet red peppers 
1 cup chopped snow peas 
1-1/2 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp minced fresh ginger
2 green onions, chopped, as garnish

Preheat grill or grill pan sprayed with vegetable spray.
  1. In a saucepan, bring 1-1/4 cups water to a boil. Stir in rice. Cover; reduce heat to low and cook for 12 minutes. Remove from heat. Let stand, covered, for 10 minutes. Transfer to bowl. Cool.
  2. Grill chicken over medium-high heat for 6 minutes per side, or until cooked through. Dice.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together stock, soy sauce, and hoisin sauce. Set aside.
  4. In a pot of boiling water, cook carrots for 4 minutes, or until tender-crisp. Drain.
  5. In a nonstick wok or large frying pan sprayed with vegetable spray, heat oil over high heat; cook red peppers, snow peas, garlic, ginger, and carrots for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add rice; cook, stirring, for 2 minutes longer. Add stock mixture and chicken; cook for 1 minute longer, or until heated through. Serve garnished with green onions.

Substitute cooked beef, pork, shrimp, or firm tofu for the chicken.  Add other vegetables of your choice.

These recipes were provided courtesy of cookbook author Rose Reisman. For more healthy recipes visit

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