‘Back to school… back to school to prove to Dad that I’m not a fool!!!
….I got my lunch packed up, my boots tied tight, I hope I don’t get in a fight,
Oh, back to school…back to school….’
I’m currently in the midst of my first week back at university. I study exercise and sports science and have just entered my second year of the degree. The first week back at school is always a buzz. While the early mornings are a bit of a shock (my first lecture on Monday was at 8am), I’m excited to see my friends and hit the ridiculously expensive books again.
Our campus is dedicated to health science disciplines only so it’s quite small, but has all the basics we need: Bookshop, Gym, Library, Computer Lab, and of course the ‘Food Court’. I call it a ‘Food Court’ because it really is only one venue with 3 different options: Sandwich, Hot lunch option, or Salad. Because of my dietary restrictions, I’m pretty much limited to the salad option if I wanted to buy my lunch. So instead I pack my lunch.
By packing my lunch I avoid lines at the food court, save money, and get a lot more variety in my diet! But it also means being prepared at the beginning of the week with lots of ready-made items in the fridge. I usually dedicate Sunday to food prep and meal planning. My mom and I sit down and plan out dinners for the week, which gives me an idea of what leftovers I can take for lunch the next day. On top of that I also prepare some basic staples, so I can pack everything up with minimal effort when I’m in a rush (which is most days). Here is a basic rundown of what I prepare for Low FODMAP lunches:
- Baked sweet potato
- Steamed brown rice
- Simple Salmon Slice
- Grilled chicken breast
- Chopped up veggies (raw carrots, celery, cucumber, and capsicum)
- Wash salad & baby spinach
- Sliced fruit
- Packs of unsalted nuts
- Sweet baked treat (E.g. Paleo Banana Bread, GF Mocha Walnut Muffins, or Carrot & Pineapple Protein Muffins)
One of my favourite new recipes is the simple salmon slice. This delicious slice is dairy free, gluten free, and of course Low FODMAP. It is full of protein from the salmon and eggs, but also has lots of fibre from the grated vegetables. The beauty of this recipe is you can easily change up the ingredients depending on what you have in the fridge. I’ve included the basic recipe below along with some suggestions for variations and options for vegetarians.
Simple Salmon Slice
Prep Time: 15 mins Cooking Time: 25 – 30 mins
Makes 9 slices
- 250g sweet potato, grated
- 1 large carrot, grated
- 1 medium zucchini, grated
- 1 stalk celery, finely chopped
- ½ cup coriander, roughly chopped
- 1 bunch chives OR 5 spring onions (green part only), roughly chopped
- 1 lemon, zested
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp ground flaxseed
- 3 eggs
- 415g can pink salmon, in spring water, drained
- Sea salt and fresh cracked pepper
- Preheat oven to 180°C (355°F). Grease and line a 20cm square cake tin with baking paper.
- Squeeze excess water out of grated sweet potato, carrot, and zucchini and transfer to a large mixing bowl. Add celery, chopped coriander, chives or spring onions, lemon zest, lemon juice and ground flaxseed. Mix together thoroughly.
- In another bowl, roughly mash salmon with a fork. The salmon bones are a great source of calcium so leave them in, but be sure to crush them up.
- Transfer mashed salmon to vegetable mixture and mix thoroughly.
- Crack eggs into a measuring cup and season with salt and pepper. Whisk eggs to break up yolks, then add to salmon vegetable mixture. Mix everything together well.
- Press mixture into prepared cake tin. Use the back of a wooden spoon or spatula to smooth the top of the slice.
- Bake in preheated oven for 25 – 30 minutes, or until golden and firm.
- Let cool in pan for 5 minutes before carefully turning out. Cut into pieces and serve immediately, or pack away and refrigerate for later. Slice can also be individually wrapped and frozen for up to 3 months.
Nutrients per serve (1/9th of the recipe): Calories: 102, Total Fat: 3.9g, Total Carb: 7g, Sugars: 2.8g, Dietary Fibre: 1.3g, Protein: 9.8g
- Full of Beans: Replace salmon with a can of Four Bean mix(or other legumes, such as chickpeas), drained and roughly mashed. You may need to reduce the eggs to 2.
- Tempting Tempeh Slice: Replace salmon with 300g grated tempeh. Replace the lemon zest and juice with 1 tbsp sweet or hot chilli sauce (or finely chopped chilli to reduce sugar), 1 tbsp reduced salt tamari and 1 tbsp grated ginger. You may need to reduce the eggs to 2 (add another if mixture appears too dry).
- Tuna & Sweet Corn. Replace salmon with 415g can of tuna in spring water, drained. Omit sweet potato and add 1 cup canned corn kernels and ½ cup mashed potato.
- Chicken Fajita Slice. Replace salmon with 2 cups cooked shredded chicken. Replace sweet potato, carrot and zucchini with 1 cup cooked brown rice, 1 chopped red and green capsicum. Replace lemon juice and zest for lime juice and zest. Add ½ tsp ground cumin, ¼ tsp chilli powder, and ¼ tsp smoked paprika. Serve with salsa.
To download a printable version of the recipe click here: Simple Salmon Slice
What are your lunchbox essentials?
Do you prefer hot or cold lunches?