WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (WGHP) — With kids are heading back to class, parents are back to packing lunches. 

Instead of a sandwich and chips every day, we are showing you some delicious and nutritious options. 

On this Recipe Wednesday, Shannon Smith stops by Brenner Fit in Winston-Salem.   

Brenner Fit is a program run by Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist that promotes a family-centered approach to obesity care.

Cilantro-Lime Chicken Pasta Salad

Number of servings: 6-8

Cooking time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces dried whole wheat rotini pasta
  • 22oz bag Tyson Grilled & Ready Chicken Breast Strips
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1 medium mango, seeded, peeled, and cut into cubes
  • 1 medium avocado, seeded, peeled, and cut into cubes
  • 1 medium chopped yellow bell pepper
  • 1 medium chopped red bell pepper
  • 1 fresh jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped (optional)

Dressing

  • 1/2 cup lime juice
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup  olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Directions:

  1. Cook pasta and pre-cooked chicken according to package directions. Drain pasta once it is finished cooking and set aside.
  2. While chicken and pasta are cooking, make your dressing. Combine lime juice, finely chopped cilantro, oil, sugar, salt, garlic powder, cumin, and cayenne pepper. Mix well and set aside.
  3. Cut all fruits and vegetables according to how they are described in the ingredient list above.
  4. In a large bowl combine pasta, chicken, and all fruits/vegetables. Pour dressing over pasta mixture; toss gently to coat. Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to 4 days.

Italian Pasta Salad

25 minutes | 2 servings

Double ingredients for 4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup uncooked tri-color rotini pasta
  • 1 cup chopped broccoli
  • 1/2 cup diced yellow bell pepper
  • 3/4 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced onion
  • 3 basil leaves, rolled and cut into thin strips
  • 2 slices mozzarella cheese, cut into small squares
  • 15 slices turkey pepperoni, cut into quarters
  • 1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup sliced black olives
  • 1/2 cup Italian dressing

Directions:

  1. Cook pasta according to directions on box.
  2. Cut up broccoli, pepper, tomatoes, onion and basil. Place in a large Ziploc bag.
  3. Cut up mozzarella cheese and peperoni. Place into bag with the other ingredients.
  4. Add parmesan cheese, black olives, and dressing into the bag.
  5. Close bag and shake to mix ingredients together well. Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to 4 days.

Pesto Chicken Wrap

1 wrap |  5 minutes

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup cooked rottiserie chicken, diced               
  • 2 tablespoons pre-made pesto
  • 1 whole grain wrap
  • ¼ cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • Spinach
  • Thinly sliced roma tomatoes
  • Thinly sliced red onion

Directions:

  1. Mix together chicken and pesto.
  2. Add mixture to the middle of the wrap.
  3. Top with cheese, spinach, tomatoes and onion.
  4. Fold in the sides of the wrap, bring up the bottom flap and continue to roll. Enjoy!

Black Bean Taco Pitas

20 minutes | 6 pitas

Ingredients:

  • 6 count pita pockets
  • 1, 5oz bag of fresh baby spinach
  • Filling ingredients
    • Two, 15 ounce cans reduced sodium black beans, drained and rinced
    • 2 roma tomatoes, diced
    • 1 yellow bell pepper, diced
    • 1 avocado, diced
    • 2 green onions, chopped
    • 2 ounce can green chilies
    • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
    • 1/4 cup lime juice
    • 1 tablespoon lower sodium taco seasoning

Directions:

  1. Add filling ingredients together in a medium bowl. Mix well.
  2. To assemble, stuff each pita pocket with spinach leaves and add bean mixture. Once prepared, store bean filling in an airtight container for 3 – 4 days in the refrigerator.

Brenner FIT® Bites of Sushi

5 minutes I 1 sushi roll

Ingredients:

  • Whole Wheat Tortillas (3 gram of fiber or more per serving)

Possible Toppings (choose at least one protein and one vegetable/fruit):

Protein Options:

  • Hummus
  • Lean deli meat
  • Low-fat shredded cheese
  • Light Laughing Cow Cheese
  • Turkey pepperoni
  • Natural peanut butter

Vegetable/Fruit options:

  • Salsa
  • Avocado, sliced
  • Bell Peppers, sliced
  • Fresh baby spinach leaves
  • Cucumber, sliced
  • Sprouts
  • Banana, sliced
  • Apples, diced
  • Strawberries, sliced

Sauce Options:

  • Pizza sauce
  • Mustard
  • Light mayonnaise
  • Pre-made pesto

Directions:

  1. Place spreadable ingredients onto tortilla first. Next, place any combination of the other ingredients above at one end of the tortilla. Starting with the ingredient side, roll into a tube, pressing gently.
  2. Cut into bite size pieces and turn upright to look like sushi. Refrigerate or keep in lunch box with ice pack until ready to eat. Serve with an additional fruit or vegetable to make a balanced meal.

Possible Combinations:

  • Hummus, bell peppers, cucumbers, sprouts
  • Laughing cow cheese, deli meat, cucumbers, spinach
  • Pizza sauce, fresh baby spinach leaves, shredded mozzarella
  • Natural peanut butter, banana, strawberries

Brenner FIT Bento Boxes

5 minutes I 1 box

Possible Combinations:

Protein Options:

  • Hummus
  • Deli Meat
  • Cheese: slices, sticks, wedges
  • Rotisserie Chicken
  • Chicken Nuggets
  • Ham
  • Turkey
  • Yogurt
  • Hummus
  • Nut Butter
  • Hard Boiled Egg
  • Beans (Black, Pinto, etc.)

Starch/Grain:

  • Pretzel
  • Pita Bread
  • Crackers
  • Mac & Cheese
  • Corn
  • Pasta
  • Brown Rice
  • Pita Bread
  • Graham Crackers
  • Cereal (dry)
  • Popcorn
  • Tortilla
  • Sweet Potato

Fruits and/or Vegetables

  • Cucumber
  • Bell Peppers
  • Snap Peas
  • Carrots
  • Broccoli
  • Celery
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Grapes
  • Dried Fruit
  • Apple Sauce
  • Melon
  • Oranges
  • Berries

Directions:

  1. Create your Bento Box with the directions above.

Suggested Combinations:

  • Pretzels, sliced cucumbers, laughing cow cheese wedge, grapes
  • Pita bread triangles, garlic hummus, red bell pepper strips, dried fruit
  • Crackers, deli meat, sliced cheese, apple sauce, sugar snap peas with ranch

Sliced Cucumber Sandwiches

10 minutes I 2-3 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 cucumber, cut into ¼ inch slices
  • 3 slices cold cut turkey. Cut into 1 ½ inch squares
  • 3 wedges of laughing cow cheese

Directions:

  1. Spread cheese onto one side of two cucumber slices.
  2. Place slices together with turkey in the middle and repeat.

Brenner FIT Bagel Bites

2-3 servings | 10 bagel bites

Ingredients:

  • 5 mini whole wheat bagels
  • 1/3 package of turkey pepperoni slices, finely chopped
  • 1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup pizza sauce

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Split the bagels in half and place cut side up on a large foil-lined baking sheet.
  3. Place pepperonis, cheese and pizza sauce in a bowl and mix together.
  4. Place a heaping tablespoon of the mixture on each bagel half. Press the toppings down on each bagel so they stick to the bagel.
  5. Place in oven and bake for 15 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bagel is toasted.

If freezing, place the baking sheets with uncooked bagel bites into the freezer until they are frozen. Then remove them from the sheets and store in plastic freezer bags.

Fruit Kabobs and Dip

10 minutes | Makes 2.5 cups dip

Ingredients:

Fruit of your choice:

  • Strawberries
  • Pineapple, cut in chunks
  • Blueberries
  • Cantaloupe, cut in chunks

Fruit dip:

  • 2 cups low fat vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter or sunflower butter
  • 1 – 2 tablespoons honey

Directions:

  1. Place fruit of your choice onto skewers.
  2. Place all fruit dip ingredients in a bowl and mix together until smooth. 
  3. Serve fruit kabobs with dip.