Healthy Meal Options from Starbucks
Summer days are perfect for those random road trips, yet such spur of the moment adventures do not leave much time to pack a healthy meal.
This has been a challenge for me as I have been traveling quite frequently myself. I am not one to run into a typical fast-food restaurant as I know many of the options are calorie-rich, nutrient-poor, and will leave me in a foggy state of mind - just the opposite of what my body is craving - a light and nutritious dish of nutrient-rich whole foods. Thankfully, nutritious dining options are slowly popping up in the most surprising locations.
A Surprising Discovery
Recently I attended a three-day conference where attendees were left on our own for lunch. As the conference quickly soaked up the day I was hoping to use my lunch hour to check a few things off my to-do list, therefore I headed for the neighboring Starbucks™ where I knew I would have access to Wi-Fi and some peace and quiet.
I had planned to munch on a protein-rich Kind granola bar, fresh fruit, and a latte, hoping it would be enough to tide me over… yet thankfully I found a better option!
To my surprise, I stumbled upon a complete meal! In addition to their energizing teas, coffees, desserts, and snacks, the infamous coffee chain now offers a variety of meal options to accommodate the woman or man on-the-go.
That particular day I was in the mood for something sweet and savory, so I chose the "Tuna Salad" from the line of Snack Size Bistro Boxes. The Tuna Salad bistro box presents with an assortment of fresh green beans, whole grain crackers, cheddar cheese slices, cherry tomatoes, and a hearty Albacore Tuna blended with a dash of sweet relish and topped with carrots and celery.
SIDE NOTE: They may be advertised as a snack, but at 270-480 calories they may be enough to quench your meal-time appetite. I opted to enjoy the black cherry yogurt parfait along with my Bistro Snack knowing my diet was in need of calcium and fruit – plus, I had a hankering for a sweet treat.
Other snacks from the Bistro Box line include:
- The “Protein” box. accompanied with a hard-boiled egg, fresh apple slices, red grapes, white cheddar cheese, and multigrain bread with honey-peanut butter.
- The “Chicken and Hummus” box sounds absolutely divine with hummus, grilled chicken, grape tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers, and whole grain pita bread. Talk about a well-balanced meal!
- Finally, the “Cheese and Fruit” box offers three bold cheese varieties (creamy Brie, Gouda, and aged Cheddar) with multigrain crackers, fresh apple slices, roasted almonds, and dried cranberries. This one is even closer to a meal size as it contributes 480 calories to your daily allotment. Yum!
Of course, heartier options abound. The Bistro Box meals carry roughly the same amount of calories, including a piece of chocolate, demonstrating one reason it is important to read the fine print when it comes to commercial food offerings. My favorite meal comes in at 360 calories, the “Chicken Lettuce Wraps”. This meal invites you to create your own wraps using fresh greens to bundle up Cantonese-style chicken, peanuts, veggies, vibrant cilantro, and peanut sauce (my favorite!).
Other meal options include:
- The “Salumi and Cheese” (yes, that is the correct spelling) with fresh prosciutto (my fiance’s favorite), salumi, Asiago cheese, crackers, and Greek olives.
- The “Chipotle Chicken Wraps” meal packs a fiery punch with Chipotle chicken, pepper jack cheese, whole grain tortillas, and cilantro-lime slaw with a roasted salsa topped with avocado. This is truly a beautiful spread.
- Last but not least is the “Sesame Noodles”. This delicious option of sesame noodles, fresh broccoli, sugar snap peas, and red peppers, is topped with a savory peanut dressing. On the side you will find a light cucumber-carrot salad, sesame peanuts (new to me!), and a spicy lime glazed baked tofu.
The diversity in ethnic cuisine found at your local Starbucks still has me in a state of shock. Though I am pleasantly surprised and hoping other coffee chains follow in their footsteps.
What are your favorite grab-n-go meals?
For further detail, visit your local Starbucks or take a peek at their website: http://news.starbucks.com/article_display.cfm?article_id=548