There are times when all you want to do when it hits 1 p.m. is head to the nearest Pret and indulge in a box of its incredible macaroni and cheese (seriously, I dream about the ricotta and butternut squash version). While that's fine every so often, there's only so much you can take when it comes to an overload of carbs and cheese—it always leads to the afternoon slump, and it's not so kind to the waistline. But when you're bored with all other options, what are the choices? You don't want another sandwich.
And salads are a bit meh. Thankfully, fitness guru Kayla Itsines has the ideal snack and lunchbox-filler that is set to rescue us from dull homemade lunches and calorific convenience food. Not only is it seriously tasty, but it's also a much lighter option. Want to find out what it is?
Keep scrolling for the Instagram star's healthy lunchtime recipe.
"Vietnamese rolls (or 'cold rolls,' as we like to call them in South Australia) are one of my favorite meals because they are just full of mouthwatering flavors," Itsines tells Byrdie.
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 4 minutes
2 tbsp. rice vermicelli noodles
2 large eggs, lightly whisked
4 small rice paper wrappers
1/2 medium cucumber, thinly sliced
1 small handful bean sprouts
1/2 medium carrot, thinly sliced
1/4 medium red pepper, seeds removed and thinly sliced
Fresh coriander leaves, to serve (optional)
Reduced-salt tamari or soy sauce, to serve
Place the noodles in a heatproof bowl and cover with boiling water. Leave for 10 minutes, and then loosen the noodles with a fork. Drain and refresh under cold water, and set aside to cool slightly.
When cool enough to handle, cut the noodles into shorter lengths. Meanwhile, heat a non-stick frying pan over medium heat and spray lightly with oil. Pour in the eggs and swirl to cover the base of the pan. Cook for one to two minutes or until the eggs are set. Place the omelet on a plate and set aside to cool. When cool enough to handle, slice into thin strips.
Place the rice paper wrappers, omelet, noodles, and all the prepared vegetables on a clean countertop, ready to roll.
Fill a large bowl with warm water for the wrappers. Working with one wrapper at a time, dip into the water for one second to soften. Do not soak, as the wrappers can become too soft and tear.
Place the wrapper on a cutting board, and place a quarter of the noodles, omelet, and vegetables on the bottom third, adding a few coriander leaves if desired. Bring the bottom of the wrapper up and over the filling, fold in the sides, and then roll up. Set the roll aside, seam side down, while you prepare the remaining rolls. Repeat with the remaining ingredients to make four rolls in total.
Serve the rolls with a small dish of tamari or soy sauce for dipping.