Night shift food ideas for busy shift workers

We know that eating a balanced diet while working out of hours can be challenging.

That’s why, as part of Wellness Month, we’ve teamed up with top nutritionist Lily Soutter to create some amazing bespoke recipes for busy shift-working vets and nurses.

These tasty, nutritious meals are quick and easy to rustle up, and they’ll keep you feeling full and alert during your shift.

Image of Vets Now's Wellness Month calendar for Vets Now article on food ideas for night shift workers
June is Wellness Month at Vets Now, where we focus on the physical and mental wellbeing of our staff

Avocado, mango & lime smoothie

Ingredients

½ avocado
½ mango
300ml unsweetened almond milk
1 handful spinach
½ lime, juiced
2 tbsp chia seeds (optional)

Method

Blend ingredients and enjoy!

Top tips: use frozen avocado and mango.

Image of avocado, mango & lime smoothie for Vets Now article on healthy eating
Avocado, mango & lime smoothie

Overnight oats

Ingredients

50g oats
250ml unsweetened almond milk or normal milk
2 heaped tbsp. FAGE Total Greek yoghurt
2 tbsp chia seeds
Fresh fruit

Method

1. Mix the oats, chia seeds, and milk together in a bowl, drizzle over almond butter. Top with raspberries and seeds and leave to soak overnight.

Image of overnight oats for Vets Now article on healthy eating
Overnight oats

Eggs on wholegrain toast

Ingredients

2 eggs
Wholegrain toast
1/2 avocado
Chilli flakes

Method

Poach or scramble eggs (can be done in microwave if short on time).
Smash avocado onto toast.
Top with eggs and sprinkle over chilli flakes.

Image of eggs on wholegrain toast for Vets Now article on healthy eating
Eggs on wholegrain toast

Butternut squash, spinach and chickpea curry

Ingredients

1 tbsp. oil
1 onion, halved, thinly sliced
500g butternut squash cut into 3 cm pieces
100ml Madras chili & cumin cooking sauce
1 x 400g can low fat coconut milk
1 x 400g tin chickpeas, drained
1 bunch spinach
Brown rice, to serve
2 tbsp fresh coriander leaves

Method

1. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.

2. Add the onion and cook, stirring, for 3-4 minutes or until onion softens.

3. Add the pumpkin, cooking sauce, coconut milk, and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, for 12-15 minutes or until pumpkin is tender.

4. Add chickpeas and spinach. Cook, covered, for 3-4 minutes or until spinach wilts. Remove from heat.

Image of butternut squash, spinach & chickpea curry for Vets Now article on healthy eating
Butternut squash, spinach & chickpea curry

Tuna sweet potato jackets

Ingredients

4 small sweet potatoes (around 200g) each
185g can tuna in spring water, drained
½ red onion, finely sliced
1 small red chilli, deseeded and chopped
Juice 1 lime
6 tbsp Greek yoghurt
A handful of coriander leaves

Method

1. Prick potatoes with a fork. Place on a microwavable plate and cook on high for 18-20 minutes in the microwave.

2. Halve potatoes

3. Flake drained tuna with a fork and divide between the sweet potatoes.

4. Top with the red onion and chilli, then squeeze over the lime juice.

5. Top with a dollop of yoghurt and scatter over the coriander to serve.

Image of tuna sweet potato jackets for Vets Now article on healthy eating
Tuna sweet potato jackets

Acorn squash & feta lunch box

Ingredients

1 acorn squash, sliced and roasted
50g kale, steamed
50g cauliflower, steamed
80g feta, crumbled
1 pack Merchant gourmet quinoa
2 handfuls pomegranate seeds

Method

Place all ingredients in your lunch box starting with quinoa, then layer on top on top the rest of the ingredients.
Season and drizzle a dressing of 2 tbsp white tahini, 2 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp lemon juice, 2 tsp honey (optional), salt + pepper.

Image of squash & feta lunch box for Vets Now article on healthy eating
Squash & feta lunch box

Red pepper hummus lunch box

Ingredients

1 x 400g can chickpeas, drained
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 red pepper, cut into strips
1-2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tbsp lemon
1 tsp cumin
1 tbsp tahini

To serve

Seeded wholegrain crackers
Mixed greens – chopped cucumber, spinach, edamame beans, pumpkins seeds
Fresh apricots

Method

Blend with 4 tbsp water, seasoning and drizzle more olive oil if needed. Add ½ red pepper, taste + add more if needed.
Serve with mixed greens, apricots, and seeded crackers.

Image of red pepper hummus for Vets Now article on healthy eating
Red pepper hummus

Beetroot hummus

Ingredients

2 small cooked beetroot
1 can chickpeas
2 garlic cloves
1/2 lemon, juiced
60ml olive oil

Method

Blend and serve with crudites.

Image of beetroot hummus for Vets Now article on healthy eating
Beetroot hummus

Cacao & chia balls

Ingredients

90g rolled oats
150g Pip & Nut or Meridian peanut butter
2 tbsp cacao powder
2-3 tbsp honey
1 tbsp chia seeds

Method

1. Mix all ingredients in a bowl until fully combined.

2. Roll mix into equal bite sizes. Store in the fridge.

Image of cacao & chia balls for vets now article on healthy eating
Cacao & chia balls