If you are not prepared in advance, by the time noon rolls around, the easy thing to do may be to head out to the nearest pizza joint and put a damper on your eating well intentions. However, with these smart and easy lunch ideas, you will neither have to go hungry nor derail from your eating well plan. So whether you are crunched for time or plan to brown bag your lunch, take your pick from these ten healthy lunch ideas:
Salads need not be starters to meals alone but can be created as complete meals themselves. Simply pay attention to the ingredients added in the salad to get a full range of nutrients. Here is a salad that works because it is packed with protein, carbs and good fats to make a fulfilling meal in itself:
Tarragon chicken salad
I cup spinach, chopped half a chicken breast, sliced ¼ cup Greek yogurt
¼ cup walnuts ¼ cup dried cranberries 1 celery stalk, chopped
2 slices tomato 1 tbsp fresh tarragon, chopped juice from one lemon
To assemble salad, chop or slice ingredients as needed. Put all ingredients in salad bowl except yogurt and toss together. Sprinkle lemon juice lemon juice and toss again. Top with Greek yogurt and enjoy.
Any salad that combines a protein source such as chicken, lentils, chickpeas or other with an assortment of veggies and pairs it up with good fats like nuts and seeds or even avocados can be served as a complete meal, rather than be relegated as a starter.
Wraps are an easy lunch option as they do not require a lot of work and can easily be put together with fresh or even leftover ingredients. Here is a lunch wrap that promises to deliver not only taste but also complete nutrition as well:
Crunchy tuna wrap
1 whole wheat pita 6 oz. canned tuna, drained ¼ cup non-fat Greek yogurt
½ celery stalk, chopped 3 slices roasted red pepper handful of baby spinach
Lemon juice salt and pepper to taste
Spread Greek yogurt on pita and top with remaining ingredients. Season to taste. Squeeze on lemon juice and fold pita into wrap. The Greek yogurt used in this wrap makes the tuna mixture as creamy as traditional mayonnaise would but without any of the extra fat and cholesterol.