7 Quick-N-Easy Lunch Recipes For A Healthy Diet!
For many people, the mid-day meal often makes or breaks their diet. Some will have planned their lunch out ahead of time, done any prep-work that was required, and packed the meal to take with them to the office or wherever they will be eating. Others cannot say the same. Instead, they head out on a hunt for nourishment, but often are only left with a few options that consist of fast food or vending machine fare.
Being prepared is half the battle with your midday meal, and it's important that you are prepared because it plays a critical aspect in your day. If you don't eat properly, not only are you much more likely to turn to simple carbs by the time 3 pm rolls around and your stomach throws a hunger fit, but you will not be setting yourself up for when you go to do your workouts later on in the afternoon or evening.
Getting in both carbohydrates and protein will be essential to prepare your body for the work that is to come. Here are seven easy healthy lunch options for you to consider. All are based around a calorie count of between 350-450 calories.
Note: if your particular calorie requirements call for you to take in more calories, you can either double up on the servings of some of the food or add an additional piece of fruit, handful of nuts, or protein shake.
If, on the other hand, your calorie requirements call for you to be slightly lower for your mid-day meal, then you can reduce back on the carbohydrates or fats listed in each meal option. Just keep the protein the same!
Quick and easy, this one is great to take in the morning when you're in a rush and headed back to work at the start of the week.
- 1 can of Canned Light Tuna
- 1 tbsp Fat-Free Mayonnaise
- ¼ cup sliced Onions
- 1 sliced Pickle
- 1 whole Wheat Tortilla Wrap
- ½ cup Peppers, Lettuce, Mushrooms, and Tomatoes, if desired
- 1 Apple
- 1 tbsp Natural Peanut Butter
Mix together the tuna with mayonnaise, onions, and the pickle. Spread over a whole wheat small tortilla wrap and then fill with the chopped vegetables of your preference (mushrooms, peppers, tomatoes, etc). Roll up and serve. Have an apple smeared with peanut butter afterward for something sweet and to provide some healthy fats to slow down the digestion of this meal.
This healthy version of a favorite recipe will provide you with a good dose of protein and carbohydrates to get you through the afternoon. You can easily make this the night before and store it in your fridge to grab quickly on your way out the door.
- 3 oz Chicken Breast, diced
- ½ cup Brown Rice (Raw Measurement)
- 2 Egg Whites
- ½ cup finely diced Peppers, Onions, and Mushrooms
- ¾ cup Chicken Broth
- ½ tbsp Soy Sauce
- ½ tbsp Olive Oil
First dice chicken breast and stir-fry in 1 tsp of the olive oil until tender. Set aside.
Next, heat remaining oil in pan and pour in egg whites, stirring until cooked. Remove from pan and set aside with the chicken.
Pour in the chicken broth and soy sauce into a pot and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat, add in vegetables along with rice, cover, and simmer for five to ten minutes, or as indicated by the package directions.
Once finished, stir back in the chicken and egg whites and gently pan fry for 1-2 minutes until slightly crispy. Serve.
If you're able to run home quickly for your lunch break or work in an office that has a good lunchroom with fridge and microwave, this is a delicious, well-balanced meal to prepare.
- 1 medium Potato
- ½ cup Low-Fat Cottage Cheese
- 2 oz Low-Fat Cheddar Cheese
- ¼ cup Salsa
- ¼ cup chopped Green Onions
Bake potato in the microwave until cooked through. Slice in half so that you can spread it open for the filling.
Next sprinkle over 2 oz of cheddar cheese and if an oven is available, place under the broiler for about one minute until melted slightly. Top with salsa next and then spoon on cottage cheese and green onions. If you prefer your cottage cheese melted then you can layer it on before the salsa. Serve immediately.
- ¾ cup Whole Wheat Angel Hair Pasta (Cooked Measurement)
- 15 large Shrimp
- 1 oz grated Parmesan Cheese
- ¼ cup chopped Red Peppers
- ½ cup Broccoli Florets
- 4 tbsp Low-Calorie Italian Salad Dressing
In a pot, bring water to boil and then cook pasta according to package direction.
Next, heat two of the tablespoons of salad dressing in a pan. Toss in peppers, broccoli, and shrimp, and lightly stir fry for 2-3 minutes.
Toss over drained pasta along with remaining salad dressing and then sprinkle on Parmesan cheese.
- 1 can Light Chunk Tuna
- 1 Egg White
- ¼ cup Dry Oats
- Any desired spices such as Oregano, Garlic, Onion Powder, etc.
- 1 tbsp Olive Oil
- 2 cups Romaine Lettuce
- ½ cup chopped Vegetables (Carrots, Celery, Cucumbers, Mushrooms)
- 2 tbsp Low-Fat Salad Dressing of preference
Mix together the chunk light tuna, egg white, and dry oats and form into a patty. Heat the oil in a non-stick skillet on medium heat. Once heated, placed patty on and grill, flipping at half time. Serve alongside a lettuce salad with vegetables and low-fat salad dressing.
Stir-fry dishes are simple to create and typically only take ten minutes tops. If you purchase pre-chopped vegetables already, your prep time will be further reduced. There are many different variations of sauces you can come up with so be sure to try a variety of your own. Keep in mind that with a few ingredient swaps, you can also really improve the nutritional content of most sauce recipes.
- 3 oz Chicken Breast, sliced
- 1 cup sliced Red Peppers and Yellow Peppers
- 1 cup Snow Peas
- ½ cup sliced Purple Onions
- ½ cup sliced Mushrooms
- 1 tbsp Olive Oil
- ½ tbsp Soy Sauce
- 2 tbsp Chicken Broth
- ¼ tsp Ginger
- ¼ tsp Garlic
- ½ tbsp Sugar or Honey
- 1 cup Brown Rice
Begin by bringing 1 cup of water to a boil and then toss in brown rice, covering, and allowing to simmer according to package directions.
Next, heat half of the olive oil in a pan. Cook chicken until tender and set aside. Toss the vegetables in the pan with juices from the chicken along with 1 tbsp of the chicken broth. Saute all the vegetables until tender.
Next, mix together the remaining olive oil, chicken broth, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, and honey in a small bowl. Pour over vegetables, add chicken back to the pan, and stir-fry for another 1-2 minutes.
Serve on top of the bed of rice.
If you're like most people, you like to enjoy sleeping in on the weekends and getting up to a brunch that reminds you of your mom's home cooking. Rather than opting for high calorie pancakes or waffles, try this healthier version that you can whip up yourself in minutes.
- 1 scoop Protein Powder
- 3 Egg Whites
- 1/3 cup rolled Oats
- ½ tsp Baking Powder
- 1 tsp Vanilla
- 1 packet of Sweetener
- 1 cup Mixed Berries
- 1-2 tbsp Sugar Free Maple Syrup
Mix all the ingredients together and then place in pancake sized spoonfuls on a hot griddle sprayed with non-stick spray. Flip once when edges begin to brown (1-3 minutes depending on griddle) and cook the remaining side.
Serve with sliced fruit on top and a small amount of sugar-free maple syrup if desired.
So don't let yourself fall off your diet during this lunch-time meal again. With some creativity in the kitchen it's definitely possible to stay on top of your diet and please your taste buds at the same time - all within a twenty minute time span.
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