12 healthy lunch recipes

Boring lunches are so 2014. This year it’s all about tasty and healthy lunches.

We know the reasons we should pack our lunch instead of buying it out. (Healthier and cheaper!)

But it’s not easy. It takes planning and prepping. And most importantly, precious time. But as annoying as it is to actually do it, you’ll be so glad you spent a little time when you get to sit down to a tasty and healthy lunch. I prefer to set aside some time each Sunday to prep the components for lunches so that I only have to spend a few minutes getting lunch ready the night before.

12 Healthy Lunch Ideas | anutritionisteats.com

It’s also important to start small. It would be crazy to make a different meal each day of the week, so I aim to make the same lunch for three days and leave the other two days open for leftovers, frozen meals or meals out.

Here are some of my favorites that can be prepped ahead of time and easily packed up for work. Pick a new recipe to try each week and you’ll never suffer through a boring lunch again!

Green Salads:

12 Healthy Lunch Ideas | anutritionisteats.com

Summer Harvest Salad (Trader Joe’s Copycat!) I’m so glad I found this recipe again, it’s such a good one and it’s full of satisfying ingredients topped with a yummy mustard-y dressing.

12 Healthy Lunch Ideas | anutritionisteats.com

Simple Kale Salad Sometimes you just want a simple kale salad…and here it is. It’s a superfood salad!

12 Healthy Lunch Ideas | anutritionisteats.com

Waldorf Salad Sweet, crunchy and full of fresh produce. Low in calories (300) and high in protein, if you’re looking for something light but filling, this is your salad.

Grain Salads:

12 Healthy Lunch Ideas | anutritionisteats.com

Quinoa & Arugula Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette Is it wrong to say that I love this salad because the arugula can be used as-is and it doesn’t require washing any vegetables?! It’s the truth. But it’s also delicious.

12 Healthy Lunch Ideas | anutritionisteats.com

Roasted Asparagus & Red Pepper Quinoa Salad Hmmm, so many good ingredients in this quinoa salad.

12 Healthy Lunch Ideas | anutritionisteats.com

Black Bean Quinoa Salad This vegetarian salad has a whopping 23 grams of protein per serving. It’s a satisfying one! Quinoa, black beans and a little cheese – what else do you need in life?

Soups and Sandwiches:

12 Healthy Lunch Ideas | anutritionisteats.com

Italian Chicken Sausage & Vegetable Soup Make a huge batch of this soup and freeze for many lunches to come. If you eat salads often, this vegetable-packed soup will be a nice change of pace.

12 Healthy Lunch Ideas | anutritionisteats.com

Curried Lentil Turkey Soup Oh I love this soup. So much curry flavor going on and so many satisfying ingredients (lentils and turkey).

12 Healthy Lunch Ideas | anutritionisteats.com

Egg, Avocado & Cheese Toast This is about the only recipe that can’t be packed up for lunches, but I had to include it because it’s such a staple in my life. Add two of my favorite foods to avocado toast and I could eat this for every meal of my life!

Chicken Salads:

12 Healthy Lunch Ideas | anutritionisteats.com

Curried Chicken Salad If you like curry, you’ll love this curried chicken salad. Chicken salads are perfect for lunch because you can top a simple green salad with a dollop of chicken salad and you have quick lunch for a few days.

12 Healthy Lunch Ideas | anutritionisteats.com

Spring Chicken Salad The best spring produce (peas and leeks) shine in this chicken salad that’s made with greek yogurt and a small amount of mayonnaise.

12 Healthy Lunch Ideas | anutritionisteats.com

Fall Chicken Salad This is a copycat from a favorite little cafe of mine and I might have to consider it my favorite. (I’m not sure I can fully commit but it’s definitely up there on the list.)

PS. If you want more… Healthy lunch ideas!

What’s your favorite healthy lunch? 

italian chicken sausage & vegetable soup

Italian Chicken Sausage & Vegetable Soup | anutritionisteats.com

Back when we lived in Minnesota, soups were a regular lunch rotation while I suffered through winters.

Now that winter = 60 degrees, I find myself forgetting to make soups and stews, always waiting until it “cools down just a bit more.” Well, no more. I figured that since my office always feels cold, there’s no reason to wait until it cools down.

Italian Chicken Sausage & Vegetable Soup | anutritionisteats.com

The (very hot!) day I decided to make this soup, I watched Giada make a Vegetable & Barley Soup and I took two things from the episode: 1) Use a parmesan rind to help flavor soup (which I’ve always meant to do) and 2) Use the sausage as a topping instead of letting it simmer in the soup.

Like any good lunch or dinner – it’s healthy and tasty!

italiansausagesoup3

I wanted the soup to be full of vegetables as well as a good source of protein and fiber. So it’s simple. Fill the soup with tender-crisp vegetables and throw in some chicken sausage for a protein boost, it’s a filling combo. It happens to be gluten-free and paleo, if you’re into those things!

Italian Chicken Sausage & Vegetable Soup
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 8 servings
Ingredients
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • about 1 heart of celery (2 cups chopped)
  • about 1 pound of carrots (2 cups chopped)
  • 10-12 cups of chopped kale
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 28 oz can diced tomatoes
  • parmesan rind (optional)
  • 12 oz italian chicken sausage
  • salt & pepper
  • parmesan cheese (optional)
Instructions
  1. Heat 2 Tbsp of olive oil in a large pot.
  2. Add onion and sauté for a few minutes.
  3. Add garlic, celery and carrots and sauté for another 5 minutes.
  4. Add kale, broth, water, tomatoes and parmesan rind and simmer for about 35-40 minutes.
  5. While soup is cooking, thinly slice chicken sausage in half lengthwise and then chop.
  6. Heat remaining 1 Tbsp of olive in in medium pan and sauté about 3-4 minutes, until brown, set aside.
  7. To serve, top serving of soup with chicken sausage and parmesan cheese if desired.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 370 Fat: 17 grams Carbohydrates: 35 grams Fiber: 10 grams Protein: 25 grams

 

new product favorites (june)

New Product Favorites | A Nutritionist Eats

oat revolution steel cut maple & brown sugar oatmeal. I have a confession to make. I’m going through a major obsession with maple & brown sugar instant oatmeal. Would I recommend it as a Nutritionist? NO! But it’s kind of addicting and so easy…

greek

sweet earth ‘the greek burrito.’ It’s a blend of white beans, baby spinach, feta and oregano with 13 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber. It was delicious! (I found it at Target, but have seen it in natural food stores too.)

CLover_CreamOnTop_Plain-e1349343478569

clover ‘cream on top’ whole milk yogurt. I bought this on a whim and I must say that it’s been a while since I’ve boughten non-Greek yogurt. I loved it. The protein isn’t as high (obviously) but it was so lovely…I’ll definitely buy it again.

g & b cold brew coffee. G & B was recently featured in The New York Times as the “best iced latte in America.” It’s made with their homemade almond and macadamia milk. It was delicious, but I love their cold brew coffee even more. I never thought I would say this, but…it doesn’t even need cream.

New Favorite Foods (June) | A Nutritionist Eats

earthbound farm chia & soba noodles & asian greens powermeal bowl. These bowls are a little small for the price, but they would make a great meal (that’s certainly cheaper than a restaurant) when paired with some grilled chicken or tofu. An easy, delicious and organic meal! 

better booch kombucha. I’m still on a fermented foods/kombucha kick (I should really make my own) but I found this LA-made version in Peach Tea flavor (called Morning Glory) and it’s fantastic.

New Product Favorites | A Nutritionist Eats

massel concentrated liquid stock. I love having stock in the pantry, but I have a tiny kitchen and just don’t have the room for boxes upon boxes of stock. I’ve started cooking my quinoa with a mix of water and stock and it is SO much better than all water. Massel recently sent me some of their concentrated stock and I love that it is made with simple ingredients and is vegan and gluten-free.

Have you recently tried a new food that you love and/or I NEED to try? 

curried lentil turkey soup

This soup was a total accident.

I didn’t have any leftover turkey – or plans for leftover turkey.

But then on Saturday, we decided to pick up a 15 pound turkey and have another round of Thanksgiving. My thoughts immediately went to leftovers. Can you blame me?

Curried lentil soup with turkey came to mind and I had all of the ingredients I needed at home so I turned on the Christmas music, made some tea, pretended it was cold outside and made some soup.

This soup is flavorful, filling and nice and warm for chilly winter nights. I love it topped with a little greek yogurt and fresh cilantro – it adds such a great fresh and creamy touch!

*Use shredded chicken and chicken broth if you don’t have leftover turkey.

 

Curried Lentil Turkey Soup

by Emily Dingmann

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Keywords: soup/stew entree gluten-free high fiber high protein fall winter

 

Ingredients (8 servings)

For Soup

  • 2 Tbsp oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 cup diced carrots
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1 Tbsp minced ginger
  • 2 Tbsp curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp each: garam masala, tumeric, coriander
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 cups green lentils
  • 8 cups turkey (or chicken) broth (or mix of broth and water)
  • 1-14 oz can coconut milk
  • 3-4 cups shredded turkey (or chicken)

For Toppings

  • greek yogurt
  • chopped cilantro

Instructions

Heat oil in large pot.

Add onion and occasionally stir for about 3 minutes.

Add carrots, celery and ginger, cooking for about 5 more minutes.

Mix in seasonings and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Add lentils and broth to pot.

Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 40 minutes.

Add coconut milk and turkey, bring to a boil and serve.

Top with greek yogurt and chopped cilantro if desired.

If soup is not thick enough, let simmer with no cover until desired consistency.

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What did you make with Thanksgiving leftovers?