healthy lunch ideas

Healthy Lunch Ideas | anutritionisteats.com

Do you love packing lunches as much as I do? (I’m kidding, that’s not a real question.)

I love cooking, but prepping lunches? Not one of my favorite things to do. And I get the feeling that those of you who pack lunches day in and day out get sick of it real quick as well. And it’s totally understandable – it takes a ton of planning, prepping and energy to pack lunches every day.

When I think of the goal of this little website of mine, it’s to provide simple, delicious and healthy inspiration to eat well. For kids, for adults and for everyone in between. With that in mind, these healthy lunch ideas are suitable for the entire family, and I kept them as easy as possible.

Healthy Lunch Ideas | anutritionisteats.com

Ideally, each lunch (and meal for that matter!) should consist of a protein, vegetable and whole-grain or starch component. The fruit and treat are optional, but may help you score good lunch cred! Portion size will depend on the size of the human. :)

Healthy Lunch Ideas | anutritionisteats.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Healthy Lunch Ideas: Protein | deli meat, cheese cubes, hard boiled eggs, edamame, beans, cottage cheese, greek yogurt, nut or sun butter, grilled or leftover meat, tuna or egg salad, smoothie (frozen in molds), meatballs, frittata, cheese quesadilla, grass-fed hot dogs

Healthy Lunch Ideas | anutritionisteats.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Healthy Lunch Ideas: Vegetables | carrot sticks, grape tomatoes, lettuce wraps, cucumber slices, roasted vegetables, red pepper strips, snap peas, coleslaw, sautéed zucchini, steamed broccoli, roasted cauliflower

Healthy Lunch Ideas | anutritionisteats.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Healthy Lunch Ideas: Fruits | berries, apple slices, orange segments, grapes, melon chunks, sliced kiwi, mango

Healthy Lunch Ideas | anutritionisteats.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Healthy Lunch Ideas: Whole-Grains (or Starch)| crackers, pasta, bread, popcorn, tortillas, pita bread, mini bagel, waffles, pancakes, english muffin, focaccia, cereal, baked oatmeal, cinnamon raisin bread, cubed sweet potato, roasted squash, mashed potatoes, potato pancakes, sweet potato fries

Healthy Lunch Ideas | anutritionisteats.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Healthy Lunch Ideas: Treats | fruit leather, whole-grain cookies, mini-muffins, trail mix, dried fruit, granola bars

Want More? I rounded up 225+ lunch box ideas here.

Dealing with Food Allergies? Healthy Alternatives for Food Allergies.

Helpful Products: these products might make packing lunch a little easier and a little more fun! The popsicle molds are great for filling and freezing with healthy smoothies (add some greens!) and the baking cups are helpful for keeping foods separate in bento-box style lunch containers.

Healthy Lunch Ideas | anutritionisteats.com

LunchBots Quad Container | Silicone Popsicle Molds | Silicone Baking Cups | Laptop Lunches Bento Buddies *affiliate links

What do YOU pack for lunch?

 

curried chicken salad

It’s officially lunch week over here. A few weeks ago, we had breakfast week and I guess that means dinner week should be next! We’re starting things off with a superb curried chicken salad (it’s perfect over greens and easily made ahead of time) and later this week, I’ll be sharing a ton of ideas on what to pack for lunches – ideas designed for both kids and adults!

So the curried chicken salad.

Chicken Curry Salad | anutritionisteats.com

The location of my office? It’s a good one. (Except that the four mile drive can take 30-40+ minutes on a bad day!)

It’s a few blocks away from one of my favorite lunch spots, Clementine (I’ve created a number of copycat Clementine recipes: whole-grain oat muffins, lentil, beet & goat cheese salad and fall chicken salad) and it’s a few blocks away from my favorite mall in LA. Which is trouble, so I don’t visit the mall that often.

A visit to the mall = a visit to madewell = spending too much money. So I just avoid it all together, as much as humanly possible.

Chicken Curry Salad | anutritionisteats.com

In addition to some great stores, this mall has an incredible food court. It’s honestly the best food court EVER! I normally stick with the same greek salad, but recently I branched out and had lunch from Coral Tree Cafe.

They make a classic curried chicken salad, served over greens. So perfect. I had to have it every day for lunch the following week. The curry sauce is creamy and so flavorful, but the raisins make this salad. I am not normally a raisin fan, but in this version, they are the sweet bite this salad needs.

Chicken Curry Salad | anutritionisteats.com

Chicken salads are a favorite of mine because they can be made ahead of time and served with a simple salad for a healthy, protein-packed and easy lunch. And curried chicken salad just might be my favorite of the bunch. A hint of spice, a touch of exotic and a little excitement to 1pm on Wednesday.

Curried Chicken Salad
Author: Emily Dingmann
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast (about 3 breasts)
  • 3/4 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp water
  • 2 Tbsp curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup diced carrots
  • 1/3 cup diced cucumber (remove seeds)
  • 1/3 cup diced red onion
  • 2/3 golden raisins
Instructions
  1. Cook chicken breasts as desired and let cool and chop into small pieces. (I poached mine, [url href=”http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-poach-chicken-breasts-cooking-lessons-from-the-kitchn-28367″ target=”_blank”]directions here[/url].)
  2. Whisk together mayonnaise, vinegar, water, curry powder and salt. Set aside.
  3. Prepare and chop all vegetables.
  4. Toss together all ingredients and chill for at least 1 hour.
  5. Serve with greens, stuffed into a pita or with crackers.
Calories: 316 Fat: 11 Carbohydrates: 13 grams Fiber: 2 grams Protein: 41 grams

 

last of summer succotash

Last of Summer Succotash | anutritionisteats.comWe’ve done our fair share of housesitting since we moved to Los Angeles and in addition to enjoying the perks of a real HOUSE, central air, backyards and GRILLS it’s also really fun to hang out in a neighborhood different than ours.

New neighborhoods = new restaurants!

One of our absolute favorite restaurants to visit when we’re housesitting is Beer Belly in Koreatown. (Watch the Diners, Drive-ins and Dives video here.) In addition to their great selection of craft beers (the beer list is always changing) they have some tasty bar food. We’ve tried quite a bit of the menu and love the duck fat fries, the pork belly chips and (and on a healthier note) the summer sucka tash.

Last of Summer Succotash | anutritionisteats.com

Right away, it was one of those dishes that I just knew I’d need to make at home. Because it’s simple enough and SO tasty. And those two words (simple + tasty) are essentially my food motto.

Traditionally, succotash is a combination of lima beans, corn and garlic or onion, but there are a ton of succotash varieties out there. Some are made with tomatoes, some red peppers and some swap edamame for lima beans. I knew right away that I wanted to include edamame in my version to up the protein a bit. I also wanted to include some zucchini because this succotash is all about celebrating end-of-summer produce, not to mention it’s always a good idea to add more vegetables where you can. Beer Belly is definitely the only place I’ve seen succotash topped with chipotle mayo and pickled shallots and I definitely wanted to include them.

Last of Summer Succotash | anutritionisteats.com

And even though corn is in season, and it’s best fresh, I used my favorite roasted corn from Trader Joe’s. Shucking and cutting off corn on the cob isn’t particularly laborious, but remember my motto above… SIMPLE! If you want to use fresh corn – major kudos! If you want to use frozen corn – I get you!

Let’s continue with the simple theme. This dish definitely is. Pickle the shallots. (The night before!) Mix up the chipotle mayo. Sauté the veggies for a few minutes. Done!

Last of Summer Succotash | anutritionisteats.com

Serve it alongside some grilled protein, or with some quinoa for a meatless meal.

Summers over now, right?

Last of Summer Succotash
Author: Emily Dingmann
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced (about 3/4 cup sliced)
  • 1/4 cup light mayonnaise
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp chipotle, chopped with sauce
  • 1 1/2 cup corn kernels
  • 1 1/2 cup cooked edamame
  • 1 1/2 cup diced zucchini
  • 1 1/2 cup sliced grape tomatoes
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp olive oil
Instructions
  1. Combine apple cider vinegar, sugar and salt in a small jar.
  2. Add sliced shallots to the jar and let sit overnight or for at least a few hours.
  3. Stir together mayonnaise and chipotle peppers and set aside.
  4. Prep remaining ingredients.
  5. Heat oil over medium heat in a large pan.
  6. Add vegetables and cook, stirring occasionally, for about …. minutes.
  7. To serve, top vegetables with a dollop of chipotle mayo and a few of the pickled shallots.
Calories: 143 Fat: 5 Carbohydrates: 15 Sugar: 4 Fiber: 4 Protein: 7
Notes
Pickled shallots should be made a day in advance if possible.

healthy taco pizza

(I changed up my site over the weekend, so if you’re on a reader, click through to check it out! It was planned for a few weeks from now, but after some major issues last week, I decided to go for it early. I’m still working on a few things, and unfortunately crossing my fingers a bit at this point that everything works as it is supposed to, but it’s close!)

Enough of the tech talk, let’s get on to the good stuff. Healthy Taco Pizza is today’s topic!

Healthy Taco Pizza | A Nutritionist Eats

This latest creation is another kid-friendly meal that I think the entire family will love. It’s hard not to.

I obviously don’t have kids of my own yet, but I have this laughable idea that my toddlers are going to love quinoa and kale. (They will, right?!)

Ok, that might be a stretch and while I’m still going to hold out hope, I do know that kids like tacos. And that kids like pizzas. In fact, everyone does – adults included!

Healthy Taco Pizza | A Nutritionist Eats

Taco pizzas are one of those meals that are filling, tasty and pretty healthy as well! To lighten things up, I use a tortilla for the crust, which also creates built-in portion control. If you’re really concerned with the calories and fat in ground beef, by all means, swap it out for extra-lean turkey.

As the GIF below illustrates, you top the tortilla with beans, cheese, ground beef and then layer on the fresh toppings like lettuce, tomato, onion and a drizzle of sour cream. (Hot sauce is good too!)

taco final

Everyone is happy. Everyone is satisfied. Everyone loves pizza + tacos!

Healthy Taco Pizza
Author: Emily Dingmann
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 2 Tbsp taco seasoning
  • 4 tortillas
  • 1-15 oz can refried beans
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 3 cups shredded lettuce
  • 2 chopped tomatoes (1-2 cups)
  • 3/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • hot sauce if desired
Instructions
  1. Heat large skillet over medium heat. Add ground beef to pan and break up with a spatula. Continue to break up meat into smaller pieces as it browns, about 5 minutes. Add taco seasoning and cook another minute.
  2. Heat oven to 400 degrees.
  3. Toast tortillas in oven, flip after 5 minutes and cook another 5 minutes until golden brown.
  4. Top tortillas with refried beans and cheese.
  5. Bake for about 3 minutes, or until cheese is melted.
  6. Top with beef, lettuce, tomatoes, onion and sour cream.
Calories: 734 Fat: 36 Carbohydrates: 50 Sugar: 8 Sodium: 1205 Fiber: 11 Protein: 51