Lunch often gets overlooked because breakfast is considered the most important meal of the day, and dinner gets the spotlight, but your digestive juices peak at midday so this is one meal you don’t want to skip over. Here are plenty of recipes to keep you happy during your workday, or any day. They’re all made in a health conscious way, so you can enjoy them without guilt and many are made quickly and easily.
Lunch often consists of eating what you didn’t finish the night before. It’s a cost conscious way of eating that can also be delicious if you play your cards right. These recipes will get your creative juices flowing, and help you empty out your fridge at the same time.
Photo: The Healthy Foodie
Leftover Roast Beef Salad with Shiitake Mushrooms – This recipe looks like the kind of salad you’d get at a restaurant, but the secret is they’re using last night’s beef to get the job done. The roast beef packs protein, the shiitake mushrooms are a bona fide superfood with too many benefits to list, and the greens from the salad give you plenty of nutrients. A well-rounded winner made with leftovers.
Stuffed Bell Pepper – For this recipe they’ve taken leftover taco meat and turned it into a brand new meal. The pepper itself gives you your veggie serving, the taco meat is your protein. They had some black beans with their tacos, which serves as a carb, so if you don’t have black beans when you have taco night you’ll have to come up with your own way to round out this meal. What results is a totally different meal that is quick to assemble and makes a nice lunch.
Skinny Calzones – It’s not very often you see the word skinny and calzone in the same sentence, but this title says it all. It’s very easy to use up any leftover vegetables you have on this, including the peppers, onions, and mushrooms. These are ingredients that just seem to end up in a lot of recipes, and often you have some left in the refrigerator or countertop. This is a recipe that also lets you get creative, adding other veggies not listed here to make the calzone taste the way you want.
Buckwheat Stuffed Bell Peppers – Here’s another way to use up any leftover ground beef that you might have. They add buckwheat to the mix so you’re getting a pepper that is stuffed with both meat and grains, which works well together. You can experiment with different colored bell peppers, since they each have a subtly different flavor to them and can change the dynamic of the meal. Paprika and cumin add some flavor and are good spices to use if you’re watching your waist.
Thanksgiving Monte Cristo Sandwich – They say this uses up your Thanksgiving leftovers, but if you’re the type of family that likes to have a Thanksgiving style meal once in awhile throughout the year, this is a great follow up for lunch the next day. Typically a Monte Cristo would make it onto our Unhealthiest Foods List, but the way they make this gives you all of the taste, without the deep frying and fattiness.
Baby Corn And Green Peas Rice – Here is a simple way to take common leftovers and make a new meal out of them. The rice and corn will give you carbs, while the peas fill in for your veggie. This makes a great side dish to any protein if you’re trying to round things out, or it acts as its own vegetarian meal. Rice is a common leftover, and it’s sometimes hard to figure out what to do with it.
Tex-Mex Quinoa Tacos – We love this recipe because it gives you Mexican flavor, but also uses quinoa so you’re keeping things healthy. It’s not everyday that you can eat tacos and not feel like you’ve fallen off your diet plan. These include the use of avocado, so you’re going to get the health benefits that brings, including healthy monounsaturated fat. Squeezing a lime gives it extra flavor, and the goodness of citrus juice.
Leftover Squash and Rapini Frittata – If you ever end up with leftover squash and rapini you’ll know what to do. But the joy of this recipe is that you can use a bunch of different leftover items using the frittata template. She gives you plenty of different ideas for things you can include in it, so get your imagination going, or start cleaning out the fridge to find suitable foods that can be reused.
Burgers can make a quick and healthy lunch, and keep you away from fast food restaurants as well, serving as a double bonus. Here are 5 ways to make a healthy and satisfying midday burger, without having to loosen your belt after lunch.
Photo: 86 Lemons
Vegan Sweet Potato Quinoa Burgers – These burgers end up looking great, with the sweet potato giving them a nice color. On top of that they’re using one of the most popular health foods going right now, quinoa. This is going to give your burger all the texture you’d want, and flavor you wouldn’t expect. They’re also using kale, chopped up so small you won’t notice, but it still lends its flavor as well as all of it phytonutrients that are so important.
Sweet Potato Chickpea Burgers – Here’s a mammoth burger that will definitely leave you feeling full, but shouldn’t slog you down either. They’ve replace the typical beef patty with a mixture of sweet potato and chickpeas, and they also have some beans in there for good measure. The result: you’re getting plenty of fiber from this, as well as nutrients from the different ingredients and carbs from the bun. Success!
Fire Roasted Chile and Garlic Chicken Burgers – Chicken makes a great stand-in for beef, giving you all the protein you could ever want, without the saturated fat and higher calories. They’ve infused this with the flavor of the roasted chiles so you’re not going to complain about the taste. The garlic rounds things out nicely. Switch this to chicken breasts instead of thighs so you’re getting a higher quality protein with less fat and fewer calories.
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