Eat Empowered

10 Simple, Tasty and Healthy Lunches to Pack for a Work Perk

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March 10 is National Pack Your Lunch Day. (Yes, this is really a day.) Whether you’re working from home these days or back to commuting into the office, who couldn’t use some fresh, new and delicious lunch ideas?

From simple-to-prepare salads to healthy sandwiches to hacks for your dinner leftovers, we did the legwork for you with this list of super tasty mid-day meal ideas.

These 10 recipes will get your taste buds tingling around the noon hour, and keep you satisfied for hours after. Happy National Pack Your Lunch Day!

10 Simple and Tasty Lunches to Pack Today and Any Day

Hearts of Palm and Artichoke Salad

Hearts of Palm and Artichoke Salad

If you’re sick of the same old kale and spinach salads, here’s a fresh twist that is sure to make you look forward to lunch time: Hearts of palm with artichokes, avocado and tomato over peppery arugula.

Veggie variety not only prevents you from getting bored of your healthy lunch, it’s also important to ensure you’re getting a wide range of nutrients in your diet.

Mediterranean Shrimp Pita

simple shrimp recipes

Fresh shrimp and veggies in a pita couldn’t be simpler or more delicious. This flavor-packed recipe marinates the shrimp in lemon, garlic and olive oil for a Mediterranean flair.

Research has shown that the Mediterranean Diet may be the healthiest diet of all, so stuffing lots of its signature foods into a pita is a no-brainer. The shrimp and hummus in this recipe provide protein and some omega-3 fatty acids while the mix of greens—from arugula to basil and parsley—add fresh flavor.

Tuna Salad

healthy 10-minute lunches

You remember those tuna salad sandwiches from childhood? Your mom had the right idea in buying up canned tuna as an affordable protein source. She likely went wrong at the giant globs of mayo.

Here, we reinvent the classic combo by ditching mayo altogether and using nutritious ingredients to provide the flavor. Capers, celery, onions, lemon, vinegar … and even a little sprinkle of salty feta.

Some types of tuna can be high in mercury and best avoided. All canned white tuna is albacore, which has mercury levels almost three times higher than the smaller skipjack tuna, according to the Environmental Defense Fund. skipjack contains less mercury than albacore or Yellowfin. Skipjack can be found in canned light tuna, which is the safer choice in canned tuna. Children under 6 can eat up to three 3-ounce portions per month. Older kids and adults can safely eat it once a week.

Eat it on sprouted, multigrain bread, or as a salad if you’re skipping the carbs or going gluten-free.

Grilled Chicken Sandwich with Herbed Yogurt Spread

yogurt spread

You can’t go wrong with a classic grilled chicken sandwich for lunch, but they’re often served with calorie-bomb, non nutrient-dense ingredients like thick white bread, mayo, and hunks of melted cheese.

This one’s open-faced to cut back on the bread portion. You can also use sprouted, whole-grain bread for extra nutrients. It’s made with a delicious herb spread that’s healthier thanks to a Greek yogurt base that also blows mayo out of the water when it comes to taste.
Make the spread and grill chicken breasts ahead of time and then you’ll be able to assemble one of these quickly for lunch.

Tuna and Chickpea Salad

Tuna chickpea salad in a bowl

More tuna, this time with chickpeas, beets, and red peppers—all dressed in red wine vinegar and olive oil.

The chickpeas and tuna pack in the protein and provide some harder-to-get nutrients such as niacin, vitamins B6 and B12, and selenium. The olive oil delivers healthy fats, while vinegar is a calorie-free flavor enhancer.

Smoked Salmon Toast

10-minute healthy breakfast

We love salmon, and that applies to the smoked kind, too. It’s an especially great lunch option since you don’t even have to cook it before you eat it.

In this recipe, the salty, smoky flavor is complemented by creamy goat cheese, fresh tomato, and crunchy, toasted bread.

The simple toast is perfect for lunch as an open-faced sandwich. If it feels like you need a little more substance or protein, you can throw an egg on top.

Classic Greek Salad

greek-salad

Greek salad is a classic we never get sick of. It’s the perfect combination of textures and flavors, with crunchy greens and cucumbers, salty olives and feta..

To make it a full meal, throw in some grilled chicken or chickpeas, or top it with a piece of grilled fish.

Turkey Grilled Cheese

Grilled cheese doesn’t exactly qualify as health food, but choose the right ingredients and it starts to transform.

Instead of stacks of American cheese, we use a portion-controlled serving of grass-fed cheddar.

Instead of white bread, we use sprouted whole grain. Throw on some tomatoes and fresh pesto for vegetables and turkey for protein, and … presto! …  you’ve got a balanced meal. No magic wand required.

Roasted Chicken Lettuce Wrap

lettuce chicken cups

We’re taking a couple of cues from Korean barbecue on this one.

If you’ve never had it, the cuisine is all about taking grilled meats and eating them with veggies in lettuce wraps. This is the perfect lunch dish for any grilled protein leftovers you have from dinner the night before. A dash of kimchi adds good-for-your gut probiotics to the mix and romaine lettuce holds it all together for a low-carb meal that’s super satisfying.

Light Cobb Salad

cobb

Cobb Salads are generally pretty heavy, so we tried our hand at lightening up the recipe.

First, it’s about making sure the proportion of ingredients is weighted more heavily towards vegetables over meat. Next, instead of a heavy, oily dressing, we use just a touch of balsamic and lemon, which works here since you’re already getting so much flavor from the bacon, egg and avocado. Just be sure to look for bacon that hasn’t been cured using nitrates. Better yet, try making this tasty vegan bacon.The romaine, cucumbers, tomatoes, and carrots all add crunch and a long list of vitamins and other phytonutrients.

(Images: Shutterstock)

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