In light of my weight-loss, people often want to know if I fix myself different meals from what I fix my family. For dinner, I don’t usually – I may fix some alternate side dishes, but the entrée is usually the same for everyone.
For lunch, though, I almost always fix myself something different from what the kids are having. It’s their chance to have some old, not-as-healthy favorites. For that reason, I have perfected a few quick and healthy lunches.
I’ve shared some of my favorites before, but my tastes and moods change over time and I find new meals that I enjoy, so I thought it was worth sharing again my current favorites.
1. Baked salmon and sweet potato with roasted broccoli or kale chips. How is this quick, you ask? One of two ways: I either bake the sweet potato when I’m making dinner one evening or stick it in the oven when we start school in the morning so it’s ready by lunch.
2. Pasta bowl. My pasta bowl is probably the most time-consuming lunch I make during the week, but I’ve gotten the timing down to a science. I always make this when the kids are having pizza because if I start it when I turn the oven on to preheat for the pizza, their lunch and mine are ready at the same time.
I’ve traded the pasta in the bowl for quinoa. It’s a little bit higher in calories, but quinoa is so healthy and I like the taste of it better than the pasta. I also like that it kind of clings to the veggies in the bowl, so it mixes in with them better than the pasta.
3. Spicy Spaghetti squash. I just discovered spicy spaghetti squash last week and it’s already earned a permanent spot in my lunch menu rotation. It’s super-easy to fix ( I fix half the spaghetti squash in the microwave and save the other half and half the filling for another day), very low-calorie, and really tasty. I leave out the cilantro and lime juice and I add a tiny little pinch of cheese and diced avocado once I’ve put the filling back into the shell.
4. Turkey burger. This is one of my favorite meals. I buy a pound of lean ground turkey and split it into four ounce patties. I freeze the patties in my handy-dandy Tupperware burger set. That way, I can thaw and cook just one burger at a time.
My favorite way to eat my turkey burger is on a King’s Hawaiian hamburger bun with a little avocado and some grilled onions and mushrooms. This is, of course, served with a side of sliced peppers (red, yellow, and orange) and jicama. Yum!
5. Sandwich. The old sandwich stand-by is always a quick, easy, healthy favorite that I enjoy at least once a week. Tuna is my filling of choice.
6. Tuna-stuffed tomato. A good alternative to a sandwich is a tuna-stuffed tomato. It doesn’t get any better than when I’ve got a fresh, summer-ripe, red, juicy tomato to start with.
7. Spaghetti squash with pasta sauce and grilled chicken. Anytime Brian grills chicken, I get him to grill extra to either use later in the week or freeze for later use. Pair that with spaghetti squash cooked in the microwave and ready-made pasta sauce and you’ve got a delicious and quick lunch. A side of leftover roasted broccoli is always a welcome addition.
8. Super salad. I don’t eat my grilled chicken salad weekly like I used to, but it’s still a favorite – particularly when I have some fresh grapes and strawberries to put on it.
9. Chicken taco soup. I love chicken taco soup. I usually make it in the crock pot on the weekend so I can enjoy it for dinner one night and have leftovers for lunch once or twice during the week. It freezes well in individual serving sizes, too.
10. Leftovers. This may be the quickest and easiest of all – making extras of healthy dinners to have for lunch later in the week.
11. Greek Chicken Bowl. I had to add one more. This Low Carb Greek Chicken Salad is sooo good!
What are some of your favorite quick, healthy lunches?