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What Is The Healthiest Thing You Can Eat for Lunch?

Aug 11, 2021

Your midday meal should consist of healthy ingredients that will provide you the nutrients and energy needed to keep running at maximum capacity. And if you think that delicious and healthy lunch recipes have to be time-consuming or complicating, you’re wrong.

When it comes to healthy eating, there’s not one meal that’s healthier than others. There are many options depending on your needs and preferences. But, we’ve selected a few healthy lunch ideas for you that won’t take you a lot of time or effort to make.

Before we share these recipes with you, here are the essential nutrients your lunches should include.

What Should Healthy Lunches Consist Of?

Healthier Meal

If you want your midday meals to be healthier, you should try to include ingredients that are loaded with the following nutrients:

Protein – this nutrient is the building block of muscle, skin, bone, hair, and every other part of the body. It’s vital for body maintenance, health, and growth. It’s part of all antibodies, hormones, and other essential substances in the body.

  • Healthy sources include: eggs, fish, meat, soy, beans, certain grains, and nuts.

Carbohydrates – carbs provide the energy your body needs to function properly, especially your brain and central nervous system.

  • Healthy sources include: beans, whole grains, fiber-rich fruits and vegetables.

Fats – despite the bad reputation, fats are necessary for a healthy diet. Healthy fat supports blood clotting, vitamin and mineral absorption, muscle movement, building cells, and other body functions. It also fuels your body.

  • Healthy sources include: fish, seeds, nuts, vegetable oils, coconut oil, etc.

Vitamins – these are necessary for proper body functions and protection against diseases and illnesses. They are rich in antioxidants and are vital for healthy bones, skin, and vision.

  • Healthy sources include: different vegetables and fruits.

Minerals – these support many body functions, such as building strong teeth and bones, staying hydrated, and regulating the metabolism. They help with muscle relaxation, controlling blood pressure, and maintaining nerve signal transmission.

  • Healthy sources include: liver, vegetable oils, oily fish, fruit, vegetables, milk, dairy products, grains, cereals, meat, and nuts.

Healthy Lunch Recipes

Here are a few healthy lunch ideas you can enjoy at home with your family or pack them in your bento box for work.

1. BBQ Rainbow Beef Salad

It’s the perfect lunch for anyone who loves light salads and steak cooked on the barbecue. This lunch will give you all the necessary nutrients your body needs to function properly.

Ingredients

For 6 servings

  • 2x 250g fat trimmed sirloin steaks
  • 1 finely grated garlic clove
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1 finely grated ginger, thumb-sized
  • The juice of 2 limes
  • 2 finely chopped red bird’s eye chilies and 1 finely sliced – 3 in total
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce, low-salt
  • 12 thinly sliced radishes
  • 4 little gem lettuces
  • Cucumber ribbons from ½ cucumber
  • 3 peeled and finely sliced carrots
  • ½ tablespoon mixed sesame seeds
  • 1 sliced ripe avocado
  • 3 finely sliced spring onions

Preparation

Take the steak out of the fridge at least one hour before cooking.

Make the salad dressing before you start cooking. In a bowl, mix together the lime juice, garlic, ginger, chopped chilis, soy, and oil.

Cook the steaks on the BBQ for three minutes on each side for medium-rare. Another way to cook your steaks is to fry them in a griddle pan or frying pan for three minutes on each side. Once the steaks are cooked, cover them and let them rest for five minutes.

Arrange the radishes, cucumber ribbons, lettuce leaves, avocado, spring onion, and carrot on a sharing plate. Cut the cooked steak into thin slices and place it over the salad. Drizzle over the prepared dressing, and garnish with sliced red chili and sesame seeds.

2. Quinoa Salads

Quinoa is a whole-grain, gluten-free carb and a whole protein. Officially, it’s a seed, not a grain, and a healthy source of protein, fiber, carbs, vitamins, and minerals. The best thing about cooking with quinoa is that it’s incredibly versatile, so you can make plenty of combinations.

Quinoa salad is one of the most common way to use this healthy seed in cooking. Healthy and filling salads you can enjoy for lunch at home or the office include the following ingredients:

Ingredients for Quinoa Salad #1

Quinoa Salad

  • Quinoa
  • Mozzarella
  • Basil leaves
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Salt
  • Extra virgin olive oil

Ingredients for Quinoa Salad #2

  • Quinoa
  • Pear slices
  • Fresh spinach
  • Pecans
  • Cranberries

Ingredients for Quinoa Salad #3

  • Quinoa
  • Fresh spinach
  • Avocado
  • Almonds, chopped
  • Tomatoes
  • Albacore tuna
  • Boiled egg
  • Salt
  • Extra virgin olive oil

Preparation

The preparation of these salads is the same. You cook the quinoa and add the rest of the ingredients. Mix well, and enjoy it. They are wonderful packed lunch ideas for work. The salads are quick, easy, and filling.

3. Salmon Pasta Salad

Salmon Pasta Salad

Salmon is rich in omega-3s which are vital for your body. It’s also a great source of vitamin B-12 which keeps nerve cells and blood humming and helps in DNA building. Here’s a great way to include it in your diet.

Ingredients

For 2 servings

  • 85g whole-wheat penne pasta
  • 2 x 120g skinless, frozen wild salmon fillets
  • 1 roughly chopped red pepper
  • 1 tablespoon rapeseed oil
  • 1 zested and juiced lemon
  • 2 finely grated garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • 1 very finely chopped shallot
  • 6 pitted and sliced Kalamata olives
  • 2 handfuls arugula
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil

Preparation

Follow the package instructions to cook the penne pasta.

In the meantime, put the rapeseed in a pan and heat it. Add the red pepper and let it stay for five minutes, covered. Make some space for the salmon in the frying pan by pushing the cooked pepper to one side. Place the salmon fillets, cover, and fry until just cooked, or for about ten minutes.

In a large bowl, mix the lemon juice and zest with the olives, capers, shallot, and garlic.

Add the cooked salmon and pepper to the lemon zest mixture. Add the cooked and drained pasta, the olive oil, and black pepper. Toss all ingredients together and make sure you break off small pieces from the salmon in the process.

Toss through the arugula before eating. If you pack it for work or school, let it cool and put it in your bento box with the arugula on top. Mix everything just before eating.  

Conclusion

We hope you’ll get inspired by these healthy lunch recipes.

Article Posted In: Healthy Lunch Recipes

Tags: healthy lunch, healthy lunch ideas, healthy lunch in office, healthy office lunch ideas, healthy lunch items

Milena Lazova

Milena is an ESL teacher with over 7 years of experience in writing articles on her favorite topics - food and health. In her free time, she loves trying out new recipes, reading, listening to music, and walking in nature.

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