Lunch is a struggle. Whether you’re a meal prepper or last-minute packer, coming up with different options that last several hours in a lunchbox or fridge and taste good is difficult. When you’re sick of salads from Whole Foods, try these easy, healthy options that can be made ahead of time, meet your nutritional needs, and will keep you satisfied until dinner.
1Gingered Shrimp, Green Bean and Broccoli Stir-Fry
This easy recipe requires just eight ingredients and will be ready on the table in less than 20 minutes, and is under 300 calories with 22 grams of protein.
- 1 pound green beans
- 1 head broccoli, florets only
- 2 tablespoons gluten-free miso
- 3-inch piece ginger root, peeled and minced
- 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
- 1 bunch chives, minced
- Sesame oil, for cooking
- 1 1/2 pounds wild-caught shrimp, peeled and deveined
- Fill a large pot halfway with water and bring to a boil. Add the green beans and broccoli, and simmer for 5 minutes. Drain well.
- In a large skillet, cook the miso, ginger root, vinegar, and chives in a generous drizzle of sesame oil over medium-low heat for 10 minutes. Stir in the shrimp and cook for 10 minutes, flipping over the shrimp halfway through, or until they are curled and opaque when cut in half.
- Stir in the drained beans and broccoli, and serve immediately. Leftover shrimp can be refrigerated for two days.
2Greek Chicken Wraps
Prepped and cooked in under 30 minutes, and makes four delicious, healthy lunch options.
- 2 chicken breasts 14 oz, chopped into 1 inch pieces
- 2 small zucchinis cut into 1 inch pieces
- 2 bell peppers cut into 1 inch pieces
- 1 red onion cut into 1 inch pieces
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 teaspoon oregano
- 2 teaspoon basil
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 lemons sliced
- 1/4 cup feta cheese crumbled
- 4 large flour tortillas or wraps
- Pre-heat oven to 425°F.
- Toss the chicken, zucchinis, bell peppers, onion, olive oil, oregano, basil, garlic powder, onion powder and salt. Spread out 1-2 baking sheets and arrange the lemon slices underneath.
- Bake in the oven for 15 minutes, until veggies are soft and chicken is cooked through.
- Divide the chicken/bell pepper/zucchini/onions into two 2 cup storage containers (remove the lemon slices). Sprinkle with feta cheese.
3Turkey Taco Lunch Bowls
These bowls are simple to make yet have tons of flavor and last for up to four days.
- 3/4 cup uncooked brown rice
- 1/8 tsp salt
- zest of 1 lime
- 3/4 lb lean ground turkey
- 2 tablespoons taco seasoning of choice
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes quartered
- 1 jalapeno minced
- 1/4 cup red onion minced
- juice from 1/2 a lime
- 1/8 tsp salt
- one 12 oz/341 mL can corn kernels drained & rinsed
- 1/4 cup shredded cheese cheddar or mozzarella
- Cook brown rice according to package directions, adding the lime zest and salt to the cooking water.
- Cook turkey over medium heat, tossing in the taco seasoning and breaking it up as you cook. Cook for 10 or so minutes, until cooked through.
- Combine all salsa ingredients and toss together.
- To assemble lunch bowls:
- 1/4 portion of cooked rice (roughly ½ cup)
- 1/2 cup corn kernels
- 1/2 cup cooked taco meat
- 1/4 portion of salsa (just over ½ cup)
4Copycat Starbucks Protein Bistro Box
Spend the same amount of money you would at the café and make multiple of these boxes to last you a week! These are great for lunches and pre- and post-workout snacks.
- 1 large egg, hard boiled
- 1 carrot, cut into 1/2-inch sticks
- 2 celery stalks, halved
- 3 slices Braeburn apple
- 1 tablespoon peanut butter
- 1 ounce sharp cheddar cheese, cubed
- 1 Ozery Bakery Morning Round Pita Bread, Muesli
- Place egg, carrot, celery, apple, peanut butter, cheese and pita bread into meal prep containers.
5Cold Chicken Spinach Pasta Salad
The chicken can be swapped out with chickpeas to make this pasta salad vegetarian and other vegetables such as cucumbers, peppers, and more can be added to the pasta salad to change it up.
- 3 cups pasta
- 2 chicken breasts shredded
- 5 ounces spinach
- 3-4 tbsp creamy roasted garlic dressing or dressing of your choice
- optional: chili flakes to top
- Following the direction on your box of pasta, cook pasta until al dente.
- Cook your chicken breasts in your method of choice and shred it before setting it aside.
- Once your pasta is almost done, prep a bowl of ice water to shock your pasta.
- In a large bowl, toss together your spinach, shredded chicken, pasta, with creamy roasted garlic dressing (or a dressing of your choice).
- Let chill before serving.