Lunches for me are a way to re energize with something simple like a salad, veggies and hummus or soup. Whatever it may be, I try to include lots of veggies, protein, dairy and a simple dressing, if its needed. My lunches are always set to 400 calories, so feel free to alter to your needs. Please feel free to share ways you may have added simple twists, I am always on the look-out for new ideas.
This can be altered many different ways, depending what is in the fridge and my mood. The basics: 2 cups greens (spinach, spring mix or Bibb lettuce), 2 tablespoons cheese (feta or goat), protein (chicken, shrimp or steak). You can add fresh strawberries or defrost frozen ones and add to the dressing. This time I defrosted a cup of strawberries, puréed them in my magic bullet and added to dressing. The dressing: 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar and 1 tablespoon agave. Heat in microwave for 30 seconds. Add 2 tablespoons EVOO and 1 teaspoon strawberry jam. Easy and delicious.
When I need a lunch that can be snacked, like when I know I have tons of paperwork, this is my go to. It’s so easy to assemble, but with a few twists, it may look like you put in a lot of effort.
2 cups of fresh veggies, 1/2 cup protein (I prefer hard boiled eggs, shrimp or imitation crab meat) and a dairy (cheese snack, yogurt or cottage cheese). I love hummus, it’s great for dipping veggies and so healthy. Here is my twist: mix 1 tablespoon hummus (I prefer garlic or olive), 1/2 small avocado and 1 teaspoon citrus (lemon, lime, orange or grapefruit juice). It gives you a boost of healthy fats and it just gives the veggies an extra bit of yumminess.
Chicken Greek salad
- 2 cups romaine lettuce chopped thin
- 1/2 cup each cherry tomatoes and diced cucumbers
- sliced red onion (to your preference)
- 1/2 avocado, diced
- 1/2 cup grilled chicken breast, sliced
- 1/4 cup EVOO
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon thyme, garlic and onion powder
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp feta cheese
- Place in a mason jar and shake.
Chicken BLT salad
- 2 cups chopped iceberg lettuce
- 1/4 cup chopped tomatoes
- 1 strip cooked bacon, chopped
- 1/2 cup chopped chicken
- Dressing: 1 tbsp light ranch dressing, 1 tbsp blue cheese dressing and 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar.
Sweet kale salad with cranberries and feta
- cup Baby Kale
- 1 cup Baby Spinach or Spring Mix
- 2 Tablespoons feta cheese
- 1/4 cup unsweetened dried cranberries
- 1/2 cup of preferred protein
The dressing was something that was easy. I love poppy seed dressing and I love oranges in the winter. I used a store brought poppy seed dressing (preferably made with honey or agave) and a winter orange balsamic vinegar. I mixed 1 tablespoon poppy seed dressing and 1 teaspoon vinegar.
Arugula and Beet salad with goat cheese with a fig balsamic vinaigrette
- 2 cups Arugula
- 1/4 cup chopped roasted beets
- 2 Tablespoons goat cheese crumbled
- 1/2 cup shredded chicken
Fig Balsamic Vinaigrette: 1/4 cup fig balsamic vinegar, 1/4 cup EVOO, juice from 1 mandarin orange and 2 teaspoons agave. Put all ingredients together and shake.
Tuna Caesar salad with avocado Caesar dressing
The salad is a traditional Caesar with one twist, I add diced roma tomato. Something about the sweetness of the roma tomato with the saltiness of anchovy, its heaven to me. This is a recipe for 5 salads, if you follow, it should be less than 400 calories.
Put 2 cups of romaine and 1/4 cup of shredded cheese in salad container. Drain tuna, place in separate container and top with 1/5 of diced tomatoes. When your ready to eat, top the salad with tune and tomatoes, sprinkle a few croutons on, add 2 tablespoons of dressing and enjoy.
Italian Salad with Grilled Chicken and a homemade vinaigrette, two ways
The dressing was the easy part: 1/2 cup red wine vinegar, 1/4 cup EVOO, juice of 1 lemon, 2 tablespoons Agave, 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, 1 teaspoon each garlic and onion powder, 2 tablespoons Italian herb blend (basil, oregano, parsley). Shake well before use.
To help the salad stay fresh for the week, I always split the salads up by packing the chicken and greens separately from the cheese and toppings (in this case, the tomatoes, cucumbers, onions and avocado).
Chopped Blue Cheese Salad
- 1 cup chopped cabbage (red and green)
- 1 cup chopped iceberg lettuce
- 1/4 cup shredded carrot
- 1/4 cup chopped tomato
- 1/2 small avocado
- 1/4 cup blue cheese
- 1 can (4 ounces) chicken
The salad dressing is one of my ways to save some time and save on some calories while adding a little vinegar for flavor and health benefits.
- 1 ounce any store bought Ranch (whichever you prefer, I do tend to buy the light version)
- 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar