It’s true, breakfast is a key meal of the day. But lunch matters, too. Try one of these top healthy, easy lunches.
A nutritious, well-balanced meal featuring good carbs, or complex carbohydrates, gives you a power lift and wards off the energy doldrums after midday by boosting blood sugar levels and jumpstarting the metabolism. Think of it as fuel for the brain. Building blocks should cover the five food groups—lean proteins, dairy, vegetables, fruit, and grains—including ingredients like lean turkey, whole grain bread, Creamer Potatoes (which are a vegetable, yes!), low-fat cottage cheese and nonfat yogurt.
And while you’re eating (preferably seated at a table and focused on food and conversation or quiet reflection versus chomping something down at your desk), take a mental break, and regroup before tackling the afternoon’s deliverables. That goes for both working adults and in particular, students, who need nutritious meals at regular intervals to stay alert, focused and performing at a high level.-1 With that in mind, here are our best quick-to-prepare, healthy lunches for school and work.
Make Ahead and Eat Twice
- Tropical skewers: Prepare gorgeous Orange Chicken Pineapple Potato Kebabs for dinner, doubling the recipe, then pack extras for lunches. The kids will love the novelty of kebabs and the sweet, juicy burst of pineapple and sweet peppers. You can feel good because this dish includes nearly all the food groups; just add a side of plain Greek yogurt dip or Tzatziki to round it off.
- Chicken soup: Soup is perfect in a thermos, plus it’s hearty and healthy—ideal for warming up on dark, chilly winter days. Make a big pot of 30-Minute Herbed Chicken & Potato Stew, then divide it up into lunch-sized portions and store in the fridge. This recipe makes a thick ‘n creamy stew with a comforting blend of flavors from earthy mushrooms, buttery Terrific Trio Little Potatoes, garlic, dill and thyme, plus tender shredded rotisserie chicken. Prep time is only five minutes!
- Lentils: Put together a double batch of Lentil Nicoise Salad on Sunday night. A twist on the French classic, this one is loaded with nutrient-packed pulses, delivering both carbs and protein, plus fiber. Pack it into reusable containers for two lunches ready to grab ‘n go.
- Bowl lunch: Bowls are hot—from poké to Asian-fusion. And it’s no wonder, because they’re as delicious—with an array of colors, flavors and textures—as they are good for us. Try the Food & Wine-worthy Vegan Gado-Gado Salad bowl, a fresh, bright assemblage of carrot, radish, tempeh, cabbage, cuke, rice crackers, green beans and Fingerlings. Another favorite is our Spicy Sriracha Nourish Bowl.
Convenient and Healthy
- Niçoise: You’ll love the portable format of Healthy Niçoise Salad Jars with Roasted Garlic Lemon Dressing, plus they look mouthwatering and are quick to assemble. Tangy capers, a citrusy vinaigrette and briny Kalamata olives make this dish a standout.
- Indian-infused salad: Ditto for Mason Jar Salad with Little Potatoes and Masala Cream Dressing which scores big points for its zippy dressing—Indian Masala with yogurt, honey and lime—over a mix of mango, onion, spinach, chickpeas, peppers and Creamers.
- Pizza on a stick: Make zesty Potato Pizza Skewers the night before, then pack into lunches. These are popular because of the novel presentation and because they include all the favorites, like mozzarella and pepperoni, but are far lighter than traditional pizza. The kebabs are especially delicious dipped in a side of marinara or ranch dressing.
Lunches à la Leftovers
- It’s ‘souper’: Boxing Day Potato Soup is easy and versatile: Any scraps from a feast will work, from the mashed potatoes and gravy to the cranberry dressing. Just toss them into a pot or slow cooker and simmer all day. This chunky, fully loaded soup is all you need for lunch, though you can add a crusty baguette for soaking up every last drop.
- Turkey bowl: Parlay Christmas dinner into your own version of the Thanksgiving Abundance Bowl, nutritious, tasty, and packed with contrasts. Mild turkey, tart cranberries, roasted Brussels sprouts, sage and rosemary-tossed Little Potatoes, kale, and crunchy pumpkin seeds, all drizzled in Tahini maple gravy—or your leftover gravy.
- It’s a wrap: If you’re like us, you like breakfast at lunch, too. Whip up a Holiday Leftovers Breakfast Wrap the night before, then reheat in the microwave at the office or in the lunch room.
What are your favorite healthy and convenient lunches? Any great tips, tricks or recipes? Tell us on social media: @LittlePotatoCo (Facebook, Instagram or Twitter).
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