Lunch is one of the most important meals of the day. It can break up your day so you feel energized and provide the necessary sustenance and nutrition for you to stay productive and healthy for the rest of the day. While many of us dreaded lunchtime in our school years, it is now a treat and can include something delicious without taking a toll on your wallet or your time. Here are some of our favorite quick and easy lunch recipes you’ll love.
Sandwiches are classic lunch favorites that can be quickly and easily made. They can also satisfy a variety of requests, as you can make them different every time to switch it up. Here are some sandwich recipes to try out:
• Bacon, lettuce, and tomato sandwich. Start by toasting two slices of bread and buttering the insides. Then, place lettuce, bacon, and tomato slices onto one slice of bread and top with the other slice.
• Peanut butter and banana or honey sandwich. Toast two slices of bread, then generously spread creamy peanut butter onto one slice of bread. Top with banana slices and/or honey. Place the other bread slice on top and enjoy.
• Tuna melt sandwich. Make a tuna salad by combining a can of tuna, mayonnaise, celery, sweet relish, and mustard. Spread the tuna salad onto one slice of bread. Top with a slice of cheese and place the other bread slice on top. Place the sandwich onto a baking sheet. Broil the sandwich until the cheese melts and the bread is lightly browned.
Salads do not have to be boring! A lot can be done with salads, and they can be as complex as you please. Here are some recipes to try out:
• Southwest salad. Start with a bed of lettuce and top with diced tomatoes, black beans, sweet corn, cilantro, peppers, and red onions. Add vegan shredded cheese and top with avocado slices. Drizzle with your favorite dressing and devour.
• Greek-style salad. Start with a bed of lettuce and top with cherry tomatoes, cucumber, feta cheese, kalamata olives, and pepperoncini peppers. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
• Caesar-style salad. Toss romaine lettuce with a homemade Caesar dressing made from garlic, anchovies, dijon mustard, lemon juice, vegetable oil, and Worcestershire sauce. Add freshly grated parmesan cheese and croutons.
Wraps are a delicious lunchtime favorite that can be filled with a variety of ingredients. Here are some recipes to try out:
• Hummus wrap. Spread a whole wheat wrap with a few tablespoons of hummus. Top with thinly sliced tomatoes, cucumber, carrots, peppers, and your favorite cheese. Roll up the wrap and enjoy.
• Grilled vegetable wrap. Marinate red peppers, zucchini, and portobello mushrooms with olive oil, garlic, oregano, and basil. Grill the vegetables until tender. Spread a wrap with hummus and top with the grilled veggies. Add a few slices of cheese if desired. Roll up and enjoy.
• Turkey wrap. Spread a wrap with a thin layer of mayonnaise. Top with slices of deli turkey and provolone cheese. Add lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, and any other desired vegetables. Roll up and enjoy.
Burgers don’t have to be unhealthy. You can easily make healthier versions that are satisfying and nutritious. Here are some recipes to try out:
• Vegetable-based burger. Combine quinoa, black beans, brown rice, mushrooms, onion, garlic, and chili powder in a food processor and form into patties. Grill the patties until lightly browned.
• Turkey burger. Mix ground turkey with panko crumbs, Worcestershire, egg, onion, garlic, and tomato paste. Form into patties and grill until lightly browned and cooked through.
• Quinoa-based burger. Combine cooked quinoa, sweet potatoes, shredded carrots, red bell pepper, onions, garlic, chili powder, and egg. Form into patties and grill until lightly browned and cooked through.
Soups are a great way to get your daily vegetables and can easily be meal prepped and kept in the fridge or freezer for easy lunchtime meals. Here are some recipes to try out:
•Vegetable soup. Sauté diced onions and garlic in olive oil until soft. Add chopped carrots, celery, zucchini, and diced potatoes. Add vegetable broth and seasonings. Simmer the soup until the vegetables are tender.
•Minestrone soup. Heat olive oil in a large pot. Sauté diced onions and garlic until soft. Add chopped celery and carrots. Add canned diced tomatoes, vegetable broth, and seasonings. Simmer until the vegetables are tender. Add canned kidney beans, canned corn, and elbow pasta before serving.
•Tomato soup. Heat olive oil in a large pot. Sauté diced onions and garlic until soft. Add canned diced tomatoes and chicken broth. Simmer for 15 minutes. Add heavy cream and seasonings. Puree the soup with an immersion blender or food processor until smooth. Serve the soup with a grilled cheese sandwich for extra deliciousness.
Quick and Easy Meals
These are meals that can easily be thrown together in no time. Here are some recipes to try out:
• Quinoa bowl. Cook quinoa according to package instructions. Sauté diced onions and garlic in olive oil until soft. Add diced peppers and mushrooms. Add the cooked quinoa, seasonings, and diced tomatoes. Simmer until heated through. Serve with a side of avocado.
• Taco Tuesday. Soften corn tortillas by lightly toasting them. Fill with diced tomatoes, lettuce, cheese, and cooked ground beef, turkey, or vegan meat alternative of your choice. Top with your favorite taco toppings and enjoy.
• Egg scramble. Scramble eggs with diced onions, peppers, mushrooms, spinach, and cheese. Serve with whole grain toast.
Lunchtime doesn’t have to be boring or unhealthy. With these quick and easy lunch recipes, you’ll be able to enjoy delicious meals throughout the week. You can mix it up and add your favorite ingredients to make each meal exciting and delicious. Bon appétit!