Stressed out about lunch? There’s honestly no need to be. Making a balanced, healthy lunch – whether at home or on the go, is a lot easier than you probably think. Ladies and gents, get ready for the shortest blog post in the history of this blog, Because THAT’S how easy it is to do what I’m about to show ya. I’m sharing some mind-blowingly easy and healthy lunch ideas that you can use time and time again!
Easy and Healthy Lunch Ideas (that can be mixed and matched!)
Step 1: Pick a Protein
I typically like to meal prep at the beginning of the week, but I get that it’s not always realistic. Pick any protein. Literally any protein. This can be ground beef, chicken, or turkey (cook it, obviously), grilled chicken breast, chicken thighs, fish, meatballs, sausages, eggs, salmon, or even packets of tuna or salmon in your pantry.
I always start my meals with deciding on my protein, and then building out my plate from there. This is also a great hack if you are someone who struggles to hit your daily protein goal. When you can calculate out your protein (if you’re tracking macros) first – then you can easily see where you can add more in your day so you don’t come up short.
Step 2: Pick a Complex Carb
Next, decide which carb you’re going to have. I’d opt for more complex carbs and fiber-rich foods so you can feel fuller, longer, as opposed to simple, sugary, or fast-acting carbs. My go-to’s include jasmine rice, whole grain brown rice, potatoes, sweet potatoes, gluten-free tortilla shells, and Banza noodles. Sometimes I’ll use cauliflower rice or cauliflower gnocci from Trader Joe’s (and right now I’m currently obsessed with cauliflower tortilla shells from Caulipower).
Step 3: Pick a Veggie
Fresh or frozen (or even canned if that’s all you have). Spinach, broccoli, kale, squash, brussels sprouts, corn (keep in mind corn is a starchier veggie), green beans, edamame, peppers, zucchini.. the list goes on and on. Pick your veggies and steam them, saute them with a little cooking spray, or roast them on a sheet pan.
Cook them up and throw it all together. Add some spices, taco seasoning, maybe a little extra virgin olive oil, coconut aminos, bbq sauce, hot sauce, or a drizzle of dressing. Literally. That’s how easy it is.
To prove it, here’s what I’ve been eating for lunch all week:
- Sautéed chicken breast tenders (in a little bit of olive oil cooking spray, garlic salt, and pepper): 90g
- Steamed jasmin rice (from a 90 second microwave bag): 85g
- Steamed bag of lima beans: 1/2 cup
- 2 tbsp Primal Kitchen teriyaki sauce (would have been fine with just 1 tbsp)
The Macros: 375 calories, 53g carbs, 3.2g fat, 29g protein
The absolute best thing is this formula for your meal can evolve into so many different meals. Even if you prep your protein in bulk for the week, ground beef can be used as:
- ground beef with jasmin rice, sauteed cabbage, and coconut aminos
- ground beef with marinara sauce over spaghetti squash and some Banza noodles
- ground beef with taco seasoning, shredded lettuce, corn, black beans, salsa, and avocado in cauliflower tortilla shells
- ground beef with sweet potatoes, and sauteed peppers and onions over a bed of spinach
What’s been on your lunch menu lately? Comment below and if you need ideas on how to switch things up just let me know!