Weekday Lunches: Some Ideas

Cook’s Notes: This post gathers ideas for balanced weekday lunches suitable for working adults. It will be periodically updated with new ideas.

Bean & Cheese Salad: Serve salad with a large pickle and 2 Wasa crisp-breads (or stuff cottage cheese mixture in a whole-wheat pita pocket and eat the tossed salad on the side). Dessert: 1 fruit serving.

Chicken Pita Pocket: Serve pita pocket with bread-and-butter pickle slabs (tuck 2 into the pita just before eating) and a simple fruit salad (such as 1/2 cup red seedless grapes, 1/3 cup drained mandarin orange wedges, and 1/2 cup blueberries).

Chicken-Salsa Salad: Have half the mixture wrapped in a flour tortilla (or stuff in whole-wheat pita bread). Dessert: 1 fruit serving.

Hummus plate: 1/3 cup hummus, 2 oz sliced turkey or chicken deli meat, 12 baby carrots, 1 cracker serving of about 130 calories (such as 12 Wheat Thins), 12 cashews or almonds, and 1/2 sliced apple.

  • Fancier hummus plate: Omit the sliced apple. Cracker serving: Have 7 Carr’s Rosemary Crackers. Nut serving: 12 Tamari Almonds. Fruit serving: 6 oz Blackberry Limeade poured over ice.

Superfoods Salad: Serve each salad portion with 2 Wasa crisp-breads (or other grain serving). Dessert: 1 fruit serving (1/2 cup berries recommended).

Sweet Potato Burrito: Serve with a glass of cold club soda and have fruit for dessert.

Tuna Salad Sandwich for Two: Mix 6 oz light tuna, 2 T mayo, 4 tsp mustard, 2 tsp sweet relish and 1 tsp ground flax seed. Divide tuna into two portions. Make a sandwich with 1 portion tuna salad on 2 slices whole-grain bread. Serve with 1 oz low-fat cheese stick, and a side salad (1 cup mixed green lettuce or baby spinach leaves with 2 tsp vinaigrette dressing) topped with 1/2 apple, chopped.

  • Alternate menu (not a sandwich): 1 portion of tuna salad, 1 cup mini pretzels (or 1 rice cake or 2 Wasa crisp-breads), 12 baby carrots, 1 cup milk to drink, and 1 fruit (1 cup strawberries, 1/2 cup blueberries, 1 small orange).

Tuna Tortellini: Make this the night before. 1 serving of pasta with tuna, vegetables, and cheese. Dessert: 1 fruit serving, such as 1/2 cup blackberries.

Turkey Chutney Wrap: Spread 1 flour tortilla with 1 oz cream cheese; layer with 2 slices deli turkey (about 2 oz) and 3 to 4 tsp cranberry-apple chutney. Roll up. Serve with 8 oz cooked vegetable, 6 to 8 oz yogurt, and 1 diced pear (or snack size container of pear canned in juice).

Vegetarian Chili: Make this the night before. 1 cup bean chili, 1 oz low fat cheddar cheese (shredded or 1 cheese stick), 2 whole-grain Wasa crisp-breads, and a side salad (2 cups baby spinach and romaine lettuce) with dressing. Dessert: 1 fruit serving. This is a balanced meal, but a lot of food. You may opt to save the salad and fruit for a snack later in the afternoon.

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2 thoughts on “Weekday Lunches: Some Ideas

  1. I am mourning the lack of tomatoes. It is going to be weeks before the ones we have struggling in containers will produce fruit. These all sound like fabulous lunch ideas for a hot day especially since I’ve recently embraced the joys of pita.

  2. Hang on, little tomato (to quote Pink Martini). Those homemade tomatoes will be worth the wait. The pita is a nice change from a usual burrito wrap. On a hot day, which we have a lot of here, the Superfoods Rx salad or the Hummus Plate are great — no cooking required.

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