Healthy lunch ideas – and not a sandwich in sight!
It’s time to say sayonara to stale sandwiches with our collection of healthy and fresh lunch ideas - guaranteed to tantalize your taste buds and help you avoid that dreaded 3pm slump.
Eat the rainbow
Filling a tub with a variety of veggies will make sure you’re well on your way to getting your recommended intake. Not a friend of salad? A delicious dressing might be just the thing to help you become besties.
Of course you can toss almost anything you like into a salad, but if you’re looking for one that’s both tasty and healthy, here’s our top pick.
Rainbow rice salad
- 6 cherry tomatoes
- English cucumber
- 1 stick celery, trimmed
- 1 scallion
- 1/4 yellow pepper
- 1/3 cup shredded purple cabbage
- 1 cup cooked brown rice
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
Slice the tomatoes in halves or quarters. Thinly slice the cucumber, celery, scallion and pepper.
Combine the vegetables in a bowl with the purple cabbage and brown rice.
Whisk together the oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper and pack separately.
When ready to serve, toss the dressing through the salad.
If you like, try adding extras such as currants or pepitas, or nuts like almonds or pinenuts.
Its important to place your salad in an airtight container (and an insulated bag if you won't be eating it right away) to stop it from becoming soggy – no one likes a soggy salad!
All dressed up
These healthy salad dressings will really pack a flavor punch! They only take a minute to put together and will keep for a few days in the fridge.
When making your own dressing, you can adjust the flavor so that it’s perfect for you - just put a little of each ingredient in a jar, give it a shake and check for taste.
- extra virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard and a touch of maple syrup
- extra virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar, wholegrain mustard and a little orange juice
- extra virgin olive oil, chopped fresh herbs like parsley, chives and basil, a little lemon juice and a touch of honey
- soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil and freshly grated ginger.
Middle Eastern-style Buddha bowl
Start with a base of ready-made falafels (you can find these in the supermarket, or you could make your own – we love this recipe by The Minimalist Baker).
Toss 1/2 cup canned chickpeas through a cup of couscous with a touch of middle eastern spices (like cumin and coriander) and a good squeeze of lemon juice, and place these in the container alongside the felafels.
Add some chopped roasted or char grilled vegetables if desired.
Serve your Buddah bowl with fresh veggie sticks like carrot, capsicum and celery along with cherry tomatoes and lettuce.
Serve with a dollop of low fat hummus or yoghurt.
Sick of salads? That’s ok! For a super-healthy, low-carb option, try baking a veggie frittata. You could do this on a Sunday, ready for lunchboxes through the week, or you can slice into individual portions and freeze for up to two months.
Lunch al desko is looking very tasty indeed!
- 60g baby spinach
- 125g can drained corn kernels (or 1 fresh corn cob)
- 200g cooked chopped sweet potato
- 8 eggs
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 1 tablespoon self raising flour
- 70g feta, crumbled
- 1/3 cup grated low fat cheddar cheese
Heat oven to 360F / 180C.
Heat a little oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the spinach and cook for 2-3 minutes until wilted then stir through the sweet potato and corn. Remove from heat.
Whisk together the eggs in a large bowl with the milk and flour. Fold through the vegetables, feta and tasty cheese. Season with salt and cracked black pepper. Transfer mixture to a greased medium baking dish.
Bake for 30 minutes or until golden and firm. Cool and slice.
The best part is you can whip these recipes up the night before and pop them in the fridge – then all you need to do in the morning is pack them in an insulated lunch bag and you’re good to go.
So while you might have a lot on your plate, now you have some great ideas to keep your body nourished and energy levels up.
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