I don’t know about you but when it comes to lunch I want something quick with minimal effort. I generally cook dinner every night of the week so I don’t want to be cooking a full breakfast and lunch too. Plus, who has the time for that? I usually eat lunch after Hannah is down for her nap so I can enjoy my food in peace and quiet but sometimes she’s not ready until 1:00 so that means I’m starving by the time she’s asleep. I used to just grab something quick and easy which usually translates to unhealthy. But with a little prep and planning at the beginning of the week, I’ve found I can have a healthy, filling lunch that won’t tempt me to grab for the kids’ snacks an hour later. So with that being said, I’m going to share some of my favorite lunches that are healthy and simple to put together. Some of the recipes are just simple and only take a bit of time to make, others are made easy by doing some prep work on Sunday or a convenience item from the grocery store.
Chicken Caesar Wraps
This is one of my favorite lunches ever. They are so stinking easy to put together and taste amazing. We usually have chicken a couple times a week (especially during the grilling months) so we often have leftover chicken on hand which makes putting these wraps together a snap. I also love to buy rotisserie chickens at the store for these (and many other uses). I buy one almost every shopping trip (once a week) and pull it as soon as I get home and store it in an airtight container in the fridge. I also keep chopped romaine in the fridge to make healthy eating easier.
And a side note on dressings, Caesar dressing can be incredibly high in calories but I recently discovered this Caesar Parmigiano Yogurt dressing that is only 45 calories for 2 tablespoons (not sponsored, I just really like it and wanted to tell you all about it). Compare that to our regular favorite that is 170 for the same amount. Yikes! And it actually tastes like the real deal. Simply toss some chicken, lettuce and dressing together in a bowl and wrap it up in your favorite tortilla with some croutons. Super simple and delicious. And get creative too! If Caesar isn’t your thing, switch it up and drizzle with balsamic vinaigrette or French dressing. Or switch the romaine out for broccoli slaw, shredded carrots, green onion and use an Asian dressing. Or turn the traditional club sandwich into a wrap. I could keep going but I won’t. The sky is the limit when it comes to a tortilla!
Sweet Potato Bowls
These bowls are my most common go to lunch on weekdays. I always have all the ingredients on hand which makes this meal not only easy but super convenient. There isn’t any prep ahead of time but on the day of it only takes about 25 minutes from start to finish (with most of the time being inactive cooking time for the sweet potatoes). It’s filling so it will keep you full until dinner time.
I love a bunch of stuff on my salad so cobb is always my favorite variety. This one takes a little more prep work but you can slice and dice enough ingredients for a few days worth of salads. Once everything is chopped, it only takes a few minutes to pull it all together. Just wait until right before you eat to dice the avocado otherwise it will brown. Also, I so don’t get all fancy when I’m having this for lunch during the week. It looks more like a chopped salad all tossed together most days around here. BBQ Chicken Salad is another super easy, tasty salad for a busy weekday.
Dilled Egg Salad
I love making this egg salad at the beginning of the week for lunches. Bonus: the kids love it too so I usually make a huge batch so we can all enjoy it. They love it on bread (and I do too of course) but I usually opt for a lettuce cup to keep it lower in calories and carbs. It’s also pretty tasty in a tortilla wrap.
Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Wraps
These wraps involve one of my favorite kitchen tools, the slow cooker. You simple dump boneless, skinless chicken breast, chicken stock, hot sauce, onion and garlic in the slow cooker and forget about it for the morning (4 hours to be exact). Or you could make it the night before and simple reheat it in the microwave. Place a good amount into a lettuce cup along with celery, carrots, bleu cheese crumbles and dressing. Boom. Super easy and you can eat it throughout the week.
One last bonus idea for you that I don’t have a recipe for but thought it was worth sharing. I always keep salad ingredients on hand to throw together a super simple salad. I know salad is a no-brainer but I still thought it was worth mentioning. I most often go for a chef salad by tearing up whatever deli meat we have, romaine, whatever veggies we have on hand (usually cucumber, tomato, peppers, carrots…) then toss with a low calorie dressing or a drizzle of olive oil and red wine vinegar. Besides the sweet potato bowls above, this is my most common lunch nosh. Simple, healthy, refreshing and I’m able to mix it up a bit with the veggies and dressing.
I hope today’s post provided some easy, tasty options for your lunch time dilemmas. With a little planning and prep, you can have healthy lunches throughout the week with very little work. Sounds like a plan to me.