Splurging on lunch every day can really put a dent in your finances, and let’s not forget how it can quickly explode your waistline if you’re settling for high-calorie, nutritionally-deprived, processed foods on the regular.
Save yourself time and money by planning and prepping your weekly lunch on a Sunday (before slowing things down at night in anticipation of Monday). From protein-rich chicken and steak to fiber-filling broccoli and nuts, here are five food preparation ideas that your stomach will definitely thank you for later.
Chicken Fajita Lunch Bowl
Taco Tuesdays may be in style, but Fajita Friday’s will have your taste buds screaming “TGIF” before your mind even thinks it. You can have a delicious chicken fajita lunch bowl ready in 45 minutes, and you’ll be taking in less than 500 calories. This lunch bowl contains a flavorful mixture of bell peppers, corn kernels, chili powder, paprika, lime juice, rice, and baked chicken breast. Don’t forget to add cumin – a small seed loaded with antioxidants, iron, magnesium, and calcium that is known to facilitate digestion and decrease blood sugar.
And you can go with one of a number of rice options for the bowl, such as like vegan turmeric rice, or ginger & turmeric aromatic rice. The anti-inflammatory properties of the turmeric plant makes it a great natural painkiller and weight management aid.
Get the recipe from Sweet Peas and Saffron.
Lemon Roasted Salmon with Sweet Potatoes and Broccolini
No mixing or stirring. Just heat your diced sweet potatoes, salmon fillets, and 4 cups of broccolini on a sheet pain and you’ll be ready to eat a healthy serving of lemon roasted salmon with sweet potatoes and broccolini in less than an hour. Plus this meal is high in nutritional value that will increase your productivity and performance. Broccolini, also known as baby broccoli, is a fat-free super food that is loaded with essential vitamins, calcium, folate, and iron. The omega-3 fatty acids and proteins found in salmon make it a desirable food option for many health enthusiasts.
Get the recipe from Little Spice Jar.
Green Goddess Quinoa Salad
If your life is too busy to even think about standing in the kitchen for hours to watch the stove slowly create your lunch masterpiece, the 5-minute quinoa salad is for you. You’ll have a healthy blend of colorful vegetables that will make every fiber of your body feel refreshed. All you need is a combination of quinoa, broccoli kale slaw, red onion, avocado, cucumber, lemon, olive oil, almond, salt, and pepper to get started.
For a powerful protein boost, you can add baked lemon chicken to your meal and get the tender and savory flavor that will leave you satisfied.
Get the recipe from Nourish Move Love.
Roasted Sweet Potato Wraps with Caramelized Onions and Pesto
Wraps are the ultimate lunch menu item, and you’ll get a mouthful of rich flavors when you whip up these wraps, which are loaded with sweet potato, caramelized onions, and pesto. This savory and sweet treat can be refrigerated for several days for best taste.
If you’re looking to add protein, try skillet-roasted strip steaks. This can be quite appetizing with the pesto and parmesan. You’ll also have the added benefits of having a low-calorie, gluten-free, and fiber-rich source of meat.
Get the recipe from The Kitchn.
Veggie Packed Meatloaf or Gluten-Free Meatballs
If you’re looking for a quick low-calorie, meaty lunch option, opt for some meatloaf with some veggies like bell peppers and zucchini on the side to load up on the nutrients you need to feel full. For our favorite make-ahead meatballs (which you can also make paleo or gluten-free with nothing but a few tiny tweaks, by the way), all you need to do is set aside 30 minutes for prep. Plus, these guys can go right in the freezer until you’re ready to chow down.
As a side, add some asparagus, marinated roasted veggies, or mashed potatoes to really make your lunch meal come to life.
Get the recipe from Fox and Briar.