Tuesday, May 8, 2012

MAIL BAG: Healthy Lunch Ideas

Hi Maria,
I recently found your blog via Pinterest and am really loving all your recipes. You did a post a while ago about healthy lunches, do you have any more ideas to share?

Hi Ainslee!
Thanks for the question.  It seems like every new year I make the resolution to eat better and eat healthier.  This past January was no exception but to me healthier didn't so much mean fat and calories, instead it meant portion control and eating less processed foods (bye, bye Lean Cuisines, diet Cokes, canned soups...all former lunch staples).  
Below is a sampling of some of the lunches I have eaten this past month and a half.  You'll notice that I still eat cold cuts (turkey or chicken usually) but I've switches to the all-natural, preservative free kind.  The rest of the lunches are simple things like salads, leftovers or crackers with cheese.  Not pictured but also a favorite lunch of mine is leftover homemade soup or chili, like this one and this one.   I find that most taste better the next day anyway.  BTW, I really like these Ziploc containers to help control portion size.
I know that lunches can be a real challenge sometimes, so if anyone out there would like to share some of their favorite lunch ideas, just leave a comment below.  Thanks!


Grapes, almonds, pita crackers, Laughing Cow cheese

Grilled chicken salad, balsamic vinaigrette, clementine
turkey, crackers, Laughing Cow Light cheese, strawberries and grapes
salad (lettuce, peppers,onion, tomato), leftover ragotoni, clementine

turkey on whole wheat bread, cheese, carrots

chickpea salad (with avocado, onion, tomato), crackers, strawberries

salad, Italian vingerette, leftover rotiseeer chicken, grapes

salad (1/2 hard boiled egg, red potato, onion, tomato), dijion vingarette, grapes
turkey, cheese, crackers, apple

salmon, asparagus, roasted herb red potatoes, grapes

carrots, celery, crackers, white bean tuna salad, clementine

turkey on french baguette, kettle chips, carrots

salad (lettuce, cucumber, onion), Wasa crisp, Laughing Cow Light cheese spread, balsamic vingerette
Tuna salad in a pocket thin, carrots, hummus

Last but not least I wanted to share with you what I eat when I can't eat lunch-Ha!  On those days, I usually whip up this chocolate banana protein smoothie.  It's super easy to make, portable (!), healthy, filling and tastes quite yummy.  It's also perfect for breakfast or after a workout.  I'll post the recipe for it next.
Chocolate Banana Protein Smoothie


  1. Wow, you make such pretty lunches! I am trying to eat healthier lunches too - I tend to alternate between salads with some sort of protein (either leftover chicken or lunchmeat), cheese, craisins (mmmm) and balsamic, or the classic PB&J - natural peanut butter, sugar-free jelly on whole grain bread. I'm definitely going to try some of your ideas too!

  2. Yum! Great ideas! When do you usually make your lunches?

  3. Love these ideas! Where do you get your containers for the lunches and your dressings?

  4. liked lunch ideas for babys thoe

  5. My 4 year and 7 year old would love everything on this page. Kind of nerdy but would love to print these, laminate then allow my daughter's to recreate own lunches for park picnics. I linked your awesome lunch ideas to my July meal plan. Thanks for posting

  6. I really liked your lunches ideas..please post more when you can.

  7. Thanks for the feedback. I hope to get back to blogging soon and post some more ideas then!

  8. Where did you find the containers to take your lunch in? And also what do you do for breakfast?

    1. Containers are Ziploc. I will try to do a breakfast post in the future.

  9. I like to make mine up 2 or 3 days at a time....take to work and leave in fridge..portion control..love it!

  10. Hi these are fabulous ideas for myself to take to prep and take for lunch! Questions: In your chick peas salad, is there chopped cucumber in that as well? Also your tuna on the pita looks fabulous. DO you have chopped carrots and red onion in that? I found you on Pinterest.

    1. Hi Gracie,

      Yes, to both questions. When I lived in NJ my favorite deli made their tuna salad that way and I loved it.