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What''s for Lunch?

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BeachRunner

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I am so very tired of eating frozen lunches for lunch. I have tried Lean Cuisine and Kashi, and I''m just getting tired of them.

Any recommendations for a healthy lunch?
 

tlh

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My work has a nice salad bar. So I make a nice healthy salad w/ slippery dressing on the side, w/ a healthy balance of colors and a protein (a small amount of nut or egg). As long as it is colorful - you''ll get the vitamamins and minerals that you need. :D The color wheel is the pretty way on making sure you''re getting a healthy balance.

Now when I am eating on the go... I am not always the best... I''ll just grab a light yoplait yogurt and eat 100 sticks of pretzels as a snack. 320 calories... and that will tide me through the day and afternoon until dinner.
 

beau13

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Assuming you're bringing your lunch from home, a whole wheat wrap, filled with turkey, chicken or tuna is simple and tasty! Add lettuce, tomatoe, or cucumber, even sprouts! Add a little low fat mayo..Mmmmm. A cottage cheese plate is also tasty and has variety. 1/2 cup cottage cheese, 1/2 cup yogurt beside it,(maybe separate the two with a bit of lettuce), mixed fresh fruit, trail mix (or almonds, raisins)..you get a bit of everything..low fat, healthy, got your protein, and fruit! There are so many easy, quick lunches to make for the health concious! Maybe try those for starters!
 

aprilcait

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I usually bring leftovers from the previous night''s dinner. If dinner isn''t conducive to leftovers, I do a salad with some sort of protein (i.e.:chicken, beans, canned tuna, or canned salmon) to keep me full. I also love to pack some veggies with hummus if I packed myself a lighter/smaller lunch entree... I looove hummus.

You could even nuke yourself a Boca "burger" or Boca/Morning Star "chicken" patty and either have it on a light bun or do a lettuce wrap.

Soup is always a good option too... just stash a couple of cans in your desk drawer.
 

BeachRunner

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Thanks for the suggestions thus far!

As far as dairy goes, I''m trying to stay away from it, as I fear I have a slight intolerance to dairy (bloating, stomach cramping) after eating certain foods.

I LOVE tuna but want to be considerate of my co-workers, and tuna has an unpleasant odor to some. I try to take leftovers as well, but you are right aprilcait, sometimes it is just not feasible. Hummus is a good idea; I love hummus, and its high in protein, right?

1. Wraps
2. Hummus and veggies
3. Salads with a protein

tlh I WISH I had a salad bar; I''m sure I could eat it daily with no problem!
 

Elmorton

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This is my HARDEST issue - we eat pretty healthy breakfasts, snacks, dinners at home - but when I''m at the store, I don''t even know where to start in terms of what I like, so when I go to pack a lunch, there''s nothing because I didn''t buy myself anything.

Some things that have worked - I''m really more of a snacker, so "snack" foods in the tiny snack-size baggies - a bag of grapes, a bag of nuts, a thing of string cheese, an apple, a couple of baby carrots etc.

Another thing I like is making myself a hummus plate with some whole wheat pita points, hummus, cucumber, a little bit of feta and a sprinkle of paprika on the hummus.

I''m also a huge fan of those 100 calorie cookies/chips etc - because that''s actually a nice serving size! The oreos are the best, because I don''t like "stuff" and they''re just an oreo-tasting chocolate cookie cracker.

Another thing I just started doing is using corn tortillas for roll ups (a small version) instead of flour tortillas for wraps. I can have 3 small corn tortilla roll-ups with turkey, lettuce, tomato, and a touch of avacado and be a lot more satisfied than if I just had one wrap with the same ingredients.

For ready-made meals, I really like the South Beach wraps - I think they''re in the cheese aisle of my grocery store? Near Lunchables.

Something that I love that I usually get as takeout from a local deli is an asian-ispired wrap - a rice wrap/tortilla with julienned carrot, cucumber, and a little bit of avacado sometimes with some imitation crab/cold steamed salmon or other times veggie - I dip it in a little bit of a sweet-chili dressing which is probably what makes it unhealthy, but a healthier alternative could be dipping it in a ginger dressing and it would be just as good.
 

ChargerGrrl

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I''m boring, as i bring the same thing to work for lunch each day:

I take 1/2 breast of grilled chicken, mix in some salad greens, grape tomatoes, baby carrots, broccoli, cauliflower & kidney beans. I pair it with a piece of string cheese and sometimes half a whole-wheat pita.

My co-workers always make fun of me for making the same thing each day, but then they often comment on how good my "colorful big salad" looks.
 

bee*

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I usually bring in my own homemade soup-it''s nice and filling and healthy at the same time.
 

Haven

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Ooooh, I love lunch for two reasons: it''s a 45-minute respite from my students, and hubby packs it for me every day!

CHICKEN
I will sometimes make chicken for three days'' worth of lunches, and then I''ll turn it into something new the night before I take it to work. (Plain ol'' chicken breast day one, cut up and put into salad day 2, shredded with BBQ sauce day 3, for example.)

SALAD
We always make a huge salad on Sunday night and divvy it up into single portions. We use romaine lettuce and lots of veggies--cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, carrots, etc. I make a few days'' worth of dressing and leave it in the fridge at work. We have a salad bar in the caf, but it is EXPENSIVE, so it''s totally worth it to make at home. And we use delicious organic veggies, so it tastes divine.

SANDWICHES
DH will make me sandwiches sometimes, and they are so delicious! He buys thin-sliced lunch meats from the local butcher and adds a mix of toppings that tastes wonderful. (Food always tastes better when someone else prepares it, doesn''t it?)

POTATOES or RICE
I''ll sometimes make a healthy potato recipe (e.g. herbed new potatoes) or rice to eat with the chicken.

LEFTOVERS
If the leftovers are good, I''ll bring ''em in to work.

FRUIT
DH always puts some yummy fruit in my lunch in those teeny tiny Ziploc containers. Grapes are my favorite.

So, I''ll always have a salad, and then either chicken or a sandwich, and fruit. DH must think I''m an NFL linebacker because he always packs far more than I can eat, but it''s nice to have options!
 

InLuv101

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Haven -- how sweet that your husband prepares your lunch for you! And I agree...food does taste better when someone else prepares it!
 

Elmorton

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LOL, Haven, I''ve been TRYING to convince DH that I would eat a packed lunch every day if he just made it for me!! For about a week he made me one with his, and I found myself enjoying lunch meat (which I typically dislike). It DOES taste better when someone else makes it!!
 

marcy

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Haven, you lunches sound great and how nice DH takes care of your lunch for you.

We try to make extra food and take leftovers for lunch. Sometimes we buy meat in the deli and take sandwiches. We take everything for our sandwiches packed seperately then put them together at lunch. They taste fresher that way.
 

appletini

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I make a big pot of soup on Sundays and put in ziplock containers...a put some in the fridge for the next two days and freeze the rest and thaw them out as needed. I change up the soups so I don''t get tired of them.

Chicken Noodle
Taco Soup
Black Bean Soup
Veggie Beef
 

chiapet

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Feb 2, 2008
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You guys all put me to shame with your wonderful lunches! I mean, HOMEMADE SOUP??? And big salads???

I usually buy a loaf of Raisin Bran bread and bring 3 slices for lunch. I then eat some Ritz crackers or Wheat Thins. I know, it''s embarassing. I''ll be watching this thread to get inspiration to make lunch.
 

chiapet

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Almost forgot! While I eat crap for lunch, my coworkers all bring super-healthy stuff so I can tell you a few things that they bring:
1) Lettuce wrapped slices of turkey and green/red pepper and sprouts, with drizzle of low-fat dressing.
2) Turkey deli meat, Swiss cheese over wheat bread.
3) Home-made pasta stuff, like baked ziti.
4) Rice & beans
5) Chickpeas and hummus with pita bread

They all eat 100-calorie packs and drink 10-calorie vitamin water.
 

April20

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I''m a sucker for the microwavable brown rice things that Minute Rice makes. 90 seconds in the microwave and you''re golden. I add some protein (a little grilled chicken or shrimp or whatever I have), and some salsa or pico for kick. It really keeps me full and I don''t feel like I''ve sacrificed flavor.
 

happydreams

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Date: 4/6/2009 1:53:22 PM
Author: appletini
I make a big pot of soup on Sundays and put in ziplock containers...a put some in the fridge for the next two days and freeze the rest and thaw them out as needed. I change up the soups so I don''t get tired of them.

Chicken Noodle
Taco Soup
Black Bean Soup
Veggie Beef
Ditto. I love making big pots of soup and leaving it for the week - it''s filling and easy, since its'' all prepared.
All you gotta do is nuke it! Minestrone is my fav. I just throw everything in...it''s a fail-proof soup.
 

bee*

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Date: 4/6/2009 9:34:30 PM
Author: chiapet
You guys all put me to shame with your wonderful lunches! I mean, HOMEMADE SOUP??? And big salads???
You should try the soups-the one I do only takes about half an hour to make and it''s really filling.

30g low fat spread and one onion-saute in pot for ten minutes
Add one potato, leek, celery and a carrot. Keep sauteing them for five minutes
Add one parsnip, again for five minutes
Add 1 litre of vegetable stock, bring to boil and then turn it down and simmer for 20 minutes, then purify. You get about 1.5 litres out of it.
 

musey

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My favorite lunch is steamed spinach/mushrooms/onions with brown rice
DELISH! I'm out of spinach today so I can't make it. It's tragic.

It's a snap to make and you can season it any way you like (my favorite is salt/pepper/basil), reheats fabulously so you can make it the night (or weekend) before... and absolutely healthy.
 

BeachRunner

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All your ideas are wonderful!

I bought some hummus and whole grain pita bread, and that makes a good lunch. Sometimes I''ll throw some turkey in the pita; its very good and filling.

Musey- Your brown rice dish sounds great. I often eat brown rice, tofu, and vegetables for dinner (in stir-fry form). I need to start making that in excess and taking it in for lunch.
 

bee*

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Probably the most stupid question-how do you steam your veg. Did you have to buy a steamer or do you have a microwavable one? I got one with our microwave but the veg never turn out nice in it.
 

BeachRunner

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Date: 4/14/2009 5:28:44 PM
Author: bee*
Probably the most stupid question-how do you steam your veg. Did you have to buy a steamer or do you have a microwavable one? I got one with our microwave but the veg never turn out nice in it.
I steam veggies all the time. We have a steamer that goes inside a regular stove top pot (the steamer looks like a strainer). You put a small amount of water in the pot, let it boil. After the water boils, stick your veggies in the pot (in the steamer of course), place a lid on the pot, and steam until your desired softness.


This one is plastic (we have metal), but, same concept!
 

bee*

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Date: 4/14/2009 6:38:12 PM
Author: BeachRunner
Date: 4/14/2009 5:28:44 PM

Author: bee*

Probably the most stupid question-how do you steam your veg. Did you have to buy a steamer or do you have a microwavable one? I got one with our microwave but the veg never turn out nice in it.

I steam veggies all the time. We have a steamer that goes inside a regular stove top pot (the steamer looks like a strainer). You put a small amount of water in the pot, let it boil. After the water boils, stick your veggies in the pot (in the steamer of course), place a lid on the pot, and steam until your desired softness.



This one is plastic (we have metal), but, same concept!
cool. Thanks for that. Think I might buy one. I love steamed veg.
 

Kelli

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I saw this thread and wanted to add the goodness I''ve been eating for lunch lately. I don''t cook at ALL so it''s very very simple.

1/4 cup 2% shredded mexican cheese
1 tablespoon light sour cream
lots of fresh made salsa (publix has awesome stuff if you don''t feel like actually making it yourself)
baked tostitos chips

around 300 calories and absolutely delicious!
 

BeachRunner

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Date: 4/17/2009 12:41:49 AM
Author: Kelli
I saw this thread and wanted to add the goodness I''ve been eating for lunch lately. I don''t cook at ALL so it''s very very simple.


1/4 cup 2% shredded mexican cheese

1 tablespoon light sour cream

lots of fresh made salsa (publix has awesome stuff if you don''t feel like actually making it yourself)

baked tostitos chips


around 300 calories and absolutely delicious!
Thanks for sharing Kelli. Unfortunetly, no dairy for me. Hopefully someone uses this yummy recipe!
 

bee*

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Date: 4/17/2009 12:41:49 AM
Author: Kelli
I saw this thread and wanted to add the goodness I''ve been eating for lunch lately. I don''t cook at ALL so it''s very very simple.


1/4 cup 2% shredded mexican cheese

1 tablespoon light sour cream

lots of fresh made salsa (publix has awesome stuff if you don''t feel like actually making it yourself)

baked tostitos chips


around 300 calories and absolutely delicious!
That sounds amazing
Thanks for that.
 

aprilcait

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Oct 17, 2006
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I just had a yummy lunch and thought I''d add it to the list. DH was having feta craving so I made "Mediterranean-style" veggie pita sandwiches for our lunches today. Yum! I meant to add olives and sprouts but I forgot. It turned out delicious anyway. Here''s what I did remember to include:

Ingredients (makes 2 servings)
4 small whole wheat pitas
.5 cucumber- peeled and diced
1 carrot- diced
.5 Tbl red onion- diced
1 medium tomato- diced
1 avocado
.5 tsp EVOO
1 Tbl fat-free crumbled feta
salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste

Instructions
- cut pitas so that they can be filled
- mash avocado and set aside
- place the remaining ingredients in a bowl and stir to mix
- smear the inside of each pita with the avocado
- fill each pita pocket with the veggie mixture
 

BeachRunner

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Date: 5/5/2009 1:38:39 PM
Author: aprilcait
I just had a yummy lunch and thought I''d add it to the list. DH was having feta craving so I made ''Mediterranean-style'' veggie pita sandwiches for our lunches today. Yum! I meant to add olives and sprouts but I forgot. It turned out delicious anyway. Here''s what I did remember to include:


Ingredients (makes 2 servings)

4 small whole wheat pitas

.5 cucumber- peeled and diced

1 carrot- diced

.5 Tbl red onion- diced

1 medium tomato- diced

1 avocado

.5 tsp EVOO

1 Tbl fat-free crumbled feta

salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste


Instructions

- cut pitas so that they can be filled

- mash avocado and set aside

- place the remaining ingredients in a bowl and stir to mix

- smear the inside of each pita with the avocado

- fill each pita pocket with the veggie mixture
This sounds AMAZING! Thank you for this recipe. I will def. try this!
 

tlh

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 31, 2008
Messages
4,511
Stuffed peppers from night before.
1 bell pepper, pick a color you enjoy, I like yellow and red for flavor.
Precook chicken, seasoned rice (precooked), blended shredded cheese, and stuff you want to stuff with like mushrooms and onions and black olives.

Cut and clean the bell pepper, stuff w/ ingredients, and stick in oven 375* for 7-12 minutes... until cheese is melty and sides of peppes may show signs of char... do it to your personal preference.

I like to have these as they are excellent leftovers. A couple minutes in the microwave, and YUM! Approximately 250-350 calories depending on how much rice chicken and cheese you put in there.
 
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