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10 Healthy Lunch Ideas

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Obesity is a growing problem in many parts of the world and afflicts around 7% of the adult population. Unhealthy lifestyles, less exercise/no exercise, stress, depression and overall negligence is the major cause of an increase in the number of overweight individuals. Have some extra kilos to shed? Read on!

How Should a Healthy Lunch be and What Kind of Nutrients be Included in it?

The meal that is had in the middle of the day or in the afternoon is termed as lunch. It is the meal that is consumed after a breakfast and usually fuels the body until the end of the day or until dinner. Lunch should not contain too few calories or too many calories. Less caloric intake can lead to the body venturing into starvation mode, whereas consuming too many calories can lead to the body becoming sluggish. It is recommended that an individual consumes at least 400 calories per lunch.

A healthy lunch should consist of a healthy dose of carbohydrates in the form of brown rice or whole wheat bread, proteins in the form of lean cuts of meat or fish, a generous serving of vegetables and fruits to supply the other essential nutrients & natural sugars.

1O Healthy Lunch Ideas

  1. Heirloom Tomato Salad
  2. Preparation Time: 10 minutes

    Cooking Time: 10 minutes

    Serves: 12

    Serving Size: A generous scoop with salad tongs

    Calories per Serving: 74 calories

    Ingredients:

    • 5 ounces spring mix green salad
    • 3 tablespoons olive oil
    • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
    • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
    • 1 minced clove of garlic
    • A pinch of sugar
    • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
    • 3 sliced large heirloom tomatoes
    • ½ cup chopped fresh basil
    • 1/3 cup chopped pine nuts
    • 3 tablespoons chopped onions

    2 ounces fresh goat’s cheese

    Instructions:

    1. Thoroughly mix oil, vinegar, mustard, garlic, sugar and oregano to prepare the dressing.
    2. In a large bowl place, the salad greens and add the dressing.
    3. Toss the greens to ensure even coating by the dressing.
    4. Top with sliced tomatoes and hand cut fresh basil.
    5. Garnish with chopped pine nuts, onion and crumbled goat’s cheese.

    Nutritional Profile: 6g fat (1g saturated fat), 3mg cholesterol, 35mg sodium, 4g carbohydrate (2g sugars, 1g fibre), 2g protein.

  3. Crispy Mediterranean Vegetable Cakes
  4. Cooking Time: 30 minutes

    Serves: 4

    Serving Size: 1 Cake

    Calories per Serving: 196 calories

    Ingredients:

    • 2 tablespoons olive oil divided
    • 1 small chopped onion
    • 2 minced garlic cloves
    • 3 cups baby spinach
    • 1 grated medium potato
    • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
    • ¼ cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes
    • ¼ cup chopped Kalamata olives
    • ¼ cup chopped artichoke hearts
    • ¼ cup diced red bell pepper
    • ¼ cup diced yellow bell pepper
    • 2 eggs
    • ¼ cup whole wheat flour
    • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper as per taste

    Instructions:

    1. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a pan, add the onions and cook until golden brown. Next, add the garlic and cook for a minute. Then add the spinach and cook until it has wilted and transferred to a large mixing bowl.
    2. In the large bowl, add the potato, oregano, tomatoes, olives, artichokes, and peppers and stir. Add the 2 eggs and final season with salt & pepper.
    3. Divide the mixture into 2 equal portions and cook with the remaining olive oil in the pan, until brown & crispy on both the sides.
    4. Garnish with olives and fresh herbs and serve as individual slices.
    5. Nutritional Profile: 11g total fat, 2g saturated fat, 82mg cholesterol, 171mg sodium, 20g carbohydrates, 3g dietary fibre, 2g sugars, 6g protein.

  5. Skinny Caprese Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
  6. Preparation Time: 20 minutes

    Cooking Time: 15 minutes

    Serves: 4

    Serving Size: 1 sandwich

    Calories per Serving: 288 calories

    Ingredients:

    • 2 tablespoons light balsamic vinegar
    • 1 teaspoon black pepper
    • 1 teaspoon sea salt
    • 8 slices whole wheat bread
    • 4 tsp light butter (½ tsp for each bread slice)
    • 2 tablespoons reduced-fat grated Parmesan cheese
    • 1 cup low moisture, part-skim, shredded mozzarella cheese
    • 12 tomato slices
    • ½ cup fresh basil leaves, chopped (or to taste)

    Instructions:

    1. Preheat the oven to 400°F/200 °C and line a baking sheet with aluminium foil.
    2. Place the tomato slices on the baking sheet and drizzle with salt, vinegar and pepper. Bake for 10-15 minutes.
    3. Spread butter on the bread slices sprinkle grated parmesan on 4 slices of bread on the buttered side.
    4. Once the tomatoes are done, take them and set aside. Add oil to a large skillet and cook the 4 slices of bread with cheese on a medium flame.
    5. Add ¼ cup of mozzarella cheese on the bread, 3 slices of tomatoes and some basil. Top with the plain slices of bread with the buttered side up and cook until the cheese is golden brown.
    6. Garnish with a slight drizzle of vinegar and serve.

    Nutritional Profile: 11g fat, 36g carbohydrates, 5g fibre, 18g protein, 8g sugar.

  7. Italian Chopped House Salad with Dressing
  8. Preparation Time: 20 minutes

    Cooking Time: 15 minutes

    Serves: 6

    Serving Size: 3 cups

    Calories per Serving: 270 calories

    Ingredients:

    • 2 hearts of Romaine, chopped (about 8 cups)
    • ½ head of Iceberg lettuce, chopped (about 5 cups)
    • ¼ small head red cabbage, chopped (about 2 cups)
    • 1 cup pasta, cooked and cooled
    • 1-pint cherry tomatoes halved
    • ⅓ cup reduced-fat blue cheese
    • 3 green onions, thinly sliced
    • 2 cups chicken breast, cooked and diced
    • 4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
    • 2 teaspoons garlic
    • 1 teaspoon sugar
    • ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
    • ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
    • ¼ teaspoon salt
    • ¼ teaspoon pepper
    • ½ cup canola oil

    Instructions:

    1. Mix all the fresh ingredients in a large bowl to make the salad.
    2. For the dressing blend all the ingredients in a blender except the oil.
    3. Slowly add the canola oil in steps so as to emulsify the mixture.
    4. Add the dressing and mix well. Serve.

    Nutritional Profile: 14g fat, 3g saturated fat, 41mg cholesterol, 229mg sodium, 23g carbohydrates, 4g fibre, 5g sugar and 17g protein.

  9. Tuna Nicosia
  10. Preparation Time: 20 minutes

    Cooking Time: 20 minutes

    Serves: 6

    Serving Size: 1 cup

    Calories per Serving: 449 calories

    Instructions:

    For the Salad,

    • 2-3 cans of tuna
    • 6 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and quartered lengthwise
    • 1 ¼ pounds small young red potatoes or fingerling potatoes
    • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
    • 2 medium heads Boston lettuce or butter lettuce, torn into bite-sized pieces
    • 3 small ripe tomatoes, cored and cut into wedges
    • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
    • ½ pound green beans, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
    • ¼ cup Nicosia olives

    For the Dressing,

    • ¼ cup lemon juice or red wine vinegar
    • ¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil
    • 3 Tbsp finely chopped shallot
    • 2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh basil
    • 1 Tbsp finely chopped fresh thyme
    • 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh oregano or tarragon
    • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
    • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

    Ingredients:

    1. Place all the ingredients of the dressing in a mason jar and shake well.
    2. Place the onions in a bowl and add ¼ of the dressing.
    3. Cook the potatoes in a large pot with 1 tablespoon of salt till done (the fork should come out clean) Cut them into quarters and another ¼ of the dressing.
    4. Cook green beans in water with 1 teaspoon of salt for 3-5 minutes (they should be cooked but have some bite left to them).
    5. Arrange the lettuce on a serving platter, flake the tuna and arrange as a mound in the centre of the dish on the bed of lettuce. Sprinkle onions and tomatoes around the mound of tuna. Make separate mounds of potatoes and green beans at the edge of lettuce bed.
    6. Arrange boiled eggs and olives as mounds on the platter and drizzle with remaining dressing.
    7. Serve warm.

    Nutritional Profile: 20.4g total fat, 47.6mg cholesterol, 1,703.9mg sodium, 30.3 g carbohydrates, 8g fibre. 0.6g sugar and 39.2g protein.

  11. Couscous and Vegetable Salad
  12. Preparation Time: 10 minutes

    Cooking Time: 0 minutes

    Serves: 4

    Serving Size: 1 cup

    Calories per Serving: 535 calories

    Ingredients:

    • 2 cups cooked and cooled couscous
    • 6 green onions, chopped
    • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
    • 1 cup cucumber, chopped
    • ½ cup chickpeas, pre-cooked or canned, drained and rinsed
    • 1 cup chopped fresh parsley
    • ¾ cup olive oil
    • ½ cup lemon juice
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
    • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
    • 1 teaspoon sea salt or kosher salt, or to taste
    • A pinch of black pepper

    Instructions:

    1. Cook the couscous as per package instructions, drain and allow it to cool.
    2. Combine the cooked couscous and vegetables in a large salad bowl.
    3. Blend together olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, Dijon mustard, coriander, salt and pepper to make the dressing.
    4. Serve.

    Nutritional Profile: 28g total fat, 456mg sodium, 61g carbohydrates, 6g fibre and 12g protein.

  13. French Bean Salad
  14. Preparation Time: 15 minutes

    Marinating Time: 1 hour

    Cooking Time: minutes.

    Serves: 4

    Serving Size: 1 cup

    Calories per Serving: 66 calories

    Ingredients:

    • Salt, as per taste
    • 1-pound slender green beans ends trimmed
    • 1 cup feta cheese crumbles
    • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
    • 2 tablespoons chopped red onion
    • ½ cup slivered almonds
    • 3 tablespoons olive oil
    • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
    • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
    • 1 large clove garlic, minced
    • Ground black pepper, as per taste

    Instructions:

    1. Cook the green beans in a pot of water for 1-2 minutes.
    2. Combine with feta cheese, tomatoes and onions in a salad bowl.
    3. Toast the almonds in a skillet for 2-3 minutes and transfer to a plate.
    4. To prepare the dressing, whisk together olive oil, red wine vinegar, basil, garlic, salt and pepper.
    5. Pour the dressing over the green beans, add the cooled almonds and toss gently.
    6. Let marinate in the fridge for an hour.
    7. Serve chilled.

    Nutritional Profile: 5g total fat, 3g carbohydrates, 2g fibre and 2g protein.

  15. Hummus Veggie Wrap
  16. Total Time: 5 minutes

    Serves: 1

    Serving Size: 1

    Calories per Serving: 499.4 calories

    Ingredients:

    • 1 (12 inches) tortillas
    • 1⁄2 cup hummus
    • 1⁄8 cup cucumber
    • 1⁄8 cup diced tomato
    • 1⁄8 cup bell pepper
    • 1⁄8 cup shoestring carrots
    • 3 slices red onions
    • alfalfa sprout
    • lettuce

    Instructions:

    1. Heat the tortilla in the microwave for a few seconds.
    2. Spread hummus over the tortilla, add the vegetables and lettuce.
    3. Roll up and serve.

    Nutritional Profile: 18.5g total fat, 1015.1mg sodium, 68.4g carbohydrates, 11.8g fibre, 5.4g sugar and 17.7g protein.

  17. Quinoa Veg Meatballs
  18. Total Time: 1 hour

    Serves: 3

    Serving Size: 2 meatballs

    Calories per Serving: 291 calories

    Ingredients:

    • ½ cup dry quinoa, pre-rinsed
    • 1 cup water
    • 1 cup cooked green lentils, well drained
    • ¼ cup diced red bell pepper
    • ½ cup diced onion
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • ½ cup breadcrumbs
    • ¼ cup freshly grated parmesan
    • 1 tablespoon freshly chopped flat parsley leaves
    • 1 tablespoon freshly chopped oregano
    • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    • Salt to taste
    • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
    • 1 egg white
    • 3 tablespoons olive oil

    Instructions:

      1) Add quinoa to a medium pot and bring to boil, then let it simmer for 15 minutes on a reduced flame or until all the water absorbed.

      2) Ina pan heat olive oil, cook onions and bell pepper for 4 minutes, then add garlic, parsley and oregano and sauté for 1 minute.

      3) Allow quinoa to cool and press with a paper towel to remove excess water.

      4) Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl except oil and mash with masher. Make small round balls of 1 ½ “.

      5) Heat the remaining oil in a pan and cook the balls until brown on the outside.

    Nutritional Profile: 10g total fat, 3mg cholesterol, 293mg sodium, 139g carbohydrates, 6g fibre, 2g sugar and 13g protein.

  19. Feta-Stuffed Chicken
  20. Preparation Time: 10 minutes

    Cooking Time: 40 minutes.

    Serves: 4

    Serving Size: 1 chicken breast

    Calories per Serving: 248.8 calories

Ingredients:

  • 4 (4-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts (1 pound)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 (10-ounce) package frozen spinach, thawed
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil
  • ⅓ cup reduced-fat Feta cheese crumbles
  • ½ cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon dried parsley
  • ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning

Instructions:

  1. 1) Preheat oven to 350°F/170°C. Coat a dish with oil and set aside.
  2. 2) Place chicken in a zip lock bag and pound with a mallet/meat hammer until 1/4 “thick. Then season both sides with salt & pepper.
  3. 3) Heat oil in a saucepan, add spinach, garlic and basil. Cook for 8 minutes or until spinach is bunched up.
  4. 4) Stuff the chicken breast with the spinach mixture.
  5. 5) Roll the chicken breasts and secure the ends with 2 toothpicks.
  6. 6) Heat butter, lemon juice, chicken broth and the remaining seasonings. Cook until butter has melted.
  7. 7) Drizzle the butter mixture over the stuffed chicken breasts and cook for 25 minutes.

Nutritional Profile: 5.7g total fat, 63mg cholesterol, 827.9mg sodium, 20.4g carbohydrates, 1g fibre,2g sugar and 28.3g protein.

Tips to Lose Weight

Listed below are some tips to lose weight:

  1. Eat well-balanced meals.
  2. Consume fewer dairy products.
  3. Avoid sugar and foods laden with sugar.
  4. Exercise at least 3 times a week.
  5. Chew your food slowly.

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GradesFixer, 2019. 10 Healthy Lunch Ideas. [online] Available at: <https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/10-healthy-lunch-ideas/> [Accessed 9 August 2020].
GradesFixer. 10 Healthy Lunch Ideas [Internet]. GradesFixer; 2019 [cited 2019 April 10]. Available from: https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/10-healthy-lunch-ideas/
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