Healthy Lunch Ideas

A healthy balanced lunch consists of a portion of lean protein, half a plate of salad or fibrous veggies and a carbohydrate and/or good fat choice, plus a low calorie dressing, hummus or sauce, or a small amount of oil as a dressing.

Protein options to choose from:

  • Cooked chicken or lean meat
  • Eggs
  • Low fat cottage cheese
  • Canned fish or chicken
  • Legumes
  • Tofu

Carbohydrate options to choose from:

  • Baked pumpkin
  • Jacket potato or kumara (cook in microwave)
  • Low fat crackers
  • Fruit
  • Small portion of rice or other grain
  • Grainy bread – toast and make an open face sandwich

Salad ideas:

As well as the obvious things like lettuce, tomato, carrot and cucumber, add items like diced red onion, baby spinach leaves, rocket leaves, pea shoots, radish and chickpea sprouts, slices of red capsicum, celery etc.  Or add lightly steamed leftover vegetables or stir fry from the night before.  Make it big, make it interesting; make it tasty!

Or chop finely red onion, red capsicum, tomato and avocado, add sweet chilli sauce, coriander and/or other fresh herbs and place on a pile of rocket or baby spinach leaves for your own version of salsa.

Good fat:

¼ of an avocado is a serving size.  2 ½ teaspoons of olive oil or avocado oil contain about the same amount of energy as ¼ avocado does, so go easy with the oil.

Low fat dressings:

There are many dressings you can choose from, but keep them to a level tablespoon and compare equivalent energy between brands and varieties.  Instead of a sauce, dressing or chutney on your salad, try 1 teaspoon of oil.

Putting it all together!

Here are some combinations you might like to try.

  • Roast chicken/smoked chicken + baked pumpkin + big salad + feta cheese + balsamic dressing.
  • Roast beef, mustard, red onion + salad, jacket kumara + Cotterill & Rouse Thai Coriander & Lime dressing.
  • Jacket kumara split open and filled with lite cottage cheese, sweet chilli sauce on top, with a side salad or salsa.
  • Iceberg lettuce ‘cups’ filled with chickpeas and salsa as above.  Baby beetroot on the side.
  • Small can of salmon or tuna, crackers, big salad, feta cheese.
  • A slice of grainy bread toasted, spread with onion marmalade or other chutney, protein of your choice and a big salad.  Grab a knife and fork and go for it.  Nothing like a huge open face sandwich.
  • Egg salad with avocado and feta cheese and avocado oil infused with lime dressing.  (The Grove Avocado Oil with lime)
  • Leftover stir fry beef/chicken + rice.
  • Rocket leaves, baby beetroot sliced, feta cheese, toasted walnuts, 85g can tuna lite, cherry tomatoes halved, red onion diced.
  • Smoked chicken, dry baked pumpkin cubes, baby spinach, lettuce, tomato, red onion, capsicum, pea shoots and feta cheese.

Good food doesn’t have to be boring.  Choose from a wide range of salad or vegetable options for good health and satisfaction.