Shannon Crocker, RD PHEc
3 Easy Healthy Lunch Ideas
Updated: Dec 22, 2021
After a year of cooking at eating most of our meals at home, cooking fatigue is real.
If you’re working from home and tired of sandwiches (or cereal) for lunch, I’m here to help! I’m sharing 3 quick, easy and energizing lunches that I rely on weekly (and you can make in about 5 minutes!)
These are three lunches I make with basic pantry and fridge staples I always have on hand like:
nuts and seeds (e.g. almonds, peanuts, pumpkin seeds)
canned tuna (I prefer Italian, packed in oil -- tasty not dry!)
pasta (cook and keep in the fridge for easy meals)
canned beans (e.g. chickpeas and black beans)
whole grain crackers
cheese (several kinds -- so many Canadian cheeses!)
veggies of all sorts (my faves for quick lunch: cherry tomatoes, carrots, peppers, cucumbers and snap peas -- cut a couple days worth for fast meal prep)
fruit (especially apples -- easy to grab plus local to Ontario)
salad starters: bags of pre-cut slaws and containers of leafy greens
For lunch time satisfaction, I go for foods that I enjoy (always choose foods YOU like!) that will provide me with quality protein, fibre and healthy fats. That combo will help you to stay energized and satisfied so you can power through your afternoon.
So, let's dig into how you can make quick, nutritious lunch combos on the go!
1. Snack Style Lunch
Lots of days I’m going from online meeting to online meeting and literally have 5 minutes to grab something and get back to my computer. On those days, I grab a snack style lunch. Usually this includes:
A handful of nuts
A couple handfuls of cut up veggies
Sliced apple (try adding a pinch of crunchy sea salt for a flavour booster)
Tangy Old Cheddar Cheese
Whole grain cracker
2. Tuna Pasta Salad
I always try to pack veggies into my lunch and salad is an obvious choice but it needs to be quick and include ingredients that keep you satisfied so you’re not hungry an hour later.
A Tuna Pasta Salad is one of my favourite FAST nutritious and super delicious salads. Here’s what it includes:
A leafy green of your choice – e.g. arugula, kale, spinach or lettuce
Leftover cold pasta
Tuna (protein for staying power)
Instead of mayonnaise, I drizzle with olive oil, squeeze of lemon, and finish it with a little sea salt and pepper. It’s ready to devour in just a few minutes!
3. Chickpea Power Bowl
This lunch is what I make when I’m craving something super savoury I throw together this chickpea power bowl. The hummus and chickpeas give some plant-based protein and fibre which helps keep you feeling full. It looks complex but it’s really easy and fast to make!
In the power bowl I put:
A scoop of hummus
Smashed chickpeas (smashed so they stay on the fork, mix with olive oil + chili flakes)
Chopped red pepper, yellow pepper and cucumber
Pita wedges or pita chips
Finish it with a drizzle with olive oil, pinch of sumac and lemon. The flavours in this bowl are so intense – it’s like a party in your mouth.
Need a sweet ending to your lunch? Make energy bites and keep them in the fridge for quick snacking or a wee dessert. Here are three bites I love:
Happy Healthy Lunching,