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Since I cook dinner five nights a week for my brood, I like to keep my lunch simple without too much prep work. I use a mix of prepared products along with fresh ones. I also need it to be healthy with a decent amount of protein, fairly low in carbs and, most importantly, tasty. The four lunches I’m sharing are ones that I routinely make for myself and are easy to take to work if need be. I’ve included the nutritional stats based on my choices for each meal using MyFitnessPal.

1. Asian Salmon and Avocado Salad: 280 Calories | 24 g Carbs | 16 g Fat | 16 g Protein. This one is easy to customize based on your preferences: canned chicken or tuna instead of salmon and any type of light dressing that you enjoy.

  • 3 cups of greens (I prefer dry coleslaw mix from the produce section since it has green and purple cabbage along with shredded carrots)
  • 1 pouch of pink salmon
  • 1/2 medium avocado, sliced or diced
  • 2 Tbsp light Asian dressing (I like Newman’s Own or Kraft)
  • optional: few dashes of Sriracha

Throw all of the ingredients into a large bowl.

salmon avocado salad

Photo Credit: Julia McClelland

2. Avocado Soy Burger with Veggies and Hummus: 360 Calories | 43 g Carbs| 15 g Fat | 23 g Protein. You could leave off the bread and double up on the veggies and hummus if you’d like!

  • 1 Boca Original patty
  • 2 slices of light bread (I like Sara Lee’s 45 Calorie Multigrain), toasted
  • 1/2 medium avocado, sliced
  • optional: lettuce, tomato, pickles, etc.
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 2 Tbsp store-bought hummus
  • 3 oz baby carrots (or any other veggies that you prefer)

Cook patty in the microwave. Assemble the burger with your choice of condiments and fill the celery with the hummus.

burger veggies and hummus

Photo Credit: Julia McClelland

3. Asian Stir Fry: 322 Calories | 12 g Carbs | 17 g Fat| 33 g Protein. It does not take much soy and fish sauce to create a lot of flavor. You can add any protein that you’d like (fish, shrimp, beef, turkey, tofu); just make sure that it’s not raw. This makes a large serving. Also, throw in any vegetables that you like; sometimes I use bok choy and spinach.

  • 4 cups chopped napa cabbage
  • 2 cups dry coleslaw mix
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1/2 medium squash, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 Tbsp fish sauce
  • 5 oz cooked protein (I had leftover chicken)

Prepare large skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium heat; add in the veggies until they start to soften.
Add in the sauces and protein. Stir well and often.
Cook until all of the veggies are softened and the protein is warmed through

asian stir fry

Photo Credit: Julia McClelland

4. Black Rice with Spinach Kashmir and Chicken: 450 Calories | 48 g Carbs | 14 g Fat | 38 g Protein. You can use brown rice, oats, bulgur, barley, etc. instead of black rice. If you haven’t tried black rice, I highly recommend it! It’s lower in calories and carbs than brown rice but has more fiber and protein. I happen to like Indian food but you can use any heat and serve sauce to pour over the grain; just make sure that it’s under 200 calories. You could skip the protein but it helps to keep you full and great for building muscle. Just make sure that the protein is already cooked before adding to your bowl.

  • 1 cup steamed grains (1/4 cup dry black rice = 1 cup steamed)
  • 1 heat and serve pouch of Indian, Thai, etc (I used Tasty Kitchen Spinach Kashmir-found at Sprouts and World Market)
  • 4 oz cooked protein (I used chicken breast)

Warm up all of the items and then combine in a large bowl.

black rice and chicken

Photo Credit: Julia McClelland

What are your favorite lunch recipes? Comment below!