Food & Nutrition

20 Deliciously Healthy Lunch Ideas That Aren’t Salad

Step aside, lame iceberg salad! Who wants wilted, flavorless leaves smothered in bottled salad dressing? Ramp up your options with these delicious and nutritious creations from professionals.

Asian-Style Farro Buddha Bowl with Crispy Baked Tofu

Courtesy Jessica Levinson

One of the best healthy lunch ideas  comes from Jessica Levinson, MS, RDN and makes an all-in-one balanced meal filled with whole grains, vegetables, and lean protein. It’s an easy make-ahead meal, and you can individualize it depending on your taste preferences. Baking the tofu at a high temperature will give you a crispy outside without the added calories and fat from frying. This meal is bursting with vitamin A from sweet potatoes and vitamin C from Brussels sprouts—your body will thank you for this nutritious midday meal. Learn more about farro as a healthy vegan protein source here.

Nourish Lentil Bowl

Courtesy Sharon Palmer

With a foundation of lentils and toppings of roasted squash, onions, mushrooms, pomegranates, and pecans, this lunch from Sharon Palmer, MS, RDN is a fresh spin on the bowl craze—which often features a whole grain as a base. But what about featuring a pulse as a base? The lentils are rich in fiber and protein, and the vegetables add vitamins, minerals, and more fiber (squash is rich in vitamin A), while the pomegranates provide a dose of vitamin C and phytochemicals, and the pecans are rich in heart-healthy fats. This recipe provides everything you want from your healthy lunch ideas —you can also meal prep it. Make it up on your easy day of the week, and package several servings up to grab and go for lunch during the week.

Tamari Freekeh Bowl

courtesy Tracee Yablon Brenner

courtesy Tracee Yablon Brenner

This tamari freekeh bowl from Tracee Yablon Brenner, RDN, is one of the healthy lunch ideas that’s packed with nourishing avocado, tomatoes, red leaf lettuce (or your favorite leafy green), and a nutrition booster of hemp seeds. A 3-tablespoon serving of hemp seeds equals 10 grams of protein and 10 grams of omega 3’s, the healthy fats. Half your daily servings of vegetables are covered in this delectable lunch. Freekeh, an ancient grain, is getting lots of attention these days and for good reason—it’s full of fiber. Personalize your lunch with hard-boiled egg, cheese chunks or nuts. Don’t have time for the full recipe? Here are some incorporate protein into your lunch.

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