Lunches often unfortunately get a bad reputation for being boring. The truth of the matter is, if you’re willing to put in a tiny bit of work, you can have a flavourful, delicious and healthy lunch that will not only perk up your work day (c’mon, I can’t possibly be the only person who used to sit at my desk job impatiently waiting for lunch time?!), but also keep you energized for the rest of the afternoon.
So next time you’re lacking some lunchtime inspiration, how about giving these creative clean eating lunch recipes a whirl? Here are my favorite lunch ideas for clean eating:
1- Warm farro salad with artichoke hearts, tomatoes and leeks (from Sarah’s Cucina Bella)
Farro is starting to gain popularity but it’s not getting nearly enough love as it should! (I personally had never heard of it until I saw it as one of the secret ingredients on Chopped.) This warm salad offers a great combination of vegetables, and other than the long cook time that is required for farro, it is actually a pretty simple recipe that yields delicious results.
2- Zucchini boats (from Dreamy Leaf)
Vegan, gluten free, full of fibre and color, and with a nice balance of protein and carbs, this definitely is a feel good eat. This one prepares a little bit more preparation (it’s more of a had-this-for-dinner-and-made-extra-for-lunch type of meals) but it’s a really fun way to use zucchinis!
3- Chickpea salad with feta and ranch dressing (from Eating Well)
This chickpea salad is a great protein-packed option for meatless Mondays. The salty feta, tomatoes and cucumbers give this salad a little bit of a mediterranean flair, while the homemade ranch dressing gives it a good amount of creaminess. Don’t let the long list of ingredients scare you off, it’s a must try!
4- Mandarin, walnut, pomegranate and chicken salad (from The Gracious Pantry)
Chicken salad can be really bland and boring sometimes, but this recipe is anything but! It’s so well balanced and offers a great combination of flavours with the citrusy mandarin, crunchy walnuts and tart pomegranate seeds. You get your carbs, healthy fats and protein all in one tasty salad!
5- Black bean quinoa salad (from Damn Delicious)
Honestly, if all quinoa salads were this delicious, dieting would never be an issue for anybody! It’s a glorious protein-rich salad with a wonderfully refreshing orange vinaigrette, and loaded with a bunch of fresh veggies. You’ll want to eat this one every day!
6- Collard wraps with satay style dipping sauce (from The Healthy Foodie)
I have personally often found lettuce wrap type sandwiches to leave me hungry about an hour later. This one, however, is so full of extras that it’ll definitely keep you full until dinnertime (or until your afternoon Clean Eats snack, of course!). And let’s be honest, no wrap is really complete without its own dedicated dipping sauce, right?!
7- Grown up tuna salad (from the Gracious Pantry)
Tuna salad isn’t for everybody. I do think, though, that many of us have been traumatized by overly soggy tuna salad sandwiches in our youth, soaked with mayo and studded with random little bits of chopped celery. (I, for one, hate celery in both my tuna salad and egg salad sandwiches!) Well, people, it’s time to give tuna another chance with this recipe. Canned tuna is a cheap and convenient source of protein and now’s as good a time as any to start using it!
8- Tahini salad with shiitakes and arugula (from Clean Cuisine)
Tahini is a great way to pump up both the flavour and the nutritional value of your salad, and it is such an interesting combination with the mushrooms! For extra protein, add a hard boiled egg on top of this salad. Also, this recipe contains lots of garlic so you’ll want to make sure you have a pack of gum on hand but it’s so delicious you won’t even care!
If you’ve tried any of these recipes, leave a comment and let me know what you think! :)