Clean LUNCH Recipes
don’t skip this meal
You know how it is when you’ve made all your “good” dinner recipes a thousand times and are bored of them, but also can’t come up with anything new? That awful stuck-in-a-rut feeling?
That’s how I was feeling a couple months ago… and it just so happened that I found a sale on massive cans of soup and bought like 12 of them for our dinners for a couple weeks- Andrew was NOT happy a couple days into that scheme.
But then we went to Fiji for a week’s holiday, and something about the way these people cooked influenced me to toss together a few fresh morsels when we got home, which resulted in some new creations, one of which is this Mediterranean Spaghetti one.
Here’s what to do and use:
For each serving/plate, toss together
Soooo good, filling, and healthy. Andrew was pleased that we were outta the soup phase (although one leftover can still lingers in our pantry), and I was glad to be out of my rut.
Also, if you’re making this for dinner, you can chuck a couple extra portions into a container for lunch the next day. Done and done.
Any other fresh dinner or lunch ideas that you love? Please share in the comments below… the simpler the better.
By popular demand, here is the Dal Bhat recipe I use for an amazing clean eating dinner that is high in protein and low in fat. Dal Bhat was a staple when I was trekking the Helambu Circuit in Nepal a few years ago… every place you stayed at would offer you this for dinner since this is what they were eating themselves. Of course you could order something exotic like spaghetti with tomato sauce (if you wanted to pay triple).
“Dal” is the lentil stew part, and “Bhat” is the rice over which it’s served. You can eat the Dal alone, or with some brown rice underneath. I usually just eat it alone and only add the rice if I’m extra hungry or need more carbs. Anyhoo… here’s the recipe for the Dal:
2 Tbsp olive oil
5 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1 onion, chopped
250g lentils (any kind) or split peas, soaked for 3-4 hours beforehand
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp cumin
2-3 tomatos, sliced
3 cups hot water
2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp coriander, chopped
Soak lentils in water for 3-4 hours, then and drain and rinse.
Heat oil in large soup pot (or wok) over medium heat.
Add garlic and onions; saute until translucent, but not browned.
Add lentils and cook for 10 minutes, stirring often.
Stir in the spices and lay the tomato slices on top.
Put lid on for a few minutes to allow flavors to soak in.
Add water, bring to a boil, then bring down to a gentle simmer and cook covered until soft- about 50 minutes.
Remove from heat and mash, or use the Bamix blender right in the pot to roughly puree.
Add the salt and cilantro.
Leftover Dal Bhat freezes super well in individual portions for quick and easy clean eating lunches.
I have a stash of frozen “emergency lunches” in the freezer that I can take to work just in case I’ve got nothing else for some reason. It happens.
You know how it is… you rush out the door to work in the morning without packing a lunch, which leads to you buying crap in the caf, or worse, buying your lunch from a vending machine. Of course this sucks if you’re trying to lose or maintain your weight and fitness.
The answer, my friend, is to be prepared… to think ahead. You’ve heard it said that “your body is made in the kitchen,” and it’s true. You can’t expect to work out but then eat whatever you want, and still look amazing.
So… here’s what I’ve found to work the best… pack a lunch full of little things that will keep you going throughout the day. Remember that it’s best to eat small meals every 2-3 hours instead of eating three massive meals. Here’s what my typical healthy work lunch looks like:
10 am (ps, I eat breakfast at 7 am)
2. small container of raisins, pecans, and almonds
1 pm (lunch)
3. half a wholewheat English muffin topped with a mixture of boiled eggs, avocado, and greek yogurt, as well as two small slices of baked yam/sweet potato
4. small container of celery (we wash and cut up a whole huge bunch for the week at once)
5. peach (if they’re not in season I have an apple, orange, or banana)
6. one small piece of my full flavoured healthy banana bread. (I only have this if I’m staying at work late; if not, it’s just the peach)
I take pretty much this same exact lunch to work every day. The only thing that really changes is the main meal (#3 above) as it’s usually leftovers from the night before’s dinner. I make enough for lunch the next day, and you can see some of these recipes at clean dinner recipes and clean lunch recipes.
The good thing about packing a lunch like this is 1) you won’t be hungry, and 2) even if you’re tempted to eat more, you’ve only brought a certain amount along, so you can’t. This is the reason I don’t haul my whole bag of nuts along to work… I can’t control myself to eat only seven almonds
What do you like to take along for lunch? Post it in the comments below.
You want to eat a clean, healthy lunch, but you don’t have any leftovers from last night’s dinner, and you don’t feel like whipping up a massive meal. What to do? Why not just put together a few bits and pieces?
In the video below, I made a healthy lunch of baked chicken, brown rice pasta, salad, and strawberries for dessert. For the chicken, I just sprayed it lightly with extra virgin olive oil and baked it for 35 minutes at 350 F (177 C).
Watch the video for more deets:
What do you make for your clean lunches? Do share in the comments below.