Squeezing in time for lunch can be a daunting process. It’s either you plan ahead to pack some lunch or spend a few extra dollars in the cafeteria trying to get lunch (and we all know that this adds up very quickly). Making a tasty lunch does not have to be daunting; you can plan to cook a delicious lunch that also does amazing things for your health. Although some of these dishes take a while to make, it is totally possible to make the food ahead of time and then pack it for lunch the next day.
TURKEY TACO SPAGHETTI BOATS
Calories: 218.5 calories
These Turkey Taco Spaghetti Squash Boats are completely delicious and I love the fact that they are low-carb, keto, whole30 and gluten-free. Thia has become my favorite way to eat spaghetti squash, and I am at peace knowing that it can help me stay in to notch shape as well. This is great for lunch because it is not too heavy, but it also has all the good stuff that you need in your diet.
- 3 small spaghetti squash (24 oz each)
- olive oil spray
- 1 lb 93% ground turkey
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp oregano
- 1/2 small onion, minced
- 2 tbsp bell pepper, minced
- 1/2 cup water
- 4 oz can tomato sauce
- 3/4 cup part-skim shredded Mexican cheese.
FOR THE PICO DE GALLO
- 1 cup chopped tomato
- 1/4 cup chopped scallion
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1/2 jalapeno, minced
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- Pre-heat the oven to 400F degrees.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (or two if they don’t fit well).
- Cut the squash in half lengthwise.
- Scrape out the seeds and soft yellow strands using a spoon.
- Spray the inside of the squash with olive oil and sprinkle it lightly with salt and pepper.
- Place the squash face down on the baking sheet.
- Bake for 50 minutes until the flesh of the squash easily pierces with a fork.
- Place turkey in a large skillet and allow to get golden brown as you start breaking it into smaller pieces as it cooks.
- Add the onion, pepper, water and tomato sauce and cover.
- Simmer on low heat for about 20 minutes.
- Carefully combine the ingredients for the pico de gallo in a medium-sized bowl.
- Set aside in the refrigerator until ready to eat.
- Once the squash is cool enough to handle, use a fork to scrape the inside so the strands appear.
- Spoon 1/2 cup meat inside each squash bowl.
- Top each with 2 tbsp cheese and transfer them to the oven and bake for another 5 minutes until the cheese melts.
- Remove from the oven, top with pico de gallo.
- Serve immediately!
Chicken Fried Rice
Calories: 290 calories
Who says that chicken fried rice has to be unhealthy and packed with saturated fats? (I do admit that Chinese takeout is extremely delicious though.) Did you know that there is a healthy way to make chicken fried rice? This version is loaded up with tons of vegetables, and if you are a parent and need to worry about your kids, worry no more as this recipe is the perfect mix of delicious and healthy.
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 (8.8-ounce) pouch of brown rice
- 1 small onion, diced
- 2 cups frozen peas and carrots mix
- 6 green thinly sliced onions.
- 2 eggs
- ¼ cup less-sodium soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons oyster sauce
- In a large skillet, heat 1 teaspoon of the sesame oil over medium-high heat.
- Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and stir constantly and consistently using a wooden spoon or spatula for 1 minute.
- Increase the heat to high and add the chicken.
- Cook for 4 to 6 minutes, turning and moving the chicken constantly while cooking.
- Scrape the chicken and garlic on to a plate and place it aside.
- Microwave the rice according to package directions.
- Add the remaining 1 teaspoon of sesame oil to the pan.
- Once the oil is hot, add the onion, peas and carrots, and half of the green onions and stir-fry, constantly moving the mixture until the onions and carrots soften.
- Stir-fry vegetables for 3 to 5 minutes.
- Push the vegetables to the outer edges of the skillet to open up the center.
- Crack the eggs into the pan and scramble. When the eggs are cooked through, and mix it in with the vegetables.
- Reduce the heat to medium.
- Add the reserved chicken, cooked brown rice, soy sauce, and oyster sauce to the vegetable mixture and stir to combine.
- Serve with the remaining green onions.
Tasty Zucchini Noodles
Zucchini noodles, also known as “zoodles” is probably one of my favorite meals, and what is even more important for the purpose of this article is that it has low calories (it doesn’t get better than 116 calories per serving!). I love that this dish is so down to earth. It doesn’t take a long time to prepare and it is absolutely good for you. Here is a break down of the recipe.
- 1 tbsp of organic olive oil
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1/2 lb chicken breast, cut into tiny pieces
- 1 small carrot
- 1/2 red bell pepper
- 1/2 green bell pepper
- 2 medium-sized zucchini
- 1 tbsp of sodium soy sauce
- 1 tbsp dark soy sauce (trust me it matters that you use two different kinds of soy sauce)
- 1/2 tbsp oyster sauce
- 1/4 tsp sesame oil
- In a small bowl, add the two different soy sauces, oyster sauce, and sesame oil.
- Stir thoroughly and then set aside.
- In a large skillet, add garlic and oil and bring the pan to medium-high heat.
- Cook the garlic until it is lightly browned.
- Add in chicken.
- Cook chicken on medium heat until almost completely cooked (but not completely).
- If pan becomes too dry, add in just a bit of water.
- When chicken is almost cooked, add in carrots, bell peppers and any other type of vegetable that you would like to include.
- Cook slowly until the vegetables are tender and chicken is completely cooked.
- Add in zucchini noodles and pour sauce over noodles.
- Stir and toss until everything is evenly coated and cook until zucchini noodles are tender but crisp ( this usually takes about 3-4 minutes to carry out).
- Dish out and serve it to your guests immediately while it is still hot.
Stir Fry Cauliflower
Calories: 57 calories
Few people have heard about this delicious stir-fry, and that is exactly why I am here. This stir-fry has only 57 calories and 3 grams of carbohydrates for each serving cup of the stir-fry. For those interested in the nitty gritty details, this meal has a gluten-free, low carb, vegan, and offers a delicious paleo alternative to stir-fried rice.
- 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves of minced garlic
- 1 diced yellow onion
- 1/2 cup finely diced carrots
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 medium head cauliflower, trimmed and florets separated
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- Sea salt to taste (based on your preference)
- 2 tablespoons of coconut aminos
- Add cauliflower to a food processor and pulse until it has the same consistency that rice has (how cool is that?).
In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-low heat.
- Sauté the onion and carrots for about ten minutes until they are very tender.
- Add red pepper flakes and garlic and sauté one additional minute.
- Add “rice” cauliflower to the skillet, cover and cook until tender, for approximately 5 minutes.
- Add black pepper and coconut aminos.
- Toss everything together to combine with cauliflower.
- Remove from heat and serve immediately because this dish is best served hot.
There you have it. These are great lunches that you can make in no time that can help to promote your lifestyle and even your weight loss goals if that is something you are interested in.