ideas for your midday meal

A quick-prep vegetarian lunch can be tasty, inexpensive, and healthy. Plus, a good lunch is going to give you all the energy you need to power through the afternoon. A good starting point for a quick-prep lunch is using lots of fresh salad ingredients, canned beans or legumes, tofu, and precooked noodles or quick-cooking rice. Nourish bowls are really popular and ideal for a quick lunch because you can use what you have handy. You can start with the carbohydrate, something like a brown rice sachet that you can cook in the microwave for 90 seconds, and build your bowl from there. Add loads of salad or raw vegetables, any beans you like, or marinated tofu. Some sliced avocado and a sprinkle of nuts add some healthy fat. Top with various seeds, a good squeeze of lemon, and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. It really takes no effort at all. And it’s going to be a lot cheaper than buying it from the local shop.

leftover love

It’s a great idea to deliberately make more dinner than you need and have the leftovers the next day for lunch. Often, less than two minutes in the microwave is all you need to have a hot, tasty lunch ready to go. Pasta, salads, and quiche all make easy next-day lunches. As well as helping you to stick to health goals, lunching on leftovers is a great way to save money. Let’s face it: lunch isn’t always given the love it deserves. But your midday meal matters—in fact, it’s critical if you’re aiming to eat the recommended five servings of veggies a day. But remember not to eat in front of your computer. If we are distracted while eating, we don’t always recognize when we’re full and can easily consume much more than we actually need. Try to sit down at the table and enjoy your meal undistracted and, hopefully, with some good company.

to protein or not to protein

Some good news when it comes to quick-prep lunches—there is no need to go out of your way to look for high- protein options. Having some plant protein included is a good idea, such as tofu, legumes, or nuts, but almost all foods contain protein, including vegetables and whole grains.

why lunch matters

The Better Health Channel says people who cook at home are likely to eat smaller portions, leading to a healthier weight. And that’s true for all meals, including lunch. It’s also important for our metabolism that we eat at regular intervals throughout the day. The US National Weight Control Registry found that the individuals most successful in maintaining their weight ate lunch every day—and ate it at lunchtime, not at three o’clock in the afternoon.

prep ahead

Got a few more minutes to spare? Set aside just a little time, buy some good-quality containers, and you’ll have all the quick, healthy lunchtime options you could possibly want. For more nutritious lunch ideas, check out our website.

Article courtesy of Sanitarium Health Food Company. Visit sanitarium.com.au and subscribe to Wholicious Living for more great health and nutrition info each month.

Health Matters: Quick and Easy Lunch Ideas

by Sanitarium Health Food Company
  
From the January 2022 Signs