Eat Better, Even At Work

Healthy and quick lunch you can make under $5

It’s a known fact the brown-bagged lunches are healthier and cheaper than its overpriced fast food alternative. You can make your lunch in any way you want. So why don’t more people bring their lunch to work? The answer is time.

Here is a shortlist of delicious lunches you can make quickly and for much less than that number 2 your order each day. Feel free to mix and match to your delight.

 

Spicy Tuna Guacamole Bowls

For a protein packed, fiber loaded, spicy vegetable bowl for under $2 per serving try this Spicy Tuna Guacamole Bowl. Prep at the beginning of the week and assemble an individual bowl each night.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups cooked brown rice
  • 1 medium cucumber
  • 1 cup frozen shelled edamame
  • 1 medium carrot
  • 2 (5 oz.) cans chunk light tuna in water
  • 8 oz. package guacamole
  • ¼ bunch cilantro
  • 4 Tbsp sriracha

How to make it: Dice the cucumber and shred the carrot (use a large box or cheese grater). Cook the edamame according to the package directions. Drain the tuna and roughly chop the cilantro.

Place ¾ cup of cooked rice in the bottom of a bowl or lunch container. Top with ¼ cup edamame, ½ a can of tuna, ¼ cup guacamole, a handful of diced cucumber, a pinch of shredded carrots, and a few sprigs of fresh cilantro. Drizzle sriracha over top. Serve at room temperature. Repeat as needed for the rest of the bowls.

Per Serving: 363 calories, 25 grams (g) protein, 46 g carbohydrates (7 g fiber), 9 g fat

Makes 4 servings.

Garlicky Bacon & Spinach Grilled Cheese

This garlicky sandwich from Cooking Light combines cheese, bacon and greens for the most satisfying 300 calories you can chomp into.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 4 cups baby spinach leaves
  • 4 cups baby arugula leaves
  • 4 center-cut bacon slices, halved
  • 8 (1-ounce) rustic Italian bread slices
  • 2 ounces part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded (about 1/2 cup)
  • 2 ounces fontina cheese, shredded (about 1/2 cup)

How to make it.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil; swirl to coat. Add garlic to pan; sauté 1 minute. Add spinach and arugula; stir until wilted. Remove spinach mixture from pan. Return pan to medium-high heat. Add bacon; cook until crisp. Remove bacon.

Top 4 bread slices evenly with cheeses, bacon pieces, spinach mixture, and the remaining 4 bread slices.

Heat pan over medium heat. Add sandwiches to drippings in pan; weigh down with a plate. Cook 2 minutes on each side.

Nutrition Information

Serves: 4 |  Serving Size: 1 sandwich

Per serving: Calories: 293; Total Fat: 11g; Saturated Fat: 5g; Monounsaturated Fat: 4g; Cholesterol: 33mg; Sodium: 666mg; Carbohydrate: 30g; Dietary Fiber: 1g; Sugar: 1g; Protein: 16g

Nutrition Bonus: Potassium: 237mg; Iron: 16%; Vitamin A: 68%; Vitamin C: 15%; Calcium: 24%

This garlicky sandwich from Cooking Light combines cheese, bacon and greens for the most satisfying 300 calories you can chomp into.

 

Chicken Salad Wraps with Apples, Almonds, and Grapes

Try this chicken salad wrap that will remind you of the one you get at the deli, but cheaper. Try it as a lettuce wrap instead of a traditional tortilla wrap and cut out the starchy carbs.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups chicken
  • 1⁄2 cup red grapes, halved
  • 1 cup diced apple
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • 1⁄2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1⁄4 tsp dried thyme
  • 1⁄8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 to 8 large lettuce or napa cabbage leaves
  • 2 Tbsp sliced almonds

How to make it:  Cook the chicken and dice it into cubes. (For even-quicker prep, use pre-cooked chicken from the grocery store.)

In a large bowl, combine the chicken, grapes, apple, and scallions.

In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, vinegar, thyme, and black pepper. Pour the dressing over the chicken mixture and toss to coat. Serve immediately or cover the bowl and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Divide the chicken salad mixture among 4 plastic containers with lids, packing the lettuce or cabbage leaves separately. Top each salad portion with a sprinkling of sliced almonds. Before eating, portion out the salad onto the lettuce leaves and roll up, burrito-style.

Per serving: 362 calories, 23 grams (g) protein, 12 g carbohydrates (2 g fiber), 25 g fat

Makes 4 servings.

(With all the time you saved prepping this lunch, you can definitely squeeze in This Unbelievable 4-Minute Cardio Workout.)

Turkey Taco Lettuce Wraps

Skinnytaste’s recipe for turkey taco lettuce wraps uses this concept plus you’ll get to make the taco filling from scratch using fresh ingredients.

Ingredients

  • 1-1/3 pounds 99% lean ground turkey
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 small onion, minced
  • 2 tablespoons bell pepper, minced
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 4 oz can tomato sauce (certified gluten-free if necessary)
  • 8 large Iceberg lettuce leaves
  • Optional Garnish: Reduced fat cheddar cheese

Directions

Brown turkey in a large skillet breaking it into smaller pieces as it cooks. When no longer pink add dry seasoning and mix well. Add the onion, pepper, water and tomato sauce and cover. Simmer on low for about 20 minutes.

Wash and dry the lettuce. Divide the meat equally between the 8 leaves and place in the center of each leaf and top with your favorite taco fixings!

Nutrition Information

Serves: 4  |  Serving Size: 2 lettuce wraps

Per serving: Calories: 256; Total Fat: 11g; Saturated Fat: 3g; Monounsaturated Fat: 0g; Cholesterol: 113mg; Sodium: 714mg; Carbohydrate: 9g; Dietary Fiber: 3g; Sugar: 4g; Protein: 30g

Nutrition Bonus: Potassium: 305mg; Iron: 15%; Vitamin A: 23%; Vitamin C: 25%; Calcium: 8%

 

Italian Tuna Salad

Here’s a quick and easy lunch. Take a can of protein and omega-3-rich tuna, throw some veggies and bold flavors, and you’ve got a healthy lunch. This spread is light, filling, and loaded with protein, says Gabi Moskowitz, founder of the website Brokeass Gourmet. try it with a handful of whole-grain crackers.

Ingredients

  • 1 5-oz. can albacore tuna packed in oil (do not drain)
  • 1/4 medium red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 Tbsp capers, drained
  • 10 cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 small handful flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

How to make it: Place the tuna and all of its oil in a mixing bowl. Use a fork to gently flake the tuna. Combine tuna with the other ingredients. Serve.

Per serving: 217 calories, 20 grams (g) protein, 5 g carbohydrates (2 g fiber), 13 g fat

Makes 2 servings.