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Quick Lunch Ideas

Do you eat out or bring your lunch? 

Eating out can lead to the following:

  • big expense in dollars

  • big expense in calories

  • ingredients you may not want big expense of time (running to a restaurant and then inhaling your food before your break ends)

Why not do a little food prep and have a great lunch every day?  It's easy to do so there is really no excuse. Your quickest lunch is leftover dinner.  You've already done the work, but if you are not a fan of leftovers or just want to try something new, check out the recipes of the day.

CUCUMBER BLACK BEAN SALAD The salad not only looks great, but it tastes great too!  You don't always need lettuce to have a salad.

1 English cucumber, diced 1 can black beans, rinsed 1 1/4 cups corn 1 red pepper, diced 1 cup cherry tomatoes (I used half red, half yellow) 1/2 cup packed fresh cilantro, chopped 1 lime 1 avocado, diced Salt and pepper to taste 

Place the cucumber, black beans, corn, red pepper, cherry tomatoes, and chopped cilantro in a bowl. Squeeze the fresh juice from the lime onto the salad, and stir well. Mix in the avocado, season with salt and pepper, and enjoy.

SWEET POTATO CRUST PIZZA You'll make your coworkers jealous with this tasty pizza.  Add some mushrooms for extra protein.

2-3 medium sweet potatoes (enough to yield 1 cup of mashed sweet potatoes) 1 cup almond flour 1 teaspoon baking soda 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning 1 teaspoon salt 1/2 cup pizza sauce 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese Toppings of your choice

Preheat your oven to 400ºF degrees, and set a large pot of water to boil. Peel and cut your sweet potatoes into quarters. Add potatoes to boiling water, turn down to simmer, and boil them for about 20 minutes or until a knife easily pierces the flesh. Drain potatoes from the water, and mash well in a large bowl. Add one cup of your sweet potato mash, almond flour, baking soda, Italian seasoning, and salt to a large bowl. Knead well together with your hands until the mixture resembles a ball of orange pizza dough. Line a baking sheet or pizza pan with parchment paper, and press out the dough to a large circle. The dough should be about a 1/2 inch thick. Bake in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until the edges of the dough are slightly browned. Remove your pizza from the oven, add the sauce, cheese, and preferred toppings, and broil for three to five minutes until cheese is melted. Slice up, and enjoy immediately! EGGLESS CAESER SALAD Since Romaine lettuce has been an issue lately, try this kale version.

2 tablespoons lemon juice 1 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard 4 anchovies, finely chopped 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper 2 tablespoons grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus more for garnish (about 1 ounce total) 1 (3-pound) bunch dino kale, stems and tough ribs removed, leaves thinly sliced

In a large bowl, whisk together lemon juice, mustard, anchovies, and garlic. Slowly whisk in oil until combined and thickened. Whisk in salt, pepper, and grated cheese. Add kale, and toss for a few minutes to coat all leaves well. Use a vegetable peeler to make ribbons of Parmigiano-Reggiano for topping the salad. DETOX APPLE CABBAGE SALAD If you like a good crunch, this salad is for you.

1/2 head Savoy cabbage 1/2 head red cabbage 1 Fuji apple 1/4 red onion 1/2 cup walnuts, roughly chopped 1/2 cup golden raisins For the dressing: 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper 1/3 cup nonfat Greek yogurt 2 teaspoons honey 1 teaspoon fennel seeds 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Using a mandoline or sharp knife, thinly slice the cabbage, apple, and red onion to resemble extremely fine confetti; transfer to a large bowl. Add the walnuts and raisins. Toss gently to combine. In a small bowl, whisk together all the ingredients for the dressing. Top the salad with the dressing. Using salad tongs, mix until evenly dressed.

Here is another great zoodle dish.  You'll love this flavor combination using smooth almond butter.  A good brand is Vitacost (found at  It's super smooth.)

4 med zucchini spiralized, salted and allowed to "sweat" for an hour*, then squeezed with paper towel PLUS 1/2 tsp cooking fat to sauté 3 medjool dates pitted and softened if necessary by soaking in very hot water for 5 minutes 3 1/2 Tbsp unsweetened almond butter creamy 3 Tbsp coconut aminos 3 Tbsp pure sesame oil 3/4 tsp fresh grated ginger 1-2 cloves garlic chopped 2 Tbsp raw apple cider vinegar To top the zucchini noodles: 3 scallions light green and white parts, thinly sliced 1/4 cup chopped raw almonds toasted in a skillet with 1/2 tsp sesame oil and sea salt to taste

Prepare your zucchini noodles and allow them to "sweat"* while you make the sauce. To make the sauce, add the softened dates to a food processor or high speed blender along with the almond butter and coconut aminos and pure until smooth. Once mostly smooth (you'll see date pieces) add the ginger, garlic, vinegar, sesame oil and garlic and pulse until smooth. To cook the zucchini noodles, make sure they're thoroughly drained of excess water, then lightly sauté for just a minute or two in 1/2 tsp cooking fat until heated and slightly softened. Avoid overcooking or you'll have mushy noodles. For a cold dish, you don't have to cook the zucchini noodles at all Toss the zucchini noodles with the prepared sauce plus the scallions and toasted almonds.  Serve warm, room temperature or even cold. You can add any protein you want for a more complete meal - chicken would be delicious! Serves 4-6. SWEET TREATS FOR AFTER LUNCH If you crave something sweet after you meal try the following:

  • berries

  • cuties (small oranges)

  • grapes

  • coconut chips (make sure to read the labels for a clean version)

  • apple chips (just dried apples)

  • any kind of freeze dried fruit

  • raisins

  • dates

  • dried cranberries (again check labels - no added sugar)

  • dried blueberries (same)

  • herbal teas

Try one of these lunch recipes today.  Have everyone in the lunch room ask "What smells so good?"

Here's to your health!  Happy Cooking!


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