7 Healthy Lunch Ideas To Make Your Week Tasty

Eating well and preparing heathy lunches for the working week can often be a bit of a pain, especially when all we seem to be doing is frantically dashing from one point to the next.

Between commuting, school runs, gym work-outs, working, and everything else in between, it’s hard to find time to plan ahead when it comes to creating healthy lunch ideas for the week ahead.

But believe us when we say that making a healthy packed lunch, or creating a light midday meal full of nutrients (instead of reaching for that pre-packed sandwich) will make you feel much better about your day. And those small achievements are a delicious way to begin a busy afternoon right?

We’ve taken advice from the likes of blogger Rosie Saunt (aka Gluten-Free Rosie) and inspiration from pop-up eateries such as MAIORA and found 7 of the best healthy lunch ideas for you to try, whether you are eating at work or at home. Go on, you might just surprise yourself….

1. Crispy Kale and Coconut Soup

Crispy Kale and Coconut Soup Made ahead of time, this soup is perfect for a winter lunch

Preparation Time: 5 minutes

Cooking Time: 20 minutes

Serves: 4-6


Ingredients

250ml Alpro Coconut Cuisine

1 onion (finely diced)

1 celery stick (finely chopped)

1 garlic clove (crushed)

150g red lentils

120g kale

2 tbsp olive oil

280g sweet potato (peeled and roughly chopped)

1 tbsp tomato puree

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp curry powder

1 litre of hot chicken or vegetable stock

Salt and pepper (to taste)


Method

Add the olive oil to a large saucepan, heat and gently sweat the onion, garlic and celery until soft before adding the cumin, coriander and curry powder and cook for about 1-2 minutes.

Stir in the tomato puree, lentils and chopped sweet potato and pour over the hot stock.

Simmer over a medium heat for around 20 minutes or until the sweet potatoes and lentils are cooked.

Add in the Alpro Coconut Cuisineand kale (keeping 20g to garnish) and cook for a further 2 minutes before blitzing until smooth using a stick blender or liquidiser.

In the saucepan heat the remaining olive oil until hot, throw in the kale with a pinch of salt and fry until crispy.

Ladle the soup into bowls, top with the crispy fried kale and season to taste.

 

2. Maiora’s Bun Nem Nuong – Grilled Honey Pork Rice Vermicelli Salad

2. Maiora's Bun Nem Nuong – Grilled Honey Pork Rice Vermicelli Salad Don’t be put off by the amount of ingredients. This super salad is bursting with texture and flavour. Instagram: @maiora.london


Preparation Time: 30 minutes


Cooking Time: 10 minutes


Serves 2-4


Ingredients

Nem Nuong

2 lbs. ground pork (you may mix ground turkey or chicken to reduce fat)

3 head of garlic peeled and minced

1/4 cup sugar

4 tbs of honey

1/2 tbs salt

1/2 tbs pepper

Noodle salad

1 (14 oz) bag of vermicelli noodles (serves about 4)

Grilled nem nuong (above)

A half handful of sliced mint and coriander

Pickled carrots and daikon

Fried Shallots (optional)

Roasted Peanuts

Fish sauce vinaigrette

Pickled Carrots and Daikon

3 medium sized carrots

1 medium daikon

1/2 cup of water

1/2 cup of distilled vinegar

2 tbs of sugar

1 tbs of salt

Fish Sauce Vinaigrette

¼ cup fresh lime juice

2 tablespoons water

1 tablespoon fish sauce

1 tablespoon sugar

1 small red chili (medium spicy) cut into thin slices (rings)

2 cloves of garlic minced


Method

Peel and mince garlic and combine , garlic, salt, pepper and sugar in mixing bowl and mix well. Allow meat to chill for about 30 min to 1 hr or longer. Use damp hands to roll the pork mixture into patties for easy handling and less mess. Grill for about 20 minutes each side.

Add the shredded carrots and daikon and vinegar together in pickling container with just enough vinegar to submerge the vegetables. Season vinegar with 2:1 ration of sugar to salt so there is a balance of tart, sweet, and salty. We use a large plastic covered container. If you’re only doing a small batch, a glass jar will do.  Pickle for at least 1 hr before use. Keeps in the fridge for months.

Place vermicelli in boiling water for about 6-8min. Noodles are ready when they are slightly firm to taste but break easily with chewing. Drain and flush with cold water to stop cooking process. Combine in bowl with nem nuong, lots fresh herbs, pickled carrots and daikon, fried shallots, crushed roasted peanuts and dress with fish sauce vinaigrette.

The fish sauce vinaigrette and pickled veggies keep for weeks in the fridge so you can make batches of them so that this weekly healthy salad option can be made even easier.


SEE: 7 Healthy Breakfast Ideas To Try This Weekend

3. Gluten Free Rosie’s Healthy Homemade Noodle Pots

Healthy homemade noodle pots Rosie Saunt’s blog is FULL of gluten-free recipes Instagram: @glutenfreerosie


Ingredients

Flavour Paste

2 tsp gluten-free miso paste

1 tsp minced ginger

1 tsp minced garlic

Rest of the Pot

50g leftover shredded, cooked chicken

40g frozen peas

1 nest of brown rice vermicelli noodles (about 50g)

Garnish

1/2 spring onion, finely sliced

1/2 red chilli finely sliced

1/4 fresh lime

1 food bag or some cling film


Method

Mix all the ingredients for your flavour paste, and spoon into the bottom of your heatproof mason jar/pot. 

Next layer up your jar with the frozen peas, chicken and noodles. Tuck the garnish wrapped in a food bag into the small space at the top of the jar.

When ready to eat, remove the garnish bag and pour over some freshly boiled water to near the top.

Close the lid to seal and steam your noodles for about 2 minutes – stir well- and seal for another minute.

Add a dash of soy sauce.

Eat! (chopsticks optional) 🙂

 

 

4. Red Cabbage Rice Salad with Comté-crumbed Hazelnuts (designed by chef Tess Ward)

Red Cabbage Rice Salad with Comté-crumbed Hazelnuts  This rice salad will keep well up to 48 hours in the fridge

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking Time: 20 minutes

Serves: 8


Ingredients

400g/ 1 cup brown rice

1 small red cabbage, shaved in wafer thin slices

1 apple, peeled and thinly shaved

15g fresh parsley leaves, roughly chopped

100g golden sultanas
 
Comté-crumbed Hazelnuts:

175g hazelnuts

1 1/2 tablespoons maple syrup

1 tsp of ground cumin

1 tsp smoked paprika

100g Comté cheese, grated

A couple of pinches of sea salt
 
Dressing

8 tbs extra virgin olive oil

4 tbs apple cider vinegar

2 tsp maple syrup

2 clove garlic, grated

2 tsp Dijon mustard

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp smoked paprika

Salt and pepper


Method

Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees/ Gas mark 4

Wash the rice in a sieve, under the cold tap, until water runs clear. Place the rice into a saucepan and cover with cold water by an inch. Place the rice pan over the stove, on a medium heat. Bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to its lowest and place the lid on the pan. Cook for 20-25 minutes or until the rice is tender and the water evaporated. Once cooked set aside to cool slightly.

Bash the hazelnuts in pestle and mortar until they reach a rustic chunky shards. You will have a nice mix of larger and smaller pieces. Add the hazelnuts to a bowl with the remaining Comté-crumb ingredients and mix well. Pour the hazelnut mixture on a baking tray and place in the oven to toast and go golden for 10 minutes. Once cooked set aside, to cool, for 10 minutes.

Shave the cabbage and apple finely using a peeler, or mandoline. Add both to a large bowl with the cooked rice, parsley and sultanas. Whisk together the dressing and mix through the salad. Taste and season accordingly. You may want to add more salt, or a dash more cider vinegar.

Stir through 3/4 the Comté-crumbed hazelnuts.

Finally finish with the remaining hazelnuts and a few parsley leaves.

 

5. Butternut Squash and Sweetcorn Quinoa Salad


Butternut Squash and Sweetcorn Quinoa Salad

Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Cooking Time: 35 minutes

Serves: 4


Ingredients

2 fresh corn cobs

600g butternut squash, peeled and deseeded

2 tbsp olive oil

175g quinoa

400ml vegetable stock

zest and juice 1 lemon

salt and freshly ground black pepper

4 spring onions

3 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

100g pomegranate seeds


Method

Cut the butternut squash into 2cm chunks and place in a roasting tin, add 1 tbsp olive oil, salt and pepper and toss to mix. Pop under a hot grill and cook for 15-20 mins, turning occasionally until the squash is tender and lightly charred.

Pull back the green leaves and ‘silks’ to reveal the corn, twist the leaves and pull to remove. Now hold the cob vertically on a board and run a sharp knife down the corn cob the kernels will fall off. Turn the corn and repeat until the corn cob is bare. Repeat with the other cob.

Place the quinoa in a sieve and rinse it under cold water. Place in a medium pan with the hot stock, bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 10 mins. Stir in the corn kernels and cook for a further 8 mins. Drain the quinoa in a fine-meshed sieve, then put it back in the pan, Leave it off the heat, covered for 10 mins.

Place the butternut squash in a large bowl with the remaining oil, lemon zest and juice, onions, parsley and pomegranate. When ready add the quinoa and corn and season to taste. Serve warm or cold.

 

6. Turkey Crunchbox

Turkey Crunchbox This little pot looks as cute as it is practical

Preparation Time: 5 minutes

Cooking Time: 0 minutes

Serves: 2


Ingredients

100g (2 packs) Roast Turkey Breast Chunks

1 baby gem lettuce

2 spring onions, cut into 1 inch lengths

1/4 sliced, de-seeded Cucumber – cut into lengths

1/2 green pepper, cut into wedges

2 diced Tomatoes, or 8 Cherry Tomatoes

1 small Carrot, grated

2 tbsp Mayonnaise

2tbsp French Dressing

2 tbsp sweetcorn

1 stick celery, chopped

1 small apple, diced


Method

Wash the salad ingredients well in cold water, and pat dry.

Mix the apple, celery, sweetcorn, grated carrot and mayonnaise well, and fold in the French dressing to make a crunchy dressing.

Divide the lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes, spring onions and green pepper between two pots.

Scatter half a pack of Roast Turkey Breast Chunks over each salad pot.

Spoon the crunchy dressing over each salad.

Cover tightly and refrigerate until lunchtime!

 

7. Nama’s White Pasta with Marinated Mushroom and Kale

Nama's White Pasta with Marinated Mushrooms and Kale Nama is London’s first artisanal raw food restaurant. This recipe is truly yummy!


Ingredients

‘Pasta’

1 medium courgette (per serving)

Cheese Sauce

1 cup cashews, soaked for 4 hours and rinsed

2 tbsp nutritional yeast

1 lemon, just the juice

1/2 tsp Himalayan salt

pinch of black pepper

Marinated Mushrooms

1 Portobello mushroom

1 tsp aceto balsamico

1 tbsp olive oil

1/4 tsp garlic powder

pinch of Himalayan salt

Marinated Kale

1 handful of kale per serving

1 tbsp cold pressed olive oil

1 tbsp lemon juice

1/4 tsp garlic powder

Pinch of Himalayan salt


Method

Spiralise, mandolin, shred or use a potato peeler to make courgette ‘pasta’ spirals or tagliatelle style noodles.

In a blender, place the cashews, nutritional yeast, salt & lemon juice and blend adding enough water to make a creamy sauce adding water as necessary to achieve the desired consistency.

Cut the Portobello mushroom into small cubes, massage with the marinade made with the rest of the ingredients for 1 hour or until soften. If you have a dehydrator, you can dehydrate for a bit to soften faster.

Shred the kale in small pieces, mix the rest of the ingredients in a separate container and massage them into the kale to soften.

To serve, mix the courgette with some of the cheese sauce, add the marinated mushrooms and place on a plate surrounded by the marinated kale topping up with some extra cream sauce. You can also add sundried tomatoes chopped in small pieces and other veggies marinated like the kale for some crunch.