Following on from my 5 easy nutritious breakfast ideas, here are my 5 easy and nutritious lunch ideas. Most of these are very simple and flexible, and they just use a combination of the main food groups. I have provided a big list of ideas from which you can choose. If you don’t like any of the ingredients, you can chop and change with things that you do like. Remember eating for pleasure is key!
1). Be You Be Free Salad
I love a good salad, and I’m not just talking about lettuce leaves! My salads are epic and yum (I promise!). Using the list provided below, choose one from each column to create your own salad.
Choose your veggies and greens. I love spinach, mushrooms, broccoli, rocket, cucumber, beetroot, tomato and carrot. I pre-prepare a big batch of roasted seasonal vegetables to have on hand during the week.
Choose your carbohydrate. I love brown rice, quinoa, sweet potato, rice noodles, cous cous and pumpkin. I pre-cook and roast these, so they are ready to grab and go.
Choose your protein. I love salmon, legumes, eggs and chicken.
Choose your fat. My favourites are avocado, tahini, nut butter, hummus, raw nuts and cheese.
If you want it sweet, add some fruit. Some great fruits in a salad are mango, blueberries, strawberries, pear, grape and fig.
Choose your dressing. Choose a dressing of your choice. I like olive oil, apple cider vinegar and coconut aminos. I also add a squeeze of lemon and lime for extra flavour.
Sprinkle some herbs and spices. This really makes a salad! I love turmeric, cumin, paprika, mixed herbs, mint, sumac and chilli flakes.
Sprinkle some crunch. I love pepita seeds and pine nuts.
Finish with a sprinkle of salt and pepper.
Choose the ones that you enjoy the most and that make you feel good!
2). Wraps and sandwiches. Choose your bread and/or wrap of your choice. The most nutrient dense options include Ezekiel, rye, whole wheat, sourdough and multigrain. Fill it with your choice of protein, fat and vegetables. You can the use the list again for inspiration. My favourite combinations are cannellini beans with hummus, smoked salmon and feta, eggs and avocado and chicken and mango. Delicious!
3). Brown rice cakes. This is a really easy and quick lunch option. Top your brown rice cakes with your choice of fat, protein and veggies. Drizzle with dressing of choice, and sprinkle some herbs on top for extra flavour. I love avocado, hummus, feta, smoked salmon, tuna, chicken and peanut butter and banana on mine.
4). Invest in a slow cooker. You can make lots of easy and nutritious lunches in a slow cooker. Go online for recipes and inspiration. I love making soups, curries and stews in mine. They are great options for dinners too, and you can make a big batch and freeze for the following week.
Slow cooker top tips.
Fill the slow cooker halfway or max two thirds.
Normally there are just two cooking settings, high or low. Choose depending on how long you want to cook it for. I like to cook mine over a longer time period on low but if you need it cooked quicker then cook it on the high setting.
Vegetables like potatoes and carrots need to be cooked longer than meat. Cut them up and put them in first, and then layer the meat on top. Add in your other veggies, canned legumes, fish, milk, dairy and cheese products in the the last hour of cooking as they don’t need as long.
5). Roasted veggies with protein/ fat of choice. Roast a big batch of mixed seasonal vegetables in the week, and then serve with your choice of protein and fat. I love grilled chicken with mango, roasted pumpkin and feta.
If you would like more support with eating, you download week 1 for free of my Nourish Me Intuitive eating and Wellbeing program here