Millions of Americans purchase lunch from a vendor or restaurant during the work week, giving themselves big guts and smallish wallets. Making lunch at home puts you in control of exactly what you are eating and is easier than ordering the usual without the fattening ingredients.
Soup- Soup is one of the easiest lunches to make. Grab a big pot and add broth or water and vegetables. Meat, beans, and grains are optional and the sky is the limit to what you can create. Make a whole lot of it and eat it for lunch for the whole week, or freeze some of it for later. When you are ready to have the soup, take it out of the freezer and put it into the refrigerator the night before. Combine vegetable broth, squash, canned tomatoes, sweet potatoes, onion, and garbanzo beans for a Mediterranean inspired vegan stew.
Natural peanut butter comes with no partially hydrogenated oils and the sweetness of the honey imitates the added sugars of jam. Whole grain bread finishes the perfect trio for an adult lunch which brings out the kid in everybody. High stress days don’t match up to this indulgence of protein, fiber, and healthful fats. Add a banana, cocoa powder, or cinnamon for additional flavor and benefits. Bananas are full of potassium, cocoa powder has antioxidants, and cinnamon is a calcium goldmine. We won’t tell mom you put chocolate on your sandwich!
Crackers, Hummus, and Vegetables- If you have a food processor, it is not hard to create your own hummus. Place garbanzo beans, olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, and the discretionary tahini from the food processor and blend to a thin paste. Fresh hummus can’t be beat by store purchased in flavor nor cost. Eat it with whole grain crackers or pita bread and vegetables like celery, carrots, green pepper, or cucumber. Hummus supplies healthy fat, fiber, protein, and a hint of vitamin C in the lemon juice. Do not go easy on the garlic; it is great for your heart.
Gorgonzola and Pear Flatbread- Pizza doesn’t always have to be bad for you. It all depends upon how you make it and what you put on it. Spread olive oil on a piece of flatbread and cover it with a thin layer of mozzarella cheese. Add grape tomato and pear slices and gorgonzola cheese. Wrap it in plastic wrap and then microwave it at lunchtime to melt the cheese. The sweet and salty flavors make this pizza taste like food from a costly spa. Ham and pineapple is a great variation of this recipe, so you’re never stuck with the very same ingredients.