8 Healthy Lunch Ideas on a Budget

Ok, it’s the New Year, resolutions are in place and we’re ready to start 2011 right. But how do we keep that commitment to weight loss when we have to go to work, and fast food restaurants are so handy, quick and inexpensive?

Here are eight ideas for quick, healthy lunches that won’t blow your budget.

  1. Pastas are easy – Our Baby Clam Marinara is a healthy meal delivered to your door.  Just 18% fat, but it’s a hearty 10-oz serving of tasty pasta. I’m adding a second pasta to this first recommendation. Our Portabella/Shiitake Mushroom Ravioli is also a low-fat meal at 26% fat. These are both tasty pastas that will keep you going all afternoon. Or bring your own!

    Portabella Shiitake Ravioli
    Portabella Shiitake Ravioli
  2. Leftovers are great! – Make last night’s healthy dinner a little bigger, and bring leftovers for lunch. For instance, I like to roast a whole chicken with garlic, herbs and  potatoes, carrots, and any other root vegetables in season. Pop a serving  into one container and reheat in a microwave.
  3. Salad Additions – I love grilling chicken breasts and then slicing leftovers to throw into a salad for the next day. Chop your favorite veggies, then bag the chicken slices, some diced low fat cheese and bring along a bottle of no-fat ranch dressing.
  4. Cook Big! – Over the weekend, cook up a big pot of stew or soup, and freeze it in individual portions for the week. Do two the first weekend so you can swap them out over the week. Then you’ll have extras and will always have a selection.
  5. Baked Potato – Here’s a versatile and satisfying lunch. Bake a potato in the microwave, and bring in some lowfat toppings. Good choices are steamed broccoli, a small portion of low-or-non fat sour cream, salsa, low fat cottage cheese,  low fat flavored cream cheese (how about a smoked-salmon flavored one?) and lowfat cheddar.
  6. Go Gourmet! – If you don’t need to lose weight, but want to eat gourmet frozen meals, you could try our One Serving Meals Bundle #1 or One Serving Meals Bundle #2.  The main courses are individually packaged but sold in pairs, so you can eat one of the pair and leave the other in the freezer. We also have single-serving side dishes to go along with the mains. Desserts optional!
  7. Pita Pocket – Stuff half a pita pocket with anything good– beans, lettuce, cabbage, radishes celery, cucumber, chicken, avocado, coleslaw, chopped nuts, feta.
  8. Lettuce Wraps – Bring in anything that you would normally have in a sandwich- tuna or egg salad, lunch meats, leftover chicken, curried food, sliced bratwurst. Wrap it in some nice fresh lettuce leaves with your favorite condiment.

There you go, eat healthy!

Melody, MagicKitchen.com blogger