Healthy lunch salads do not have to boring and bland. In fact, more flavorful foods are better for you!
For all of these recipes, I'm showing how you can prep some items ahead of time. Then each day, you can make your own salad. I make my lunches in this way for two reasons: it cuts down on prep time and the salad is still as fresh as possible (no sogginess).
Stop making chicken breast, broccoli and rice for lunch and start trying out some of these recipes...
If you are in need of a better container set, I linked the one that I use at the bottom of this post. I like the one that I have because it is 100% spill proof.
1. Power Greek Salad
This is one of my go to lunches because I can make a LOT of it on Sunday and portion out a serving each day for lunch. I will make a big batch and let the salad sit in the fridge until I put some in tupperware each day. Packed with different veggies and lots of protein, this salad will actually fill you up.
1 package grape tomatoes
1 english cucumber
1 orange bell pepper
1/4 red onion
1 small package spinach
1 cup kalamata olives
1 can chickpeas
1 package italian chicken sausage
4 oz goat cheese
3 cups cooked quinoa
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
salt and pepper
In a very large mixing bowl, put the package of spinach down. Then cut the grape tomatoes in half, cut the cucumber into bite size pieces, dice the red onion, chop the bell pepper and roughly chop the kalamata olives. Put all these ingredients in the bowl. Drain the can of chickpeas and also include in the bowl.
Prepare the quinoa to package directions and let cool. Once it is cool, also place this into the bowl.
Chop the sausage into bite size pieces and saute in a pan. Once browned, remove and let cool. Once this is cool, it will also go into the bowl.
After all the ingredients have been combined, crumble the goat cheese into the bowl as well.
Finally, pour the olive oil and red wine vinegar over top. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Give the bowl a big and gentle stir. I usually spend about two minutes mixing these ingredients.
When packing your lunch, simply scoop out 1/5 of the bowl into a tupperware and you are out!
2. Coconut Lime Rice Salad with Smoked Salmon
This is one of the most refreshing salads that I've ever made. The flavors are bright, sweet and a little salty, thanks to the salmon! And the cashews add the perfect crunch. I'll cut up all these ingredients and keep them separated in my fridge. When it's time to put together lunch, I'll put all these ingredients into one to-go container.
3 cups cooked jasmine rice
1/2 can coconut milk
1/4 cup olive oil
Sea salt to taste
1 medium mango
1 medium red bell pepper
1 English cucumber
1 jalapeño chile pepper
1.5 cups chopped raw unsalted cashews (toasted, if desired)
8 oz package smoked salmon
Dressing: Combine coconut milk, juice from limes, olive oil and sea salt into a container. Mix together and pour over salad each day after you have prepped your to go container.
Prep: Cut mangoes, bell pepper and cucumber into 2" strips. Dice jalapeno pepper. Put all of these ingredients into a container to store in the fridge. Prepare rice to package directions. Allow to cool then store in fridge.
Day of container prep: Put down a 1/2 cup of rice. Then include 1/5 of the veggie and mango mix. Include 1/2 cup of diced avocado and 1/3 cup of cashews. Top with 1/5 of the smoked salmon. Pour over 1/5 of the coconut milk dressing. And you are out the door!
3. Grapefruit, Avocado & Chicken Salad
Skinnytaste.com helped inspire this salad for me. I love to take a salad that is rich in flavor and add more protein and fat so that is more satiating. If the grapefruit is too tart for your taste buds, switch it out for another citrus! I think a blood orange would go beautifully on the salad.
1 big package baby spinach
3 ruby red grapefruits
2 haas avocados, diced
3 cup cooked quinoa (1 cup dry)
1 pound bone in chicken thighs
1.5 cups chopped pecans
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup champagne vinegar
1 chopped shallots
salt and pepper to taste
grapefruit juice from 9 reserved slices of grapefruit
Roast the chicken thighs. Once cooled, separate the meat from the bone and dice into bite size pieces. Put into a storage container and place in the fridge. Click here for more info on how to roast chicken thighs.
Peel the grapefruit. Then you will separate the grapefruit into individual pieces. Put into a container and store in the fridge. Reserve 9 slices for the dressing. Click here for more info on how to segment a grapefruit.
Prepare quinoa to package directions. Allow to cool, then store in fridge.
Prepare the dressing by combining the olive oil, champagne vinegar, shallots, juice from reserved grapefruit slices, salt and pepper into a storage container. Mix together and place in the fridge.
Day of salad prep: Put 1/5 of baby spinach into to go container. Include diced avocado and 1/5 of the grapefruit segments, diced chicken thighs and quinoa. Place 1/4 cup of chopped pecans on top. Pour 1/5 of the dressing over top. And you are ready for the day!
I hope that you are inspired by one of these salads and will try one next week! Please share this with anyone looking for a healthier lunch!
Thank you for reading!