Easy, Healthy Lunch Ideas You Can Make in Minutes

Figuring out a lunch plan during the work week can be a lot more stressful than people realize. If you go out to eat every day, you can end up spending $10 a day, and that's just lunch! It quickly adds up. And let's not forget how unhealthy restaurants meals are. Even if you order a salad, there are usually so many extra ingredients that the fat, sodium, and calorie contents rank way too high for a healthy (or balanced) lifestyle. A study cited in this article even says eating at a restaurant is just as bad as fast food! Bet you didn't expect that salad of yours to be almost equal to a Big Mac, did you? Now you wish you would've swung through the drive-thru.

But don't get discouraged! 

We all have trouble trying to eat well for lunch while satisfying our taste buds. That's why we at the Drift studios have made a sort of menu for ourselves. It takes out the guesswork of having to choose a meal every day, and it also helps with grocery shopping/ meal planning. We are in charge of what we put in our bodies, and that's one of the best benefits of all. There's just something about making your own food that makes you feel a little bit more connected to nature. And your body thanks you for it. 

On the Drift menu, we've got some simple work week lunches that keep us satisfied well until dinnertime. Below, we're sharing our lunch ideas with you so you can dine a la Drift from now on. 

1. Roll-Ups

 Turkey Wraps are prepared on site for students at Nottingham Elementary School in Arlington, VA, on Wednesday, October 12, 2011. Today's menu included roasted chicken, roasted butternut squash with dried cranberries, farm fresh mixed lettuce salad, turkey wraps, pita wedges, hot muffins, carrots, pears and more.  USDA Photo by Lance Cheung.

We LOVE roll-ups. Something about them makes you feel a little bit fancy, but they are oh-so-simple to make. Not to mention how delicious they are! The ingredients are easy: Just grab some turkey or salami, cheddar cheese, a gluten-free tortilla, lettuce, and tomato. Place meat, cheese, and veggies on the tortilla, then just roll it up!

 

2. Chicken Salad

Our next menu item is a healthy alternative to chicken salad sandwiches. We get some good chicken salad (you can either make it or buy it at a local deli) and put it on a bed off lettuce. We then add some sweetness to the mix, tossing in strawberries, raspberries (you know how much we like our berries!), and apples. This meal is full of greens and is so fruity and tasty. 

 

3. Gluten-Free Grilled Cheese

Sometimes you just need a little cheese, and on those days, we whip up a yummy, classic grilled cheese. We use gluten-free bread, add a little butter to one side of each slice, then put some cheddar cheese betwixt the two. We throw it in pan on the stove, and that's it! Crunchy and delightful. And for the days we're really feeling adventurous, we add some tomato or avocado to get in those extra nutrients!

 

4. Tortellini

You know how sometimes you just really crave pasta? We found that making tortellini for lunch satisfies that craving but doesn't give you a giant sleeping pill like a heaping plate of spaghetti would. These little pasta dishes are so quick and easy, so they're ideal for those days you really don't have the energy to cook. Though they come in a ton of varieties, our personal faves are cheese and spinach, rosemary tomato with cheese, and good ole' four-cheese. 

 

5. Classic Garden Salad with Chicken

There are some ingredients you always have in the fridge, and those vegetables chilling in the vegetable crisper will always be delicious on a fresh salad. For a very light lunch, sometimes a garden salad is just what we're craving. Take a salad blend or whatever lettuce you have, then some tomato, onion, and any other toppings you have sitting around. Cut up some leftover chicken from the night before, and add a tangy balsamic vinaigrette! It's very quick and tastes like a bistro meal.

 

As for sides, just add some fresh fruit to your plate for a filling accompaniment that doesn't cost you 500 calories. We always have fresh watermelon in the studio, and it's a delicious lifesaver!

What do you usually have for lunch during the work week? Let us know if you give any of these meals a try!

 

XOXO,

The Drift Babes