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7 portable meals to spice up your lunchtime routine

Clare Lanaux

For most of us, lunchtime consists of eating out of tupperware in front of a computer screen or unsuccessfully searching for healthy restaurant meals that won’t break our calorie or monetary budget. Finding a healthy, affordable, and appetizing lunch during the work week can seem like trying to track down a unicorn. But we’re about to help you make a lunchtime change. Below, we’ve listed our favorite lunch recipes that can all be prepped ahead, will remain fresh in the fridge, and are truly delicious. Bon appetit!

Chopped Kale Salad with Edamame, Carrot, and Avocado via Cookie + Kate
vegan, gluten-free
This Asian dish was inspired by P.F. Chang’s summer seasonal ingredients. Using superfood kale as a base, this salad is loaded with good-for-you veggies including carrots, bell peppers, snap peas, and avocado. Vegan and gluten-free, this colorful recipe is a great dish for those with dietary restrictions.

Homemade Chicken and Vegetable Pot Noodle via Kitchen Sanctuary
gluten-free
This inventive recipe puts a healthy spin on classic dorm food, instant noodles. Rice noodles, veggies, and a homemade flavor paste are all prepped ahead of time and can be kept in the fridge until ready to eat. Once you’re ready, pour boiling water over the entire mixture and voila! You’ve got yourself a delicious dish.

DIY Chipotle Burrito Bowl via What’s Gaby Cooking
gluten-free optional
Who doesn’t love Chipotle? There’s nothing quite as good as fresh Mexican, but as anyone who pays attention to the news knows, Chipotle’s tasty burritos and bowls can come with a hefty calorie price. Fortunately, you can easily create your own burrito bowl allowing you to choose ingredients and portion sizes. Gaby, from What’s Gaby Cooking, uses white basmati rice but feel free to substitute brown rice, quinoa (great for gluten-intolerances), or no rice at all. Get creative — this is all about you!

Roasted Red Pepper, Hummus, Avocado, & Feta Sandwich via Two Peas and their Pod
vegetarian
This sandwich is perfect if you’re a vegetarian or simply trying out a meatless Monday. Hummus is spread thickly between slices of whole wheat pita which are then stuffed with roasted red peppers, avocado, feta, and seasonings. Eat the sandwich cold or pop in a toaster oven to really bring out the flavors.

Greek Yogurt Chicken Salad Sandwich via Damn Delicious
gluten-free optional
This healthy version of the lunchtime classic uses greek yogurt instead of mayonnaise to cut down on unhealthy fats while boosting protein. Serve in lettuce wraps or as a salad to keep this meal gluten-free. If gluten isn’t an issue, feel free to serve it up in a wrap, or on whole grain bread.

Whole Grilled Salmon with Avocado Salsa via The Cookie Rookie
gluten-free
This tasty recipe is meant to be served as dinner but is a great example of how to use leftovers to your advantage. Bring salmon, avocado salsa, and your favorite lettuce leaf (we enjoy baby spinach) to work and refrigerate. When you’re ready, mix the three together for a heart-healthy, nutrient-packed salad.

Skinny Pizza Wrap via Skinny Mom
This tasty wrap is the perfect way to get your pizza fix without any of the guilt. Low-fat mozzarella, turkey pepperoni slices, and light pizza sauce are combined in a whole-wheat wrap for a healthy pizza treat. Eat cold or pop in the microwave to melt the cheese. (Gluten-free wraps can be used for those with a gluten intolerance.)

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