Gone are the days when eating healthily meant you’d survive on just salads and a smile, and no-one (not even the healthiest person alive) can live on just celery. Here, we’ve put together some of our favourite healthy lunch ideas to manage your weight, so you can enjoy your meals and feel great too.
What is a healthy, balanced diet?Eating healthily is all about balance. To have a healthy, balanced diet, you should try to incorporate the following into your diet:1
- Have your five a day. That’s at least five portions of fruit and veg every day
- Base your meals around foods high in starch, such as bread, rice, pasta, or potatoes
- Include some dairy or dairy alternatives
- Eat some beans, pulses, fish, eggs, or other sources of protein
- Include some unsaturated oils or spreads (only small amounts though!)
- Don’t forget to drink six to eight glasses of water a day
What about sugary / fatty foods? You can eat naughty foods every now and again (everyone needs a treat!), but try to only have these in small amounts, and less often than other food groups.
Healthy lunch ideas
Chickpea & avocado sandwich2
- 1/3 avocado, mashed
- ½ tbsp lemon juice
- Mashed chickpeas
- 1 thick slice tomato
- ½ red onion, chopped
- 1 slice whole-grain bread
This one’s dead easy. Simply mix the lemon juice and chickpeas with the avocado, before stacking it with the rest of the ingredients onto your bread. The end result? A simple but delicious open sandwich.
Spiced lentil & butternut squash soup3
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 onions, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- ¼ tsp hot chili powder (or more, depending on how spicy you want to go)
- 1 tbsp ras el hanout
- 1 butternut squash, peeled and chopped
- 100g red lentils
- 1L hot veggie stock
- 1 small bunch of coriander, chopped
- Natural yoghurt, to serve
To make this mouth-watering soup, start by heating the oil in a saucepan over a medium-high heat. Fry the onions until they soften, and then add the garlic, chilli powder and ras el hanout. Cook these for a further minute before stirring in the squash and lentils. Pour over the stock and season to taste.
Once the mixture has been brought to the boil, reduce the heat to simmer and cook until the squash is soft (should be about 25 minutes). Then, stick it in the blender and blend it until smooth. Stir in the coriander and top with yoghurt.
Roasted cauli-broc bowl with tahini hummus4
- 400g broccoli and cauliflower florets
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 250g ready-to-eat quinoa
- 2 beetroots, cooked and sliced
- A handful of baby spinach
- 10 walnuts, toasted and chopped
- 2 tbsp tahini
- 3 tbsp hummus
- 1 lemon – ½ juiced, ½ cut into wedges
The night before, heat the cauliflower and broccoli in the oven at 200C/180C fan/gas 6, with the oil and a sprinkle of salt. Roast for 25-30 minutes until brown and cooked, and then leave to cool completely. The next day, put half the quinoa in each bowl.
Lay the beetroot slices on top and then add the spinach, cauliflower, broccoli and walnuts. Mix the tahini, hummus, lemon juice and 1 tbsp water and add to the top of the bowl as a dressing. Serve with the lemon wedges and enjoy!
- ½ lemon, juiced
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- ½ tsp dried oregano
- A pinch of black pepper
- 200g cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 red onion, finely sliced
- ½ cucumber, quartered
- 8 olives, quartered
- 100g reduced-fat feta cheese
Mix the lemon juice, olive oil, oregano, and black pepper together in a bowl, this is your dressing. Put the vegetable and olives into your serving dish, and add the dressing, before crumbling the feta over the top. Voila! A delicious, healthy lunch in less than five minutes.Looking for healthy options? Check out our for some low-fat, high-taste options suitable for people of all diet preferences. Need some more info on healthy eating? Head over to The Health Hub.
Last updated: 6 May 2020