In our continuing effort to provide our readers with healthy options, we have loved providing you with recipes for “clean” breakfasts and snacks. Despite our plea to start each day with a good breakfast, we know the reality is that a lot of you skip that all-important meal, whether because of time constraints or, sometimes, just a plain “all I need is coffee and I’m good to go” attitude. But NO ONE can tell us that by the time your morning is over, you aren’t starving and needing lunch!
Don’t forget, that by “clean” we always mean that the recipes use limited processed foods or refined grains, more real, whole foods and that they limit sodium, sugar and calories. But wait, don’t you worry – that doesn’t mean no taste! With that in mind, and with thanks to Eating Well, here are a few “clean” lunch ideas for both the carnivores and herbivores out there:
Orzo Chicken Salad with Avocado-Lime Dressing
This yummy recipe can be made a day ahead of time, so you can get it ready for that busy workday the night before! To make it ahead of time, just prepare the recipe as directed, but refrigerate the salad and the dressing separately and mix them up when you are ready to eat lunch. Be sure to keep them cold (either in the fridge at work or in an insulated bag with ice packs).
- ⅔ cup dried whole wheat or regular orzo pasta
- 1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
- 2 cups shredded or chopped cooked chicken breast
- 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
- ¼ cup snipped fresh cilantro (depending on your taste – you can eliminate)
- ½ cup crumbled reduced-fat feta cheese
- 1 small avocado, seeded, peeled, and cut up
- ⅓ cup water
- ½ teaspoon finely shredded lime peel
- ¼ cup lime juice
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
- ¼ teaspoon salt
To prepare salad: In a medium saucepan, cook orzo according to package directions, adding corn during the last 1 minute of cooking; drain. Rinse with cold water to cool quickly; drain well. In a large bowl, combine orzo mixture, chicken, tomatoes, and cilantro. Sprinkle with cheese. Cover and chill for 2 to 24 hours. Meanwhile, prepare dressing: In a blender or food processor, combine 1 small avocado, seeded, peeled, and cut up; ⅓ cup water; ½ teaspoon finely shredded lime peel; ¼ cup lime juice; 4 cloves garlic, minced; ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper; and ¼ teaspoon salt. Cover and blend or process until smooth. Transfer dressing to a small bowl. Cover and chill for 2 to 24 hours.
Veggie and Hummus Sandwich
Here’s a quick and easy sandwich idea that you can change up with different types and flavors of hummus! You can do all the prep the night before if you like, then make up the sandwich when you are ready the next day.
- 2 slices of whole-grain bread
- 3 tablespoons hummus
- ¼ mashed avocado
- ½ cup mixed salad greens
- ¼ medium red bell pepper, sliced
- ¼ cup sliced cucumber
- ¼ cup shredded carrot
Directions: Spread one slice of bread with the hummus and the other with the avocado. Place the veggies in between, slice in half and enjoy!
It doesn’t get much easier (or more refreshing) than this! Take 1/3 cup of sliced English cucumber, a tablespoon of goat cheese and a slice of whole-grain or sprouted-wheat bread. Smear on the goat cheese, top with cucumber and some freshly ground black pepper and enjoy this open-faced sandwich, perhaps with a nice vegetable soup or a fresh salad.
Remember, start every day with freshly brushed teeth and clean your tongue with your TUNG Brush and Gel – you will find that all of these recipes will taste even better that way! So, happy lunchtime, everyone- and hey, maybe while the weather is still warm, think about taking that lunch outside and take a walk with a friend or co-worker! Your body and your mind will appreciate the break and you will have a more productive afternoon!