April 03, 2020 at 01:14AM
With less opportunity to grab lunch from your favorite spot, one of three things might be happening. You’re either eating the same lunch every day, forgetting about the meal altogether, or you are (and might we suggest this option) getting creative in the kitchen.
To help you strive for the third option, we rounded up a list of our favorite lunch recipes to help bring excitement to the middle of your day:
1. Peanut Butter & Greens Sandwich
Yep, you read that right. Compared to the classic PB&J, a peanut butter and greens sandwich highlights the savory profile of nut butter. This combo is also the best of both worlds right now. Along with utilizing your shelf-stable peanut butter, you’ll make the most out of fresh produce, which dietitians say we should still be buying.
2. Salmon, Spinach & Butternut Squash Salad
Not only is this salmon, spinach, and roasted squash salad full of flavor, but it also has immune-supporting ingredients. Salmon—which could also be subbed for the canned variety—contains omega-3 fatty acids, which can help support the immune system by reducing inflammation.
Bonus: According to functional medicine physician Raphael Kellman, M.D., the garlic in the dressing is “rich in inulin, a plant fiber that both nourishes the microbiome and helps heal the gut.” And since the gut can affect immunity, lather that salad up.
3. Spring-Inspired Veggie & Grain Bowl
If you’re anything like us, hunkering down at home can often intensify comfort food cravings. But eating whole foods, in spite of those cravings, is important for immune functioning. Thankfully, this vibrant bowl satisfies both needs.
The warm farro and roasted veggies bring an element of coziness, while the greens and herby dressing provide a brightness we could all use right now.
4. Oven-Baked Falafel
Loaded with broccoli, peas, and kale, along with herbs like mint and parsley, these tasty bites have no shortage of greens in them. The recipe makes 16 falafels, so share with your family or store them in an airtight container for tomorrow’s lunch.
Even when eating leftovers, get creative. If you mixed them into a salad one day, enjoy them inside a warm pita with tzatziki the next.
5. Cultured Macro Bowls
The probiotic-rich foods (fermented sauerkraut and Greek yogurt) in this cultured macro bowl support the microbiome by introducing healthy bacteria to the gut.
As mentioned before, “The gut and the immune system are completely intertwined. [As much as] 70% of our immune system is there,” Amy Shah, M.D., told us. Aside from that, these are flavorful, easy to make, and great for meal prepping.
6. Vegan Sweet Potato Soup
Bonus: This creamy vegan sweet potato soup will make enough to freeze for later, saving you from any unwanted trips to the grocery store.
7. Hearty Farro Salad
Don’t get us wrong, snacking on green olives straight from the jar is perfectly acceptable, but if you’re looking for more ways to use them, this hearty farro salad is an option. Calling for one full pound of green olives, this mixture of farro, walnuts (also good for gut health), onions, and herbs has no shortage of brine.
Best of all? This recipe requires only 20 minutes to make, leaving 40 minutes in your lunch break to actually savor the meal.