Light and Healthy Lunches After You’ve Been Sitting All Morning

Light lunches
Photo Credit: Blissful Basil

Updated Aug 11, 2020 @ 4:41 pm

By Tami Weiser

Some days, after a long seemingly endless morning of sitting and working on the computer, I want something light and refreshing for lunch. I want the natural food-based energy boost, the protein boost, the fat boost, the fiber, and some carbs, for sure, all without taking a whole lot of time to make. Mostly, I don’t want to feel compelled to take a nap after lunch, but still have the energy to finish up my day. These recipes nail all of those requirements with great flavors to boot.

Nutty Green Veggie Crunch Salad by Blissful Basil

Edamame may be the protein powerhouse in this salad but it’s the savory crunch of the nuts and the satisfaction of a deeply flavorful dressing made with nut butter, rice vinegar and tamari, which may at first blush seem a little heavy. It isn’t at all. In fact, the dressing gently embraces the copious greens and raises this recipe right into my regular rotation of lunches.

Honey lime quinoa fruit salad
Photo Credit: The Recipe Critic

Honey Lime Quinoa Fruit Salad from The Recipe Critic

This is such an enjoyable and simple recipe. You can use leftover quinoa or pre-cut fruit, but if I’m working from home, I’m happy to get up and l make some fresh quinoa, go back to my desk, and return 20 minutes later, ready to go. Double bonus for me? I enjoy adding the fruit while the quinoa is still warm so the fruit soaks in quickly. This fruity, protein-rich lunch could have felt a little sweet, but the citrus offers a zippy counterpart, making it a great choice.

Greek Yogurt Chicken Salad Sandwich from Damn Delicious

A chicken salad with no mayo? This creamy version uses protein-rich Greek yogurt, which gives the chicken salad to both a bright dimension and still keeps you feeling light.

Tuna melt tartines
Photo Credit: How Sweet Eats

Green Goddess Tuna Melt Tartines from How Sweet Eats

I’m a big fan of open sandwiches, or as the French call them, tartines. This quick and light recipe features a garden’s worth of herbs, avocado and some mayo to make a creamy dressing, that’s all together refreshing. Works equally well with leftover or canned salmon as well.

Green Spinach and Herb Omelettes from Gourmande in the Kitchen

This recipe is an intriguing example of what a little technique can do to improve anyone’s cooking. Here the chef reconceived a thick, creamy, classic French omelette with the thinness, delicate crisp and utility of a crepe. Fast as can be to cook, you can fill these with spinach, as written, or with leftovers. Delicious, healthy, innovative and easy to riff on? I am so on board.

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