January is a time when many of us are watching what we eat, exercising muscles we’ve not used for months, and getting our five a day for the first time since last January.

But if you’re busy working, juggling home, job and family, it’s often tempting to just grab a cheese toastie or a pre-packed calorie-laden salad on the run rather than sticking to the healthy eating plan that you took two days to prepare.

So here are some healthy, speedy and filling lunches to keep the munchies at bay until tea time.

1.  Store cupboard pasta salad

healthy lunches, pasta salad recipes, healthy meal ideas

This pasta salad is low in fat, high in taste and can be prepared in advance

Ingredients (serves 2)

  • 2 tsp finely chopped red onion
  • 1 tsp capers
  • 1 tbsp pesto
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 185g can of tuna in spring water, drained
  • 100g leftover pasta shapes
  • 3 sundried tomatoes, chopped

To prepare, simply add the ingredients to a bowl and mix.

You can prepare this lunch the night before then just grab it as you head out the door.  At just 189 calories per portion it’s a great healthy choice that will keep you full til dinner.

2.  Roast vegetable wrap

healthy lunches, low fat lunches, daisy hill

Tasty and filling, this simple tortilla recipe can be adapted to suit your individual likes - add chicken or tuna for extra flavour

Ingredients (serves 2)

  • 2 small courgettes, chopped
  • 2 red peppers, chopped
  • 2 yellow peppers, chopped
  • 5 mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 small onions, cut into quarters
  • olive oil
  • paprika & ground chilli

The night before, place the prepared vegetables into a roasting tin, brush with the olive oil and sprinkle with the spices.  Bake for 20 minutes at 180 degrees or until the veg are soft.  Cool and refrigerate until morning.

Pop into a lunch box and take a tortilla wrap and some fresh salad leaves with you; when lunchtime comes, simply roll the roasted vegetables and salad leaves up in the wrap and tuck in.

3.  Hearty homemade soup

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This delicious soup, made with slow-energy-release lentils, will keep you full for longer

Ingredients (serves 2)

  • 300g (10oz) carrots, scrubbed and chopped
  • 60g (2oz) red split lentils
  • 750ml (1¼ pint) hot vegetable stock
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons soured cream (optional)

Put all the ingredients (apart from the soured cream) in a pan, bring to the boil and simmer for 25 minutes, or until the carrots are tender.  Serve with a tablespoon of soured cream for extra richness.

This low calorie soup (179 calories per serving) is a must for any January menu and easily provides enough for two week day lunches.

But be warned, it’s so scrummy, you may have to hide the other half from your other half….

What other healthy meals keep you going this month?  Share in the comments below – at Daisy Hill we’re always looking for new recipes to try out on each other so any suggestions welcome (provided they’re suitable for vegetarians, and people who like chocolate).

1 Source: BBC Good Food | 2 Source: Net Doctor | 3 Source: Good to know

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