24 Lunch Recipes That Help Promote Healthy Aging
Make one of these nutritious lunch recipes that support healthy aging. As you get older, it’s important to eat plenty of colorful fruits and vegetables like avocados, Brussels sprouts and spinach. It’s also great to include ingredients like whole grains and beans into your diet. Recipes like Spanakopita Grilled Cheese Sandwiches and Lemon-Roasted Vegetable Hummus Bowls are healthy and delicious.
Avocado Ranch Chicken Salad
Avocado makes an exceptionally creamy and healthful dressing for this chicken salad. A bit of ranch dressing with pickled jalapeño adds a tangy spin to the lunchtime classic. Serve it on a slice of whole-wheat toast for an open-face sandwich or in a lettuce cup for a low-carb lunch.
Lemon-Roasted Vegetable Hummus Bowls
Brimming with colorful roasted vegetables, these plant-based meal-prep lunch bowls are high in fiber to keep you full through the afternoon. The easy roasted veggies are based on a popular recipe from our sister magazine (see Associated Recipes). Feel free to use your favorite store-bought hummus to cut down on prep time, or make a batch of your own (see Tip). You can also sub in an 8-ounce microwaveable quinoa pouch to minimize cooking.
Black Bean-Quinoa Buddha Bowl
Treat your Buddha bowl to a vacation south of the border! This black bean and quinoa Buddha bowl has the usual hallmarks of a taco salad, minus the greasy fried bowl. We've loaded it up with pico de gallo, fresh cilantro and avocado plus an easy hummus dressing to drizzle on top.
Salmon-Stuffed Avocados Salmon-Stuffed Avocados
Canned salmon is a valuable pantry staple and a practical way to include heart-healthy omega-3-rich fish in your diet. Here, we combine it with avocados in an easy no-cook meal.
Spanakopita Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
These grilled cheese sandwiches give you all the flavors of the Greek spinach pie, spanakopita, without dealing with fussy layers of phyllo--perfect for an easy weeknight dinner. The creamy flavor-packed filling works well in more than just a sandwich: try it in a calzone or on top of a roasted cauliflower steak too.
Brussels Sprouts Salad with Crunchy Chickpeas
This healthy high-fiber salad comes together in just 10 minutes. Serve it right away or pack it in individual servings for four super-satisfying high-fiber lunches for the week ahead. To cut down on prep time, we're using preshredded Brussels sprouts from the produce department and store-bought roasted chickpeas. Look for roasted chickpea snacks with the healthy snacks or nuts at your grocery store.
Vegetable Weight-Loss Soup
A big bowl of this veggie-packed minestrone will leave you satisfied for hours without consuming a lot of calories--plus it's an easy way to boost your vegetable servings for the day. Top with a dollop of pesto before devouring this delicious skinny vegetable soup.
Mediterranean Tuna-Spinach Salad
This tuna salad recipe gets an upgrade with olives, feta and a tahini dressing. Served over baby spinach, this is the perfect easy and light lunch or dinner salad.
Chickpea & Quinoa Buddha Bowl
It seems Buddha bowls have as many variations as there are stars in the sky, and there is no wrong way to build one! But we prefer to keep things classic and simple with hummus, quinoa, avocado and loads of veggies!
White Bean & Avocado Sandwich
White beans mash seamlessly into a creamy protein-packed spread for a satisfying healthy sandwich that makes for an easy lunch or dinner. Mix it up by trying it with canned chickpeas or black beans. This vegetarian sandwich recipe is also a fiber superstar: avocado, beans, greens and whole-wheat bread team up to give it 15 grams of fiber, more than half of what most women should aim for in a day.
Spicy Slaw Bowls with Shrimp & Edamame
The quick 10-minute Spicy Cabbage Slaw serves as the low-carb base in this veggie-packed lunch recipe. Topped with high-protein edamame and shrimp, this satisfying lunch will help you power through the afternoon.
Chipotle Chicken Quinoa Burrito Bowl
This chipotle-flavored burrito bowl recipe is even better than takeout and just as fast. Loading it with vegetables and using quinoa in place of rice adds nutrition for a healthy dinner.
No-Cook Black Bean Salad
A classic black bean salad is a must for picnics and potlucks. This vegan version gets its creaminess from blended avocado. Any mix of salad greens will work well, but try arugula if you want to give this hearty salad a peppery kick.
Creamy Pesto Chicken Salad with Greens
For a healthy variation on creamy chicken salad, we've replaced half the mayonnaise with basil pesto. Serve over greens or make it into a sandwich for a healthy lunch.
Cheese Quesadillas with Peppers & Onions
These 15-minute quesadillas are a notch above basic with the addition of sautéed peppers and onions. Let the kiddos load them up with the toppings at the table.
Avocado, Tomato & Chicken Sandwich
In this healthy chicken sandwich recipe, the avocado is mashed to create a healthy creamy spread.
Rainbow Buddha Bowl with Cashew Tahini Sauce
This vibrant bowl is packed with nutrients to keep you full for hours. Look for precooked lentils in the refrigerated section of the produce department.
Crispy Chickpea Grain Bowl with Lemon Vinaigrette
Our favorite part of these vegetarian grain bowls is the tangy lemon vinaigrette, which ties together a satisfying combo of quinoa, toasted pumpkin seeds, and roasted chickpeas and kale. Whip them up for easy meal-prep lunches or a healthy and satisfying dinner.
Italian Vegetable Hoagies
This delightfully easy, and somewhat messy, sandwich packs a punch with sweet balsamic vinegar, artichoke hearts, red onion, provolone cheese and zesty pepperoncini. We love it for dinner as well as lunch. If you're packing the hoagies to take along, keep the ingredients separate and assemble right before eating to avoid soggy bread. Serve with tomato and cucumber salad.
Thai-Style Chopped Salad with Sriracha Tofu
Prep four days' worth of high-protein vegan lunches using just four easy ingredients from your local specialty grocery store, including a veggie-heavy salad mix as a base. Because this salad mix is hearty, you can dress these bowls up to 24 hours before serving to allow the flavors in this healthy chopped salad to marry. If you can't find a hearty mix, go with broccoli slaw or shredded Brussels sprouts.
Quinoa Chickpea Salad with Roasted Red Pepper Hummus Dressing
This hearty vegan salad is loaded with plant-based power ingredients: chickpeas, quinoa and hummus. We love the crunch of the sunflower seeds and the unexpected flavor of roasted peppers.
This wrap is stuffed with chicken tenders and couscous with a hit of lemon and a healthy dose of fresh herbs. Save any leftovers to wrap up for an easy lunch. Serve with: Mixed green salad and a glass of crisp white wine.
Tuna, White Bean & Dill Salad
Take canned tuna to new heights by adding cannellini beans, red onion and dill, tossing it in a lemon-pepper-Dijon dressing and serving it over a spinach salad with canned beets.
Chicken Club Wraps
Whole-wheat tortillas provide a tasty twist in this quick grilled chicken breast recipe that combines all the elements of a classic club sandwich into a wrap. Serve with extra napkins.