Save money, calories, and probably some preservatives by packing your own lunch. Check out these healthy lunch ideas you can take to work from Chef Meredith Baird. They make the perfect addition to a healthy lunchbox. The beauty with these clean recipes is that they can go without refrigeration during a long commute.
"Packing a healthy lunch is a lot easier than people think," Meredith says. "Fruits and vegetables are nature's ultimate fast food."
Check out this colorful and healthy recipes:
Makes 4 large burritos or 8 small burritos
This is so tasty and it makes the perfect lunch. Collards make one of the best wraps to stuff with just about anything because they are such a hearty green they won't get soggy in your lunchbox like a nori wrap or even a tortilla . Plus, this is super simple to make. This is really best to make with leftover quinoa, but you could use rice, faro, or any other grain that you have on hand. It is the perfect carrier for healthy ingredients from dinner the night before. And feel free to add roasted mushrooms, roasted veggies, olives, nuts etc. Just toss all of the ingredients in. This is our version, but feel free to get experimental!
- 4 collard leaves, stem removed* (this will serve as your wrap)
- Sunflower sprouts or sprouts of choice (optional)
- 2 cups cooked quinoa
- 1 tomato, diced
- 1⁄2 red bell pepper, diced
- 1⁄2 yellow bell pepper, diced
- 1⁄4 cup cilantro, minced
- 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1⁄4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1⁄4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- Pinch of cayenne
- 1 cup avocado Crème Fraîche (recipe below)
Filling: Toss all ingredients together except avocado Crème Fraîche and collard leaves. Allow to marinate for approximately 10 minutes before serving. If you want to serve it warm, and you made fresh quinoa, toss ingredients together immediately and serve.
Assembly: Lay collard leaf flat and spread with a little Avocado Crème Fraîche. Fill with a generous serving of quinoa mixture. Top with sunflower sprouts, if using. Roll collard leaf tightly. Serve with extra crème fraîche for dipping. Slice in half, if preferred.
*You don’t want to split the collard leaf in half. Just slice the stem out in a V shape.
Avocado Crème Fraîche
- 2 avocados, peeled and pitted
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1⁄2 tablespoon miso
- Water, if needed
Directions: Blend all ingredients until smooth
Winter Greens and Walnuts
This salad is a take on the classic massaged kale salad. We chose to take it in a more fall-like direction with the addition of thyme and walnuts, but you could certainly use any of your favorite herbs and nuts. Walnuts happen to be a favorite around here. This is a great salad to pack for lunch because the flavor marinates and gets better throughout the day. Kale is a hearty and healing lettuce—perfect for the detox lunchbox.
- 1 large head kale, stalks removed and thinly sliced
- 1⁄2 head Swiss chard, stalks removed and thinly sliced
- 1–2 tablespoons olive oil or walnut oil
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 lemon, juiced
- Pinch of salt
- 1 apple (preferably gala), cored and chopped or shaved on mandolin
- 1 cup Inca berries or golden raisins, chopped
- 1⁄2 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped 2 tablespoons fresh thyme 1⁄2 tablespoon olive oil or walnut oil 1⁄4 teaspoon sea salt
- Freshly ground pepper, to taste
Salad: Massage kale and Swiss chard with olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, and salt to break down the fibers. Once the salad is wilted, toss in apple and Inca berries.
Walnuts: Toss walnuts with thyme, oil, salt, and pepper.
Assembly: Toss walnuts with salad. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Garnish with fresh thyme and walnuts, if desired.
What are your favorite healthy lunches that are easily portable for work? Tell us in the comments.
Recipes by Meredith Baird. Meredith is a certified raw food chef and instructor. She is also the creative director at the Matthew Kenney Academy where chefs and health foodies can learn the art of making raw food.
Photo Credit Adrian Mueller