1. Stuffed Sweet Potato With Spinach, Hummus, and Sriracha
Using this recipe as a launching pad, Tara Fuller assembles the ultimate sweet potato with plenty of healthy fixings—making it a well-rounded and filling meal. Her tips: “Let the sweet potato cool for five to seven minutes before scooping out the flesh. After microwaving, it’s HOT. I also like using garlic hummus instead of garlic powder and plain hummus.”
Fuller eats mostly gluten-free, but her dish is hardly a consolation prize for grain-free diets. “Soggy sandwich? No thanks. Leftover quinoa salad for the third day in a row? I’ll pass. Fresh, warm, cheesy, and ready to eat in 15 minutes, I’ll take my stuffed tater any day.”
2. Broiled Mushrooms, Tempeh, Mixed Veggies, and Hummus
Think of this as the ultimate veggie platter. “My go-to lunch is a broiled portabella mushroom cap (or cremini mushrooms) with some vegan protein (tempeh, tofu, or edamame), veggies, and lots of hummus,” Brittany Risher says. As a team, we’re crazy about hummus, but Risher takes the chickpea love to another level. “Hummus? It’s a food group. I portion it out so I don’t eat too much because I could eat an entire tub.”
And this meal is both vegan and nutritionally balanced. “I think about where I’m getting protein first. Then I just want lots of color from the vegetables so I get a variety of antioxidants.” (And plenty of visual impact too.)
3. Turkey Wrap With Cheese, Spinach, and Sriracha Mayo
How could you not have food envy when eyeing all these fixings? Inside the tortilla there’s three slices of maple turkey, one slice of cheddar cheese, two handfuls of spinach, and a drizzle of sriracha mayo. Although when he describes it, it’s all about the condiment: “The sriracha mayo is the real shining star here. Drizzle enough on top (usually two tablespoons), and you get a little spice kick in every bite.”
This hits the lunch trifecta of delicious, easy, and healthy. “I want a lunch that’s super easy to prepare, relatively healthy (I’m always looking for more ways to sneakily add greens to my diet), and leaves me feeling full for hours. This knocks all of these criteria out of the park with simple ingredients you can always have on hand.”
4. Vanilla Greek Yogurt, Fresh Fruit, and Cinnamon
At Greatist, we like to mix it up. Yogurt parfait for lunch? Why not? To Hannah Newman, yogurt is the ultimate blank canvas. “Yogurt parfaits are all about creativity, so don’t be afraid to mix things up and experiment. You can’t really mess this one up.” And Newman’s lunch is pretty much her M.O. “I’m a yogurt and fruit lover. Always have, likely always will be. It’s the perfect way to get in some protein and fruit to power me through the rest of the day.”
What goes into a typical creation? “Vanilla Greek yogurt with fresh fruit (blueberries, strawberries, bananas, raspberries) and cinnamon. Sometimes I also add raisins and/or chia seeds.” Simple, fresh, and filling.
5. Pear, Kale, and Almond Butter Smoothie
Simon Hau has a reputation at Greatist HQ for being the smoothie connoisseur. And while he makes countless versions of protein smoothies, banana, almond butter, pear, kale, and vanilla PlantFusion protein powder is his go-to combo. “It’s a pretty classic smoothie many juice bars offer. But I stopped getting them outside and started doing it on my own since I have access to a Vitamix.”
This smoothie is the ultimate nutritional shortcut for Hau. “It’s a quick and easy way to boost my potassium and include some green freshness in my daily diet. It used to be my go-to post-workout recovery smoothie (adding some whey protein); now I’m having it about any time during the day.” Still, it’s not just about the nutrients; it’s also about the taste! And Hau follows a few tips to ensure its deliciousness: “For the banana and the pear, the riper the tastier! It can sound a bit obvious, but the smoothie can taste really plain otherwise.”
6. Paleo Pancake Topped With Berries and Greek Yogurt
“Few things make me happier than seeing the words ‘breakfast served all day’ on a menu,” Maria Hart says. “When I make my own lunch, I like to borrow from my morning rotation.” And that includes this Paleo pancake, made with one egg and one banana whirred together into a batter in the Vitamix.
“When I cook it on the stovetop, it makes the whole kitchen smell like banana bread,” she says. “I don’t follow a Paleo diet, but I try to keep my food minimally processed.” And the toppings, with berries and Greek yogurt, add a little boost of antioxidants and protein.
7. Turkey Sandwich With Avocado and Sriracha Dip
Amanda Delaney calls this a “classic sandwich,” but what sandwich comes with its own dipping sauce? “I love condiments, so I always want to dip my sandwich in something.” Here, she uses a homemade Greek yogurt and sriracha dip, whole-wheat toast, lean turkey, and avocado for plenty of nutritional benefits. “It has a mix of good fats, some veggies, protein, and happiness from the mayo,” she says.
And don’t doubt Delaney’s devotion to condiments. “I’m on team mayo, but to make a classic sandwich you always need mustard. It’s the perfect combo because you don’t feel like one flavor is overpowering the sandwich.” That brings the condiment count to a grand total of three—and that’s without counting the avocado. “I’m from California, so anything with avocado beats the pants off a sad bag lunch.”