Healthy Lunch Recipes
Smoke Salmon Smørrebrød
This gorgeous open-face rye sandwich from chef Claus Meyer of the Great Northern Food Hall in Grand Central Station makes for the perfect light lunch or, when cut into smaller squares, an impressive hors d'oeuvre.
Vegetable Sandwich with Dill Sauce
Stacked high with slices of tomato, onion, cucumber, avocado, and provolone cheese, this is a vegetable sandwich that even confirmed carnivores will love. You can add or substitute other fresh vegetables; radishes, spinach, or grated carrot go particularly well here. When you can't get good tomatoes, don't buy lousy, cotttony ones; use twice the amount of lettuce instead.
Green-Market Tacos with Corn Crema
Food & Wine's Kay Chun tosses sweet summer corn and raw green and yellow wax beans in a creamy, tangy mix of yogurt, feta, olive oil and cilantro to use as the filling for tortillas. It's a great vegetarian meal on a hot day because there's no cooking involved. For carnivores, it can easily be embellished with sliced roast beef, ham or shredded chicken. Just be sure to get the freshest corn and beans you can find.
Black Bean and Chorizo Soup
Kathy Gunst’s cookbook Soup Swap is filled with dishes like this hearty black bean soup studded with crispy chorizo that will quickly find a place in your recipe rotation. This soup is easy to double and the perfect make-ahead: Freeze in individual portions and pull out what you need for a satisfying dinner or last-minute houseguests.
Chopped Greek Quinoa Salad
An incredible mix of fresh vegetables and red quinoa come together in this Greek-inspired chopped salad. Red quinoa adds protein and texture, so this salad makes a perfect vegetarian lunch. Add grilled salmon, shrimp or chicken for a perfect light, summery supper, and load up on veggies. All of the flavors together get better the longer they sit, and the salad dressing can be made in advance and stored in an airtight container up to 5 days.
Brain Food Bowl with a Coconut-Fried Egg
This hearty salad of lentils, spinach, beets, avocado is the perfect storm of brain food goodness to keep you both sharp and satiated throughout the day. Flavor is amped up by cooking the lentils in broth and topping the bowl with a smooth and sweet walnut dressing and (best part) a coconut-fried egg.
Roasted Delicata Squash with Quinoa Salad
Quinoa is definitely a superfood: A grain-like seed, it's a "complete" protein containing all eight essential amino acids (another plus: it cooks much more quickly than most grains). To create a terrific vegetarian main course, Michael Symon of Cleveland's Lola tosses quinoa with arugula, apple, raisins and fresh herbs, then spoons the salad into a halved baked squash (a great source of iron and vitamins A and C).
Roasted Cauliflower Salad
Los Angeles chef Jessica Largey creates amazing layers of texture and flavor in her seasonal salad by combining both roasted and raw cauliflower with peppery greens, crisp radishes, chewy tart cherries and nutty pepitas.
Grilled Tofu and Heirloom Tomato Salad
This grilled vegetarian dish is a great template for a light summer meal. Don't worry if you can't find the right vegetables: Use whatever is fresh and in season and you can't go wrong.
Buckwheat Salad with Mushrooms and Parsley Oil
Melissa Clark puts a healthy spin on her grandmother's—kasha varnishkes—a Jewish dish with buckwheat (kasha) and pasta--by leaving out the pasta and adding mushrooms, fennel and parsley.
Freekeh with Grilled Tofu and Miso-Lime Dressing
Freekeh—roasted and cracked green wheat—is delicious, healthy and fast to cook. Cookbook author Kristin Donnelly tosses it with a bright and flavorful Asian dressing, adding plenty of cucumbers for crunch.
Quinoa with Spinach and Roasted Almonds
Food & Wine’s Kay Chun makes this evergreen quinoa salad all year long. It’s so simple and quick that it’s ideal for lunch or dinner. The chopped almonds add fantastic crunch and a nice hit of protein.