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Do you ever open the refrigerator or pantry and feel totally uninspired to create a delicious meal for yourself? I’ve been there often, specifically when it comes to making lunch. I’m not sure what it is about mid-day meals but I really have always hated the process of packing lunches to take to work or even making something for myself at home.
We all need a dash of inspiration to help us create something new, interesting and delicious. I’ve done a roundup of a few simple recipe ideas to inspire your next breakfast or lunch. I tried to select recipes that contain a simple list of ingredients or items that many people might keep on hand in their pantry. Enjoy.
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Healthy Breakfast Cookies: Who said you can’t eat dessert first? Breakfast cookies are portable, and the best recipes (like the one I’ve linked) usually contain a great balance of protein and healthy fat from nuts/seeds, and carbohydrates from whole grains (typically rolled oats) and fresh or dried fruit. This recipe’s author, dietitian Kate Morford, also wrote several fantastic cookbooks that contain delicious and nutritious ideas for planning meals including: Rise & Shine:Better Breakfasts for Busy Mornings & The Best Lunchbox Ever.
Simple Breakfast Quesadillas: Quesadillas aren’t just for lunch and are a great way to add some additional fiber (add beans to your eggs) and vegetables/fruit (like salsa, guacamole, or even pineapple or mango). Quesadillas can be customized easily for taste and health needs.
Breakfast Salad: I know, salad for breakfast? Hear me out, there aren’t specific foods and dishes for breakfast alone. We are just accustomed to certain kinds of food served at specific meals. Open up your options in the morning by eating “non-breakfast” foods. Try these great ideas from registered dietitian, Jackie Newgent, including a Greek inspired breakfast salad and egg & guacamole breakfast salad.
Breakfast Popsicles: Breakfast popsicles aren’t just for kids and might just be the quick breakfast of choice for a few adults (like me). The key is not buying your standard grocery store popsicles but making them yourself and ensuring that you are using an ingredient that provides a decent amount of protein to the popsicle. In the case of Ellie Krieger’s Strawberry Almond Pops, these use Greek yogurt and silvered almonds to boost the protein creating a balanced pop to start the day with a handful of nuts or simply eat as a snack.
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Fried Egg & Garlicky Greens Rice Bowl: Admittedly, I don’t get quite as “fancy” as the New York Times recipe but I make a fried egg with greens and brown rice regularly for a quick meal. This bowl can be customized by using a different grain as a base or adding different vegetables. It’s so simple, yet filling, with a good balance of protein, fat and carbohydrates to keep you going until your next snack or meal.
Bento Box It: Bento Boxes are a great way to put together a snack-style lunch for those that might need to travel while they work or have an unpredictable schedule and need to eat something quickly mid-day before they move on to the next task. Dietitian, Dr. Rachel Paul, also known as the college nutritionist, has fabulous ideas for putting together quick, easy bento box style lunches that are balanced and filling.
Top Toast: At this point, everyone has likely heard of avocado toast, but there are so many other ways to top a simple piece of toast to make something delicious and easy for lunch. Dietitian and cookbook author Sharon Palmer has long been one of my favorite dietitians for plant-based recipe inspiration, try her simple radish white bean toast or her 8-minute zucchini tomato basil sandwich for your next mid-day meal.
Blend It: In a rush? I usually like to sit down and enjoy meals, but not every meal can be leisurely. To build the best smoothie, use dietitian DJ Blatner’s smoothie school recipe guide for great ideas on how to combine produce, protein, boosters and liquid to make something that is well-balanced.
What are your favorite quick breakfast and lunch ideas? Comment or post a picture and tag us @thewell_alisonandari.