As summer shifts into full swing, I find myself craving light and refreshing lunches over those that are hot, heavy, and overly filling.
Meals that are nutrient dense, full of dark leafy greens, refreshing fruits and wholesome whole grains have become my go-to lunches recently, so I thought I’d share a few of my favorite recipes. These meals come together in minutes, are a breeze to make, and are easily customizable. I can’t wait for you to try them!
Lentil, Cucumber, & Tomato Salad
This recipe celebrates summer vegetables by mixing them with protein-packed lentils and tossing everything in a bright and tangy vinaigrette. Feel free to experiment with other herbs…basil is equally delicious in this dish!
2 ½ cups cooked lentils
1 cup of tomatoes, diced
1 cup of cucumbers, seeded and diced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 Tbsp fresh mint
2 Tbsp olive oil
¼ cup red wine vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
Add cooked lentils, tomatoes, cucumbers, garlic, and fresh mint to bowl. Toss to combine ingredients.
Add olive oil, vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste, then toss once again making sure all salad ingredients are thoroughly coated. Enjoy!
Easy Spring Rolls with Thai Peanut Dressing
I find myself making this recipe again and again throughout the summer…it’s incredibly addictive. The spring rolls are packed full of nutrient-rich veggies, and the peanut sauce adds a bit of protein and fat, leaving you feeling full and satisfied.
For the Spring Rolls:
1 ¼ cup sliced red and white cabbage
1 cup of bell peppers
1 ¼ cucumber, diced
6 rice paper wraps
For the Thai Peanut Dressing:
¼ cup peanut butter
¼ cup hot water
¼ cup low-sodium soy sauce
1-2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp sesame seeds
1/4 tsp ground ginger
red pepper flakes to taste (optional)
Prepare the spring rolls: Have all your sliced and diced veggies close at hand. Fill a shallow pan with water (a 9-inch cake pan or pie plate works great!). Place a single rice paper wrap in the water for 20 seconds or so to soften. You want the sheet pliable but not overly floppy.
Leaving a 1-inch border around the edge of the rice paper wrap, add your veggies to the lower third of your wrap. Fold the bottom of the wrap up, the sides of the wrap in, then roll up, burrito style. Repeat with remaining wraps.
Prepare the Thai Peanut dressing: Add peanut butter to a small bowl, then hot water and whisk gently until the water is fully incorporated into the peanut butter.
Add remaining ingredients and red pepper flakes (if using) then whisk to combine.
Serve spring rolls with a side of peanut sauce for dipping. To-die-for delicious!
Refreshing Sunshine Smoothie
There are days when I just don’t have time to stop and throw lunch together, so I whip up this easy breezy sunshine smoothie and take care of business while nourishing my body with healthy ingredients. Both the apple and orange (if using without juicing) provide heart-healthy fiber. You can up the fiber content even more with the addition of chia or flax seeds/meal. And, if you feel the need for protein, throw in a scoop of your favorite protein or collagen powder.
1 cup pineapple
½ of a medium-sized green apple
½ orange, either juiced or peeled
2-3 celery stalks
1 cup coconut water
Optional: chia seeds or flax
Throw all ingredients into the blender and mix on high for 20 seconds or until thoroughly blended then pour into your favorite glass or to-go cup. That’s it!
I hope you find these recipes as delicious as I do. Do you have a favorite summertime lunch meal you’d like to share? Drop a comment below and tell us all about it!
Here’s to summertime wellness, friends!