There are days for elaborate bento box lunches, afternoons for pulling off that ‘ladies-who-lunch’ vibe…and then there are mornings like this one. Avocado toast all the way!
Instagrammer Liz Moody of NotCrazyHealthy has lunch ideas for days, and some of them are what she calls “lazy lunches.” We’re into it.
Liz is on the same wavelength as our team when it comes to non-recipe recipes. We’re loving these seven ideas for lunches that can be made in a jiff, but are healthy as can be. Let us know what some of your go-to “lazy lunches” are in the comments. Beyond Liz’s list, we love constructing open-faced sandwiches, throwing layers of healthy crunchies and fruits we have lying around on to our favorite coconut yogurt, and putting all the greens we can find into a blender with a bottle of Almond Milk.
Being a food blogger is a lot of fun, but some days, you’re just not in the mood for perfectly plated food with a lengthy list of ingredients – you just want to eat something simple and tasty and move on! This is why I’m a big fan of the lazy lunch: meals that come together quickly and easily, with ingredients you likely already have in your pantry – and they all still taste amazing.
7 Lazy Lunches
Quinoa Kale Pistachio Salad with Cardamom Orange Dressing
This salad takes 10 minutes to make, and only gets better as it sits in the fridge over the course of the week. It’s bursting with nutrients and has a gorgeous, zesty Middle Eastern flavor, courtesy of the pistachios, apricots and cardamom-infused dressing. The fibrous greens really fill you up, and the protein-packed quinoa keeps you going through dinner. To make, blend the juice and zest of 2 oranges with 1 tsp cardamom, 1 tsp honey, 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar, pinch of salt, and ¼ cup of olive oil. Rip one bunch of kale from its center stem, and tear into bite-size pieces before dousing in the dressing and letting sit for 10 minutes (this breaks down the kale, making it easier to eat and digest). Toss with ½ cup dried, chopped apricots, 2 cups cooked, cooled quinoa, ½ cup chopped roasted pistachios, 1 minced shallot and 1 bunch of mint, destemmed and torn into pieces. Eat immediately or keep in fridge for up to 4 days. Makes about 4 lunch-sized salads.
Sweet Potato Mash with Toasted Pecans
The flavor profile on this one is pretty great, it’s texturally interesting, and it hits all the nutrition bases: tons of fiber, good fats, lots of protein, brimming with antioxidants and the cinnamon will keep your blood sugar stable throughout the afternoon (bonus points if you add some spinach or arugula on top!). To make, just roast 1 sweet potato in the skin at 400 degrees for one hour or until very soft (honestly, I don’t even wash them, as the skin’s coming off, nor do I wait for the oven to preheat, just turn it on and chuck it in). In the last 10 minutes, toss in a handful of raw pecans on parchment paper. Remove sweet potatoes and pecans, then scoop out the bright orange flesh of the sweet potato and discard the skin. With a fork, mash with a few teaspoons of ghee, a pinch of cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and dash of vanilla extract until well combined, then top with pecans. I love to make a big batch of this at the beginning of the week, and eat whenever I’m hungry and lazy.
This frittata hardly needs a recipe – grab any vegetables you have in your fridge, sauté an onion in high heat oil in an oven-proof pan untill translucent, add the veg plus a shake of salt, and cook for an additional few minutes or until veg is fork-tender, then pour in 8 – 10 scrambled eggs with another shake of salt, top with cheese and bake at 350 degrees till firm, and the top is tan and bubbly. Eat some for dinner (I love it with simple greens and olive oil on the side) and wrap the rest up for a perfect grab and go lunch. Some combos I adore: asparagus, Parmesan and lots of black pepper; potato and rosemary; sweet potato and thyme; broccoli, cauliflower and cheddar; spinach and tomato (just pour these in raw with the egg); kale and Swiss cheese.
I love to use a good balance of greens, protein (from nuts and seeds), and good fats (from avocado, hemp or coconut) in my smoothies, making them a wonderfully balanced lunch. They come together in two minutes, and require almost no clean up. For a ton of great green smoothie recipes (like Chocolate Covered Strawberry, Lime Creamiscle, Tropical Mango Cilantro, and more), check out Not Crazy Healthy.
Grains and Eggs
Toss some cold leftover rice or quinoa with frozen vegetables, one cut-up scrambled egg, coconut oil and tamari for quick and easy fried rice. Bonus points if you add some chopped fresh green onions and/or cilantro at the end.
Super Crispy Skillet Pizza
This super crispy skillet pizza takes 10 minutes to make and tastes like a better version of the Domino’s thin crust. You can customize the toppings to whatever you like, although I think it works super well in this cheese version with some dried herbs on top. I love to use gluten-free tortillas for this one. To make, heat the oven to 425 degrees. Drizzle a tiny bit of olive oil in a 10″ cast iron or otherwise oven-proof pan and wipe away so there’s just a thin layer coating the pan. Put a tortilla in pan (I like La Tortilla Factory gluten-free teff ones), then add a few teaspoons of tomato sauce of choice, spreading all the way to the tortilla’s edge. Add shredded cheese (I love Organic Valley’s raw, grass-fed cheddar) and toppings of choice (my favorites are a pinch of salt, dried oregano, garlic powder, basil and red pepper flakes), then put in oven for 10 – 12 minutes, or until cheese is golden and bubbling. Put pan on burner and cook for an additional 1 – 2 minutes at medium-high heat, then remove, let cool and serve. Each pizza serves one.
Toast two pieces of the bread of your choice (I love rye sourdough, which is easier to digest) with one mashed avocado, a drizzle of olive oil, and some red pepper flakes for a filling and delicious lunch that’s ready in two minutes flat.