Are you stumped about what to eat for lunch? Whether you eat at home or at work, it can be a challenge to plan nutritious and delicious midday meals to satisfy your taste buds without breaking your carbohydrate and calorie budgets. But there is an approach that can fulfill your requirements on all fronts: It’s time to move from boring ol’ sandwiches to scrumptious lower-carb lunches that will keep you satisfied and perk up your day!
Chef Robert’s Roasted Vegetable Soup
Soup’s on! This Roasted Vegetable Soup by Chef Robert Lewis, also known as “The Happy Diabetic,” is simply delicious. Chef Robert is a graduate of the prestigious Culinary Institute of America and has been living well with type 2 diabetes for over 20 years. Chef Robert’s recipes are easy to prepare, nutritious and always look pleasing on a plate. His recipes and positive outlook motivate us to eat well without feeling deprived. This roasted veggie soup is a great complement to any meal and makes a wonderful afternoon snack.
Get the recipe for Chef Robert’s Roasted Vegetable Soup here.
Quick ’n Healthy Taco Salad
Toss those dull lettuce bowls and try a delicious Quick ’n Healthy Taco Salad. This recipe is courtesy of Eat More of What You Love: Over 200 Brand-New Recipes Low in Sugar, Fat, and Calories, by award-winning registered dietitian and New York Times best-selling cookbook author Marlene Koch. “This Tex-Mex favorite delivers a powerful punch of lean protein and healthy veggies with a big side of yum,” she says. Her bonus tip: “While they provide a fun crunch, feel free to forgo the optional tortilla strips to keep carbs at a minimum.” Koch is famous for her “dare to compare” healthier versions of popular restaurant dishes. “I am happy to say adiós to the taco salads with beef served at Mexican restaurants, with their roughly 1,100 calories, 79 grams of fat, 40 grams of carbohydrate and 2,400 milligrams of sodium! Wait until you taste this easy-breezy version, which you can prepare at home.”
Get the recipe for Quick ‘n Healthy Taco Salad here.
Salmon Seaweed Wraps
Looking for a delicious low-carb wrap idea? Try these fabulous Salmon Seaweed Wraps by Karen Rose-Tank, MS, owner of Rose Health Coaching. Karen has been thriving with type 1 diabetes for 24 years and is an amazing culinary icon and health coach who shares her lower-carb recipes and lifestyle tips with clients and health professionals. “Romaine lettuce is also used in this recipe inside the nori wrap to hold the salmon salad filling and toppings,” says Rose-Tank. “I love making romaine lettuce boats, as they are crunchy, juicy, nutritious, low carb and also hold up well when piled with fillings. However, they are not a complete wrap and can be difficult to transport. That’s why romaine leaves work well when wrapped inside a nori sheet, which in turn holds everything together. Wraps can be eaten whole or cut in half or quarters. Just make sure to use two hands and have a napkin nearby!”
Get the recipe for Salmon Seaweed Wraps here.
Salmon With Cilantro-Lime Salsa
T’ara Smith is the project manager of Beyond Type 2, which is a not-for-profit organization providing education and support for people with type 2 diabetes. T’ara was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes three years ago. She earned her master’s degree in nutrition education and dedicates her professional life to helping people with type 2 diabetes thrive. She loves to cook and shares her creative and innovative recipes on social media and with folks in the diabetes community and beyond. If you crave a hot, delicious, low-carb lunch, this Salmon With Cilantro Lime Salsa is for you. For those who love leftovers, T’ara recommends preparing an extra serving of this fantastic dish for your evening meal and having it for lunch the following day. Tara says, “I highly recommend this with steamed mixed vegetables, roasted broccoli, sautéed zucchini or a nice salad. Skin-on is preferred, but this recipe works fine with salmon without the skin. No olive oil? Canola oil, grapeseed and avocado oil work, too.” Sounds delicious!
Get the recipe for Salmon With Cilantro-Lime Salsa here.
Five Tips for Low-Carb Lunches
1: Stock up on low-carb veggies packed with phytonutrients, antioxidants and fiber. Rose-Tank shares, “I enjoy low-carb dips like salsa and guacamole and use my veggies as chips.”
2: Looking for some crunch? Try crackers made out of flaxseeds, which are low in carbs and high in fiber. Add a spoonful of natural almond butter for a truly satisfying snack.
3: Read nutrition labels. Observe serving sizes and note grams of carbohydrate, protein and fiber. Make sure that you are aware of what constitutes a single serving, as the entire package may actually be two or three servings, which would provide many more carbs and calories than you planned on eating.
4: Eat a variety of protein-rich foods, including fish, eggs, cheese, nuts and nut butters. Try something new, like canned salmon or sardines. Add some nuts and seeds to your lunch or enjoy them as an afternoon snack. Rose-Tank’s favorites: pumpkin and sunflower seeds, almonds, pecans and walnuts. They are low in carbs and rich in protein and fiber. Bonus tip: You can purchase them prepackaged for a grab-and-go snack.
5: Craving something sweet? Try a square or two of dark chocolate. Look for a high cacao (70% or higher) level, with less than 5 grams of carbohydrate per square. The perfect ending to a delicious low-carb lunch!