Looking for easy lunch ideas? This is a common question I get from my clients. Bringing your own healthy lunch ensures that you eat healthier foods and consume fewer calories. It also means you can save the time of going to a restaurant and waiting in line and use that time to get to your 10,000 per day step goal.
Easy Lunch Ideas
Leftovers are often a great option. Another easy choice is a prepared packaged salad with a healthier dressing. Here are some other options.
I like this bell pepper easy lunch idea because the peppers provide a multitude of health benefits.
Bell peppers are fruits that belong to the nightshade family. They are related to chili peppers, tomatoes, and breadfruit, all of which are native to Central and South America. Also called sweet peppers, bell peppers can be eaten either raw or cooked. Like their close relatives, chili peppers, bell peppers are sometimes dried and powdered. In that case, they are referred to as paprika. They’re low in calories and exceptionally rich in vitamin C and other antioxidants, making them an excellent addition to a healthy diet.
Bell peppers are loaded with various vitamins and minerals:
• Vitamin C. One medium-sized red bell pepper provides 169% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI) for vitamin C, making it one of the richest dietary sources of this essential nutrient.
• Vitamin B6. Pyridoxine is the most common type of vitamin B6, which is a family of nutrients important for the formation of red blood cells.
• Vitamin K1. A form of vitamin K, is important for blood clotting and bone health.
• Potassium. This essential mineral may improve heart health.
• Folate. Also known as vitamin B9, folate has a variety of functions in your body. Adequate folate intake is very important during pregnancy.
• Vitamin E. A powerful antioxidant, vitamin E is essential for healthy nerves and muscles. The best dietary sources of this fat-soluble vitamin are oils, nuts, seeds, and vegetables.
• Vitamin A. Red bell peppers are high in beta carotene, which your body converts into vitamin A.
Bell Pepper Nachos Recipe
Add this recipe to our healthy lunch ideas. It is very versatile in terms of changing up the ingredients.
Ingredients (makes 8 servings)
• 4 bell peppers
• 1 cup salsa
• 2 teaspoons seasoning (try a mixture-chili powder, garlic powder, ground cumin, pepper)
• 2 cups cooked meat (chopped or shredded), beans or tofu
• 1 cup reduced fat shredded cheese
1. Preheat oven to 350 °F.
2. Wash bell peppers, remove seeds and cut into bite-sized pieces. Arrange pieces close together in a single layer on a large foil-lined baking sheet.
3. In a medium bowl, combine salsa, seasonings and meat, beans or tofu. Spoon the mixture evenly over pepper pieces then top with cheese.
4. Bake for 15 minutes, or until peppers are heated through and cheese is melted. Serve warm.
5. Refrigerate leftovers within 2 hours.
• For added flavor, top with chopped cilantro, green onions or black olives!
Nutrition (per 1 cup serving)
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