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NO MORE SANDWICHES! 20 Handy Non-Sandwich Lunch Recipes

NO MORE SANDWICHES! 20 Handy Non-Sandwich Lunch Recipes

While sandwiches are perfect for days when we’re running late or have a hankering for a kid-like lunch again, take a step outside the (lunch) box and try a few non-sandwich lunch recipes once and awhile. You can create a more exciting, more satiating, and possibly healthier lunch with just a few tweaks here and there.

You’ll want to select a nice mix of easy-to-digest protein, some healthy fats, and some fiber when you create your lunch. This combination will ensure that your lunch fills you up without weighing you down. Start with some of the options below and turn lunch into a more exciting part of your day with these non-sandwich lunch recipes. Don’t worry, they’re still very easy to make, and many of these options can be made ahead of time just like sandwiches. You never know—you might just find a new favorite lunch recipe!

1. Avocado Egg Salad

NO MORE SANDWICHES! 20 Handy Non-sandwich Lunch Recipes

    The Roasted Root

    Don’t limit your egg salad to mayo alone—opt for something just as filling but a little lighter with the almighty avocado. Packed with healthy fats, fiber and even a little protein, avocado can be a great addition to any lunch of your choice. Its creamy nature creates a delectable egg salad in this recipe by The Roasted Root. Enjoy it plain, top a bed of greens with it, or slather it on some toast or crackers for an easy meal in minutes.

    2. Healthy Buffalo Chicken Wrap

    NO MORE SANDWICHES! 20 Handy Non-sandwich Lunch Recipes

      The Creative Bite

      Wraps may be similar to sandwiches, but they have the benefit of being able to be created out of any type of wrap you wish. There’s now whole grain, coconut, and even veggie-based wraps you can choose from. This Healthy Buffalo Chicken Wrap happens to use a whole grain wrap and is a healthier version of traditional Buffalo wraps you might be used to. Get the easy recipe from The Creative Bite and see what you think!

      3. Pasta and Avocado Caesar Salad

      NO MORE SANDWICHES! 20 Handy Non-sandwich Lunch Recipes

        Natasha’s Kitchen

        Perhaps you just can’t give up all the carbs at lunch. Now you don’t have to since this recipe by Natasha’s Kitchen uses pasta for a quick and easy lunch salad recipe that’s filling yet still light too. Make it ahead, and whip it out when hunger strikes!

        4. Superfood Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette

        NO MORE SANDWICHES! 20 Handy Non-sandwich Lunch Recipes

          Iowa Girl Eats

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          Salad should not be boring, especially at lunch where it’s the main meal of your mid-day eats. So take your salad up a few notches and add some light protein along with a fabulous salad dressing recipe. This Superfood Salad With Lemon Vinaigrette by Iowa Girl Eats has you covered.

          5. Quinoa Chicken Bowls With a Mango Salsa

          NO MORE SANDWICHES! 20 Handy Non-sandwich Lunch Recipes

            Chelsea’s Messy Apron

            Bowls are all the rage right now, and the possibilities for quick combinations are limitless. Prepare a batch of chicken and quinoa ahead of time, along with the salsa, and use them in a variety of your meals throughout the week for quick and easy meals that contain healthy ingredients. These Quinoa Chicken Bowls With a Mango Salsa are the perfect option to start with!

            6. Paleo Avocado Tuna Salad

            NO MORE SANDWICHES! 20 Handy Non-sandwich Lunch Recipes

              Cook Eat Paleo

              Just like egg salad can be made with avocados, so can tuna salad. In fact, tuna salad made with avocado isn’t only nice and colorful, but it’s also more filling thanks to the extra fiber found in avocados. Here’s a fun fact: Both tuna and avocados pack heart-healthy fats, so you can feel especially good about noshing on this lunch recipe by Cook Eat Paleo each day!

              7. Creamy Turkey Pinwheels

              NO MORE SANDWICHES! 20 Handy Non-sandwich Lunch Recipes

                Yummy Healthy Easy

                Pinwheels are a more exciting form of wraps in a way. They’re also a bit easier to eat and can be dipped into any sauce of your choice. These Creamy Turkey Pinwheels by Yummy Healthy Easy are easy to make, and they will keep you filled up all afternoon long thanks to the lean protein found in turkey and the fiber found in the other ingredients.

                8. Avocado Toast With Eggs, Spinach and Tomatoes

                NO MORE SANDWICHES! 20 Handy Non-sandwich Lunch Recipes

                  Two Peas & Their Pod

                  Topped toast is also nice to enjoy at lunch, and it can be a little lighter than bread-heavy sandwiches. Use a whole grain or gluten-free toast of choice and top it with this protein-rich topping using eggs, spinach, and avocados created by Two Peas & Their Pod. Or, if you’re not into bread at all for lunch, just enjoy it without toast—it will still keep you full and taste just as great!

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                  9. Pizza Pasta Salad

                  NO MORE SANDWICHES! 20 Handy Non-sandwich Lunch Recipes

                    Spend With Pennies

                    Pizza is a favorite of many for lunch, but you can lighten up your pizza and lunch with this Pizza Pasta Salad by Spend With Pennies. Plus, who wouldn’t love to dive into this recipe for lunch and not need a nap right after?

                    10. Spinach, Roasted Red Pepper, and Feta Turkey Wrap

                    NO MORE SANDWICHES! 20 Handy Non-sandwich Lunch Recipes

                      NeighborFood

                      Light, filling, and totally satisfying, this Spinach, Roasted Red Pepper, and Feta Turkey Wrap by NeighborFood makes for an easy lunch recipe that you can make ahead just like sandwiches. If you choose a whole grain wrap, you’ll even pack in some extra fiber too!

                      11. Creamy Chicken and Mushroom Soup

                      NO MORE SANDWICHES! 20 Handy Non-sandwich Lunch Recipes

                        DAMN delicious

                        Maybe you’re feeling under the weather, craving something cozy, or you just happen to love soup. Whatever the case, soup can serve as the perfect make-ahead lunch that happens to taste even better a few days later after it sits in the fridge. Or, make a batch of this Creamy Chicken and Mushroom Soup by DAMN delicious in the slow-cooker during the night, and carry it the next day to work to share with your co-workers. Just be warned, you might have them asking you to make it again and again!

                        12. Balsamic Chicken Salad With Lemon Quinoa

                        NO MORE SANDWICHES! 20 Handy Non-sandwich Lunch Recipes

                          Cafe Delights

                          Salad can be a nice lunch option for those that prefer something light and filling. It can also be enjoyable to look at and makes a lovely canvas for limitless amounts of ingredients. This Balsamic Chicken Salad With Lemon Quinoa by Cafe Delights is the perfect combination of lean protein, fiber from greens and veggies, and fiber from the almighty quinoa grain-like seed. You won’t be hungry all day after this lunch!

                          13. Paleo Lemon Tahini Tuna Salad

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                          NO MORE SANDWICHES! 20 Handy Non-sandwich Lunch Recipes

                            Stupid Easy Paleo

                            Paleo recipes eliminate grains and legumes, so lunch options that cater to Paleo devotees make great non-sandwich lunch recipes to turn to when you want something without bread for your mid-day meal. Don’t let the bread-free part fool you, though; Paleo Lemon Tahini Tuna Salad by Stupid Easy Paleo still pack satiety thanks to the high amounts of protein, fiber, and healthy fats so you’ll feel great all day long!

                            14. Tropical Lentil Lunch Bowls With Coconut Lime Dressing

                            NO MORE SANDWICHES! 20 Handy Non-sandwich Lunch Recipes

                              Sweet Peas AND Saffron

                              Take a vacation with your lunch every once and awhile and try some exotic flavor at lunch. Tropical lentil Lunch Bowls With Coconut Lime Dressing is a fun one to start with, and it’s a great source of meatless protein and fiber thanks to the use of lentils. The dressing alone is worth giving this recipe by Sweet Peas AND Saffron a shot—you won’t regret it!

                              15. California Roll Sushi Bowl

                              NO MORE SANDWICHES! 20 Handy Non-sandwich Lunch Recipes

                                Wonky Wonderful

                                Love sushi? Then you need this California Roll Sushi Bowl recipe by Wonky Wonderful in your lunch routine (and life). It isn’t only filled with traditional sushi ingredients, but it’s also quick to throw together and there’s no need for time-consuming sushi rolling here!

                                16. Rice Bowl With Fried Egg and Avocado

                                NO MORE SANDWICHES! 20 Handy Non-sandwich-Lunch-Recipes-Lifehack

                                  bon appétit

                                  Eggs make a great lunch option because they’re packed with protein, lighter than meat, and they even have some heart-healthy fats. While hard-boiled eggs are nice, fried eggs can have some major appeal to those that prefer a warm option. Plus, this Rice Bowl With Fried Egg and Avocado by bon appétit can be thrown together in less than five minutes if you have your rice made ahead of time. Choose whatever rice you want, grab a skillet, and go!

                                  17. Tuna Patties

                                  NO MORE SANDWICHES! 20 Handy Non-sandwich Lunch Recipes

                                    Simply Recipes

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                                    Tuna patties are loved by both children and adults, so enjoy some tuna patties for lunch a little more often. You can turn this recipe from Simple Recipes into your own lunch creation by either pairing it with a salad, some veggies, your favorite dip, and even serve them with lettuce and a whole grain bun just like a beef burger. Make these ahead and enjoy all week long!

                                    18. Peanut Tofu Buddha Bowl

                                    NO MORE SANDWICHES! 20 Handy Non-sandwich Lunch Recipes

                                      delish knowledge

                                      Vegans rejoice! This Peanut Tofu Buddha Bowl packs meatless protein that’s still hearty, and it has a tangy, Thai flavor thanks to the peanut sauce that can be made ahead and used on salads, bowls, and wraps throughout the week. This recipe by delish knowledge would even make for the perfect meatless dinner on another note. Don’t let tofu scare you if you’ve never had it—you just might love it!

                                      19. Grilled Pineapple Teriyaki Chicken Wraps

                                      NO MORE SANDWICHES! 20 Handy Non-sandwich Lunch Recipes

                                        CREME de la CRUMB

                                        Speaking of exotic flavors, why not use the humble pineapple in your lunch every once and awhile to give you a tropical treat? Here’s a nutrition secret you might like to know too: Pineapple contains a special enzyme called bromelain that helps break down proteins making the protein easier to digest. This means you can get the most ‘bang for your buck’ from whatever protein you pair with pineapple, plus the bright yellow fruit even offers vitamin C too. Get the recipe for Grilled Pineapple Teriyaki Chicken Wraps by CREME de la CRUMB and give it a try this week!

                                        20. Strawberry Pecan Spinach Salad

                                        NO MORE SANDWICHES! 20 Handy Non-sandwich Lunch Recipes

                                          Culinary Hill

                                          Finally, for a healthy, filling and still light salad, this amazing creation by Culinary Hill is one of the best non-sandwich lunch recipes you can try during spring and summer. Feel free to add whatever lean protein you want for a more filling option, rotate the nuts if you prefer to, and enjoy the sweet and savory flavors that this salad offers—it’s a winner for sure!

                                          Want more creative and easy lunch ideas? These other 20 sandwich-free ideas have you covered!

                                          Featured photo credit: bon appétit via bonappetit.com

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                                          Last Updated on February 21, 2019

                                          Top 9 Foods for Incredible Brian Health And Brain Power

                                          Top 9 Foods for Incredible Brian Health And Brain Power

                                          Your brain is the most intricate and powerful organ in your entire body. It’s essentially a super-computer with brain power like a Ferrari.

                                          If you have a Ferrari, would you put cheap gasoline in it? Of course not. You want to put in high-octane performance fuel to get the most out of your investment.

                                          When it comes to the brain, many people are looking for the top foods that will supercharge the brainpower to help focus better, think more clearly and have better brain health.

                                          In this article, we’ll look at the top 9 brain foods that will help create supercharge your brain with energy and health:

                                          1. Salmon

                                          Salmon has long been held as a healthy brain food, but what makes this fish so valuable for your brain health?

                                          It’s important to understand that your brain is primarily made up of fat. Roughly 60% of your brain is fat. One of the most important fats that the brain uses as a building block for healthy brain cells is omega-3’s.

                                          Omega-3’s are essential for building a healthy brain but one of the most important omega-3’s for your brain is DHA. DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) forms nearly two-thirds of the omega-3’s found in your brain.[1]

                                          Omega-3’s and DHA in particular help form the protective coating around our neurons. The better quality this coating is, the more efficient and effective our brain cells can work, allowing our brain power to work at full capacity.

                                          Studies have shown that being deficient in DHA can affect normal brain development in children, which is why so many infant formulas and children’s supplements are beginning to include DHA.

                                          Being deficient in DHA as an adult can cause focus and attention problems, mood swings, irritability, fatigue and poor sleep.

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                                          2. Blueberries

                                          Blueberries top the list as one of the most beneficial fruits to maximize your brain health and performance.

                                          Blueberries have some of the highest content of antioxidants, particularly anthocyanins, than any other fruit, which helps protect the brain from stress and promote healthy brain aging.

                                          Blueberries antioxidant content also help reduce inflammation, which allows the brain to maintain healthy energy levels.

                                          Blueberries have begun to receive attention for their connection to brain performance.[2] Studies have demonstrated that eating blueberries on a regular basis can not only improve brain health but also brain performance as well including working memory.[3]

                                          Blueberries not only taste great but are low in calories, high in Vitamin C, Vitamin K and Manganese.

                                          3. Turmeric

                                          Turmeric is a very impressive spice that has well-researched and proven to have tremendous benefits for your brain. Turmeric’s main compound that benefits the brain is called curcumin, which is responsible for turmerics bright yellow appearance.

                                          Curcumin has been shown to have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-cancer properties.[4]

                                          Curcumin increases the production and availability of two important neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine, two important neurotransmitters involved with happiness, motivation, pleasure, and reward.

                                          Curcumin has been well documented to have powerful anti-depressive effects. In one study, it was found to be as effective for depression as popular medications such as SSRI’s like Prozac.[5]

                                          Curcumin has also been shown to:

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                                          • Increase blood flow to the brain.[6]
                                          • Increase BDNF production, a powerful stimulator of neuroplasticity.[7]
                                          • Increase DHA availability and synthesis in the brain.[8]
                                          • Increase antioxidant levels in the brain to prevent brain aging and inflammation.[9]

                                          4. Coffee

                                          Coffee is the wonderful elixir of energy that many people cherish every single morning. The biggest reason people drink coffee is to get a dose of caffeine.

                                          Caffeine is a natural neurological stimulant that not only gives you energy but also prevents adenosine, a neurotransmitter involved with feeling tired, from binding in the brain.

                                          Many people are surprised to find that coffee actually contains a large quantity of antioxidants called polyphenols, which are important for reducing inflammation in the brain and keep your brain energized. The antioxidants in coffee also provide a neuroprotective effect, protecting the brain from stress and damage. [R]

                                          Coffee can also:

                                          • Improve alertness and concentration.[10]
                                          • Help with neurodegenerative disorders like Parkinson’s disease.[11]
                                          • Reduce your risk of depression.[12]
                                          • Improve your memory.
                                          • Provide short-term boost in athletic performance.[13]

                                          5. Broccoli

                                          What was your least favorite food as a kid growing up?

                                          Most likely, broccoli was your answer.

                                          Broccoli may not have been your top choice, but it might be the top choice for your brain.

                                          Broccoli contains a compound called sulforaphane. Sulforaphane has been shown to promote the proliferation and survival of brain cells by reducing inflammation and boosting production of BDNF. It has also been shown to boost neurogenesis, the production of new brain cells.[14]

                                          Broccoli is also loaded with important nutrients Vitamin K and Folate. Vitamin K plays a vital role in protecting brain cells.[15] Folate plays a crucial role in detoxification and reducing inflammation in the brain.

                                          6. Bone broth

                                          Bone broth wasn’t just created to combine with soups, you can actually drink bone broth by itself.

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                                          Drinking bone broth has become one of the biggest trends in the health and wellness industry and for good reason. Bone broth isn’t actually a new thing. Bone broth has been used for centuries as a healing tonic to promote health and longevity.

                                          Much of the nutritional benefits and value of bone broth comes from its substantial vitamin and mineral content. Primarily calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and potassium.

                                          Your gut is called your second brain for a reason. Research continually shows that there is a direct and indirect connection between your gut and your brain. Your gut also houses and stores many important brain compounds involved with optimal brain performance. Therefore the health of your gut is vitally important for your brain health and performance.

                                          Bone broth has become a go-to tool for helping heal the gut and provide the gut with the vital nutrient and resources it needs to heal and perform optimally.

                                          With the vast amounts of nutrients that bone broth contains, it makes the list as a go-to food for your brain health.

                                          Look for high quality, organic bone broth for the best results.

                                          7. Walnuts

                                          Walnuts are one of the top choices of nuts for brain health. Walnuts also look similar to a brain.

                                          Amongst the wide variety of nuts available, walnuts contain the highest amounts of the important omega-3 DHA. DHA, as seen above, is a critical building block for a healthy brain.

                                          Walnuts also contain high amounts of antioxidants, folate, magnesium, potassium, and phosphorus, which help to lower inflammation.

                                          Melatonin in walnuts is an important nutrient for regulating your sleep. Having low amounts of melatonin can make it challenging to get good quality sleep and getting poor quality sleep can dramatically impair brain health and performance.

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                                          8. Eggs

                                          For years, eggs were put on the nutritional naughty list; but now, eggs are finally getting the credit they deserve. Eggs can provide a tremendous boost to your brain health and longevity.

                                          Eggs, particularly the yolks, contain a compound called choline. Choline is essential for building the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. Acetylcholine plays an important role in mood, memory, and intelligence.

                                          Egg yolks contain some of the highest quantities of choline. This is very important because low levels of choline can lead to low levels of acetylcholine, which in turn can cause increased inflammation, brain fog, difficulty concentrating and fatigue.

                                          9. Dark chocolate

                                          You’re about to love chocolate even more because chocolate, particularly dark chocolate, is great for your brain.

                                          Chocolate boosts levels of endorphins, your brains “feel good” chemicals. This is why you feel so good eating chocolate.[16]

                                          Chocolate also increases blood flow to the brain which can help improve memory, attention, focus, and reaction time.[17]

                                          Dark chocolate contains high levels of magnesium, which has been coined “natures valium” for its ability to calm and relax the brain.

                                          Lastly, dark chocolate has one of the highest antioxidant profiles out of any other food, including popular superfoods like acai berries, blueberries, or pomegranates.[18]

                                          Conclusion

                                          Your brain is a high performing organ and it uses quite a lot of energy, roughly 20% of the bodies energy demands.

                                          In order to maintain a healthy brain, you need the right fuel to ensure that your brain has all the nutrients it needs to perform as well as adapt to the stress of life.

                                          If you want to keep your brain performing well for a lifetime, then you want to make sure you are including as many of these brain health foods as possible.

                                          More Resources About Boosting Brain Power

                                          Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

                                          Reference

                                          [1] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: DHA Effects in Brain Development and Function
                                          [2] Canadian Science Publishing: Enhanced task-related brain activation and resting perfusion in healthy older adults after chronic blueberry supplementation
                                          [3] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Cognitive effects following acute wild blueberry supplementation in 7- to 10-year-old children.
                                          [4] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Curcumin: the Indian solid gold.
                                          [5] Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects. 2nd edition.: Turmeric, the Golden Spice
                                          [6] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Effect of combined treatment with curcumin and candesartan on ischemic brain damage in mice.
                                          [7] Science Direct: Curcumin reverses the effects of chronic stress on behavior, the HPA axis, BDNF expression and phosphorylation of CREB
                                          [8] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Curcumin boosts DHA in the brain: Implications for the prevention of anxiety disorders.
                                          [9] PLOS: A Chemical Analog of Curcumin as an Improved Inhibitor of Amyloid Abeta Oligomerization
                                          [10] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Effects of Caffeine on Cognitive Performance, Mood, and Alertness in Sleep-Deprived Humans
                                          [11] American Academy of Neurology: A Cup of Joe May Help Some Parkinson’s Disease Symptoms
                                          [12] American Academy of Neurology: AAN 65th Annual Meeting Abstract
                                          [13] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Effects of caffeine on the metabolic and catecholamine responses to exercise in 5 and 28 degrees C.
                                          [14] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Hyperammonemia induces glial activation, neuroinflammation and alters neurotransmitter receptors in hippocampus, impairing spatial learning: reversal by sulforaphane
                                          [15] Oxford Academic: Vitamin K and the Nervous System: An Overview of its Actions
                                          [16] Diana L. Walcutt, Ph.D: Chocolate and Mood Disorders
                                          [17] Health Magazine: Chocolate can do good things for your heart, skin and brain
                                          [18] Chemistry Central Journal: Cacao seeds are a “Super Fruit”: A comparative analysis of various fruit powders and products

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