Matthew Kadey, RD
A lackluster midday meal can throw off your whole afternoon. What’s your best defense? Rebooting lunchtime with forward-thinking recipes for healthy eating all week long. These recipes will help you say goodbye to #sadlunches. Designed to be made ahead, just grab ‘em and go before bolting out the door.
This medley of great flavors, colors and textures will leave your sandwich-holding colleagues drooling with envy. This is exactly the sort of meal you’ll spend all morning looking forward to. Store salad and dressing separately; combine them just before leaving the house (or ideally, just before serving).
The genius about this soup-in-a-jar recipe is that you layer in the ingredients and then add hot water when you’re ready for lunch. Eating healthy couldn’t be easier. Scale up ingredient amounts to make as many jars as you like. Prepared jars can be refrigerated up to 1 week. Use wide-mouth canning jars (as they’re made to withstand heat) and remove jars from the refrigerator an hour or so before adding hot water to reduce the temperature change.
Nutty-tasting soba noodles are delicious when slurped up cold, making them a great option for a make-ahead lunch. This recipe livens them up with a sprightly pesto, colorful veggies and meaty chicken. Think of this dish as an unlikely match-up of delicious Japanese and Mediterranean flavors. Look for gluten-free soba noodles, made with 100% buckwheat. You’ll have extra Broccoli Pesto on hand, which can be used in other dishes or frozen for future use.
This colorful adaptation of traditional Southern succotash makes a fresh and exciting lunch. Blueberries add a hint of seasonal sweetness, while Tahini Dressing delivers a creamy finish. Find frozen or canned lima beans in most supermarkets; frozen shelled edamame makes a good substitute.
This crowd-pleasing recipe ups the ante with a punchy pesto, salty cured meat and exciting vegetables. Cherries provide just the right amount of seasonal sweetness.
This veggie-centric wrap is a bundle of delicious flavors, textures and colors—and it’s ultra-healthy. The hummus and grilled vegetables can be prepared in advance. Assemble the wraps on the day of your picnic.
Layering ingredients in single-serving jars means you can make this salad ahead without the risk of soggy greens. For ease of eating, bring along some bowls.
With flip-flop season in full swing, it’s officially eat-outside season. So head to the park, the hiking trail or the beach with a picnic basket and blanket and enjoy a tasty meal with friends and family. This delicious menu is easy to prepare ahead and it travels well. It’s guaranteed to make picnicking a highlight of your summer. P.S. Don’t forget the sunscreen.
Serve it straight-up or dilute it with seltzer water. If you can’t find loose-leaf rooibos, use 5 rooibos tea bags.