Five great ideas for healthy lunches this summer

Posted on July 20, 2016 by Brynna Gabrielson

HY lunchWe don't know about you, but when the sun is out and the air is warm, we shy away from the hot, hearty meals of winter and lean toward lighter, cooler fare. Especially since sunny days are a great opportunity to take our lunch outside and have impromptu picnics wherever we can find a nice slice of grass in the sunlight. With that in mind, we've put together a list of some of our favourite summer lunches that we thought you might like to give a whirl.

Curry pasta salad
If you love pasta salad, and you love curry, then this one might be right up your alley. Per portion you'll need 100g of pasta (we tend to use Rotini, aka spirals or twists). Cook pasta - make sure it's a little firm when you remove from the hot water as mushy pasta won't work as well! Throw in a little bit of olive oil and then cool in the fridge.
To make the dressing you'll need approximately 2 tbsp of mayonnaise. For less calories try a lighter version, or if you prefer something even lighter greek yogurt is also a great option. Next up, mix the curry powder and mayonnaise together. Start with 1/4 teaspoon and increase the amount gradually until you reach your desired flavour/spiciness.

Take the cooled pasta out of the fridge and add 50 - 100g of cooked chicken breast and a 65ml of crushed pineapple. Add the dressing and stir until coated. Store in a sealed container and refrigerate until ready to eat. It should last 1-3 days in the fridge.

Chilled cucumber soup
Chilled soups are a delicious and cool lunch (see what we did there?) option in the summer months. There are many many varieties of chilled soup you can make, but we're quite partial to a creamy chilled cucumber soup.  We really like this recipe from Food & Wine magazine.  It uses lots of Greek Yogurt which is high in protein.

Strawberry summer salad
If you're in the camp that thinks fruit on salad is strange, then it's time put that aside and try this salad. It's simple to make, and impossible not to want seconds! For the salad itself gather some leafy greens, a handful of tasty ripe strawberries, some almond halves or slivers, and some creamy goat's cheese. There's no need for measurements here, just use as much or little as your taste buds prefer. Plate your greens and then wash and slice your strawberries into slivers. Use a fork to gently crumble your goats cheese and sprinkle over top. Next add the almonds.

The dressing is easy. You'll need equal parts balsamic and olive oil - a tbsp of each should do. Combine and then add 1tsp of strawberry jam! Use a fork or small whisk to stir until completely combined. Drizzle over your salad.

Hummus chicken wrap
We love hummus and we love wraps, so this one is a no brainer! Get yourself a tortilla - we usually use wholegrain, but white works just fine. Next, slather your tortilla with a nice helping of hummus. You can use any flavour, however we're quite partial to red pepper hummus. Add some cooked chicken and then veg of your choice. We like to put in some salad and cucumbers. You could also add peppers or onions, whatever you think will work best.

The next step might be the hardest - rolling it up! Our best tip is to fold the ends in and then roll it as tightly as you can. To secure it use a large piece of tin foil, tightly twisting the ends closed.

White bean and avocado sandwich
When it comes to sandwich making it can be easy to fall into a bit of rut - after all what's easier to slap together than ham and cheese or tuna and sweetcorn day after day? If you're feeling the sandwich rut, don't let it get you down or put you off sandwiches. There are many amazing combinations out there you might not have even thought of! For example, we recently came across this recipe for a tasty smashed white bean and avocado sandwich! Who would have thought to put beans in a sandwich? Not us, but now we love it. Hopefully you will too.