Thursday, August 25, 2011

Healthy Low-Cal Lunches to Eat at Home

The best way to have a delicious, healthy low-calorie lunch is to make it yourself at home.  I have been having some of the most satisfying lunches that way.  The picture above is of a sandwich I made with 4 ounces of Boar's Head Blazing Buffalo Chicken Breast that I bought from the deli (120 calories).  I paired that with one slice of extra thin aged swiss cheese (60 calories), a fresh slice of tomato (3 calories), 1/3 cup of baby spinach (2 calories), and 2 slices of Sara Lee Low-Calorie Multi-grain Bread (90 calories).  Instead of potato chips I had a side of 7 baby carrots (24 calories) that I dipped in 1 Tablespoon of Blue Cheese salad dressing (68 calories).  I had water to drink bringing the total calories for this meal to 367 calories.  I ate this lunch several weeks ago, and this is the first chance I have had to write about it.

Moving on, Today I shared an awesome lunch with my husband.  I will spare you the calorie count, because I don't have any real way to look it up.  I bought Curry Chicken Salad and Quinoa Salad from Green Acres at the deli counter.  Green Acres is like a Whole Foods, but it is local to Kansas City.  We ate the chicken salad on leaf lettuce wraps.  The chicken salad was full of chunks of chicken breast, curry flavor, mayo, golden raisins, almond slivers, and mango chutney.  It was absolutely delicious, and who cares how many calories it was since we went with lettuce wraps?.  The quinoa (pronounced keen-wa) was loaded with flavor including cucumber, mint, parsley, onion, peppers, etc.  For those of you that are unfamiliar with quinoa it is a high quality protein grain, making it popular with vegans and vegetarians.  It is similar in texture and size to couscous, but it has a nuttier flavor.  It's fantastic, and it is actually easy to make at home.  If you can make rice, then you can make quinoa.

Another way to stretch your calories with a lunch at home is to have a salad (easy on the dressing) or a cup of soup on the side.  Load your sandwich up with veggies, and look for low-cal ways to boost the flavor.

Here are some other lunch ideas to pack in your lunch box or eat at home:

2 slices 45 Calorie Wheat Bread    90
1 Tbsp Skippy Natural Peanut Butter    85
1 Celery Stalk    6
5 Baby Carrots    18
1 Small Organic Apple    77
Iced Tea or Water    0
Total Calories    276
1 cup Mixed Greens    13
Hard Boiled Egg    70
1 Tbsp Real Bacon Bits    30
1/4 cup Peas    31
1/4 cup Chickpeas    71
1/4 cup Kidney beans    52
1 Tbsp Ranch Dressing    73
Water or Iced Tea or Water    0
Total Calories    340
2 slices 45 Calorie Wheat Bread    90
4 oz. Deli Meat (Turkey or Ham)    120
Laughing Cow Light Cheese Spread    35
1/2 cup Mixed Greens    5
Tomato Slice    5
1/4 Avocado    72
10 Kettle Chips, Baked, Aged White Cheddar    60
Crystal Light Pure Fitness Water    15
Total Calories    387
2 slices 45 Calorie Wheat Bread    90
1/2 cup Alfalfa Sprouts    12.5
2 oz. Deli Ham or Turkey    60
1 slice Provolone Cheese    80
1 Tbsp. Light Mayo    35
10 Grapes    34
Water or Tea    0
Total Calories    311.5
Curry Chicken Salad (from recipe    309.5
2 slices 45 Calorie Wheat Bread    90
Iced Tea or Water    0
Total Calories    399.5
Buffalo Chicken Salad (    299
2 slices 45 Calorie Wheat Bread    90
Iced Tea or Water    0
Total Calories    389
Lightly Marinated Tuna in Water (4.5 oz packet)    157.5
1 Celery Stalk, cut into matchsticks    6
1/2 Cucumber, peeled, seeded, cut into sticks    5
1 Tbsp Light Mayonnaise    35
1/8 tsp. Wasabi Powder    1
1 Rice Wrapper    20
1 Tbsp. Soy Sauce for dipping    11
Green Tea    0
Total Calories    235.5
California Sushi Rolls (on Average for 8 small rolls)    300
Iced Tea or Water    0
Total Calories    300
1 Beef Frank    149
1/2 Cup Bake Beans, canned    110
1/2 Cup White Long Grain Rice, cooked    103
Total Calories    362

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