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Home Meals Meal Prep 4 Easy, Cold Lunch Ideas

4 Easy, Cold Lunch Ideas

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I’m following up on a FAQ –

“What are some lunch meals you can enjoy that don’t have to be reheated?”

Here are four easy lunch ideas to help inspire your next meal prep! This is a continuation of the 5 cold lunch mash-up that I did last year.

When it comes to eating food cold (or at room temperature), keep it simple! Here are some guidelines I live by:

  •  Protein:
    • poultry (chicken, turkey, boiled eggs)
    • some fish (I like fatty fish such as salmon and swordfish on occasion, fully cooked cod also does well)
    • lean steaks such as flank and London broil
    • grilled, firm tofu (tempeh is good as well – just make sure it’s seasoned and cooked through)
  • Avoid meals with fatty ground meats or fatty melted cheeses – the cold texture of grease isn’t as pleasing or appetizing (of course cold pizza is the exception!)
  • Chopped salads > regular salads – I find they are more enjoyable and when chopped together, so long as you have a good mix of wet/dry and firm/soft ingredients, really don’t require a lot of dressing. Plus, you can easily make sandwiches, pitas, wraps out of it too!

 

Cold Lunch Recipes

 

Sweet Kale, Bean & Quinoa Salad

cold lunch - kale bean quinoa salad

Ingredients for 1 serving of salad:

  • OPTIONAL: your choice of 3oz – 6oz cooked protein (chicken, turkey, tofu, tempeh, etc)
  • 1 1/2 – 2 cups chopped kale, wilted/steamed
  • 1/3 cup black beans (or Simple Truth Tri-Bean blend)
  • 1/4 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • Seasonings:
  • 1 teaspoon Simple Truth maple syrup (or you can use 1/2 packet Stevia in the raw)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • juice from half small orange
  • sea salt & pepper to taste
  • add-ons:
    • red pepper for spiciness
    • pinch of smoked paprika to compliment cumin
    • substitute orange for lemon
  • spray olive oil

 

Approximate macros for 1 salad (without 6oz chicken):

201 calories, 11g protein, 38g carbohydrates, 1g fat, 7g fiber, 7g sugar

 


Frittata (Sausage) Muffins with Avocado Toast

cold lunch - egg frittata avocado toast
cold lunch - egg frittata avocado toastcold lunch - egg frittata avocado toast

Ingredients for 6 frittata muffins:

  • 3 eggs
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1 lean chicken sausage (optional; or choice of cooked, lean ground meat)
  • 1 cup broccoli crowns (or choice of fibrous vegetable)
  • 1 colorful bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/3 cup chopped onion
  • 6 tablespoons reduced-fat mozzarella
  • Seasonings:
    • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
    • 1 teaspoon thyme
    • pinch of sea salt & pepper
  • 1/2 medium ripe avocado
  • 1 serving of toasted sourdough (or whole grain bread)

 

Approximate macros for 1 of 6 muffins:

106 calories, 11g protein, 4g carbohydrates, 5g fat, 1g fiber, 2g sugar

 

Approximate macros for 1 slice of sourdough + 1/2 medium avocado:

195 calories, 5g protein, 19g carbohydrates, 14g fat, 9g fiber, 2g sugar

 


Sticky Steak Rolls with Cilantro Jasmine Rice

cold lunch - sticky steak rolls
cold lunch - sticky steak rolls

Ingredients for 3 steak rolls:

  • ~6oz lean flank steak or London broil, sliced into thin 2oz pieces
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into strips
  • 1/3 cup onion, cut into strips
  • 1 medium zucchini, cut into strips
  • Steak seasonings:
    • 2 teaspoons onion powder
    • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
    • pinch pepper
  • Sauce:
    • 2 tablespoons balsamic glaze (or 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar mixed with 1 tablespoon raw honey)
    • 1 teaspoon low sodium soy sauce
    • Add an extra teaspoon of honey if you want it extra sticky or sweet (OPTIONAL)
    • Also, consider adding: red pepper for spice or swapping soy sauce with fresh lime juice
  •  Rice:
    • mix cooked jasmine rice with chopped cilantro and fresh lime juice

 

Approximate macros for 1 of 3 steak rolls:

127 calories, 13g protein, 12g carbohydrates, 3g fat, 1g fiber, 7g sugar

 

Approximate macros for 1/2 cup jasmine rice:

103 calories, 23g carbohydrates, 0g fat, 2g protein, 1g fiber, 0g sugar

 


Chopped Salad Jar…with Bacon and Sweet Lemon Vinaigrette

DSC02255-5

Ingredients:

  • 5oz cooked chicken breast (OR your choice and serving size of lean protein)
  • 3 thick butter lettuce leaves
  • 2 leaves Romaine lettuce
  • 6 cherry tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup chopped red onion
  • 2/3 cup fresh cilantro (or to taste)
  • Optional:
    • 1 slice thick cut bacon, crumbled
    • 2 tablespoons feta crumble
  • Vinaigrette
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • juice from 1 lemon
    • 1/2 teaspoon agave or raw honey (optional)
    • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
    • sea salt & pepper to taste

 

Approximate macros for 1 jar (with bacon & feta):

368 calories, 14g carbohydrates, 9g fat, 55g protein, 3g fiber, 7g sugar

 

Approximate macros for vinaigrette:

139 calories, 6g carbohydrates, 14g fat, 0g protein, 0g fiber, 4g sugar

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