From Grilled Peanut Butter-Banana Fingers to Chopped Cobb Salad, these simple lunch recipes will please everyone in the family and make for the perfect at-home or on-the-go meals.
Recipes: Amanda Haas
September 06, 2012
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Chicken Wraps with Mango Chutney
Using curry powder gives potential health benefits (when turmeric is combined with black pepper, it becomes an amazing anti-inflammatory agent). Mango chutney sweetens this deliciously spicy lunch option.
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Chopped Cobb Salad
Cobb salad is normally so high in calories that it defeats the purpose of ordering a salad. So here’s a little twist on the usual. Instead of a creamy dressing, this recipe uses a vinaigrette. For a gluten-free version, substitute a good gluten-free bread for the French bread.
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Kids will love this cross between breakfast and lunch. Crunchy waffles, creamy cheese, and protein-packed turkey make this a great way to get your kids whole grains, dairy, and protein.
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Chicken Fried Rice
This little gem of a recipe was born from leftover veggies. It is beautiful, tasty, and nutritious and has quickly become one of my favorite things to make for lunch, dinner, and even breakfast. For a vegetarian option, substitute tofu or edamame for the chicken.
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Red Quinoa Salad
Red quinoa makes a beautiful main-dish salad, but you can use whichever color you’d like.
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Turkey Club Wraps
This is a convenient and quick meal for any day of the week. Set it up like a salad bar, and let everyone build their own.
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Grilled Stone Fruit Salad with Goat Cheese and Almonds
Grilling caramelizes the sugars and brings out the amazing flavors of practically any fruit. So if your kids don’t like salad, give this one a try.
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Grilled Peanut Butter-Banana Fingers
Why do sandwiches taste so good heated? Most likely, your family will love anything grilled between two slices of bread and topped with chocolate syrup.
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Pesto Pasta with Chicken and Tomatoes
This pesto is also delicious over seared chicken with a piece of fresh mozzarella melted over the top. Heavenly! If you’d like to use gluten-free pasta, purchase Bionaturae or Ancient Harvest pasta.
Once you make this salad for the first time, you’ll never feel the need to make a real Caesar again. The lemon juice and olive oil add such fresh flavors. Let your kids choose chicken, fish, or steak to eat with it. Make this a gluten-free salad by replacing the French bread with a gluten-free option.
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Parmesan-Panko Chicken Tenders
Most kids are hooked on breaded chicken of some sort. So here’s a pan-fried version that’s much healthier than drive-through or frozen food options. Using chicken breast tenders makes these look like fast food, but you’ll feel so much better about feeding them to your kids. The crispy, crunchy panko breadcrumbs lend incredible texture.
Kids and adults will love this simple, tasty recipe. Take to a kid-friendly party or just make a batch to keep in the fridge. Fruit, beans, veggies, and cheese make this a well-rounded midday meal.
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Watermelon and Fennel Salad with Honey-Lime Vinaigrette
Don’t tell—adding fruit to salads is how to convince kids to eat them. Cool and crisp, this is the perfect salad for summer. Tangy feta and the clean flavors of mint and lime balance the sweet watermelon. A delicious alternative to traditional lemon versions, the vinaigrette would be yummy with grilled shrimp or chicken, too.
These burritos are so flavorful and simple to make. Lunch comes together in 20 minutes. The spinach-mushroom filling is packed with healthy ingredients, but the ooey-gooey cheese is what sells kids on this combo.
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Crunchy Couscous Salad with Currants and Mint
What’s not to love about this salad? It’s sweet, savory, crunchy, and full of bright herbs and lemon juice. You can make it ahead, cover it, and leave it at room temperature up to four hours before serving. Resist the urge to refrigerate it, though—the couscous will dry out quickly. If you’re looking for a gluten-free option, try quinoa.
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Kids will go for chopped salads with lots of color, such as this one with edamame, chopped apple, and candied nuts. Most kids like the crunch of romaine lettuce, and letting them toss the ingredients in the bowl helps, too. The best part? Lunch is ready in 10 minutes.
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Risotto with Corn and Basil
Risotto is great because you can add practically any ingredient to it and it will taste delicious. This is a great version for the summer.
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Crunchy Chinese Chicken Salad with Wonton Chips
Picky kids can shun international flavor, but not this dish. With savory