What Goes into Great Summer Lunch Ideas?
Great summer lunch ideas aren’t just a matter of finding something low cal or that you don’t have to cook in an oven. Yes, it’s a bonus feature if they don’t cause me to overwhelm my calorie total for the day or if I don’t have to heat up my kitchen by baking. Still, that’s not enough to make something good. I mean, a leaf of lettuce fits that description, and I sure wouldn’t call that meal “great”.
So, I made sure that when I was choosing my summer lunch ideas, they had to accomplish a lot more than that.
They have to:
- Be affordable
- Be made of ingredients I have on hand or can easily obtain
- Taste great
- Satisfy my hunger for a couple of hours at the very least
- Be fast and easy to make
- Be light enough on calories that I can still eat breakfast, dinner and a couple of snacks
- Be oven-free…because I really don’t want to heat up my kitchen
My Top Summertime Choices at Lunchtime
- Greek salad (cucumber, tomato, green onion in a balsamic vinaigrette), with grilled chicken, apple slices, and pecans.
- Grilled veggie quesadillas, made with grilled bell peppers, zucchini and/or eggplant, and mushrooms. I use a light/reduced-fat cheese and either whole wheat or whole grain tortillas.
- Whole grain pasta salad with chopped fresh veggies and a quick homemade basil pesto.
- Fast and easy grilled chicken salad with microgreens on whole grain bread.
- Egg salad roll-ups using whole grain tortillas and avocado instead of mayo. I add a dash of white pepper to really bring out the flavor, and toss on some microgreens or spinach to remind myself that veggies are always a must in healthy summer lunch ideas!