Whether you’re at home or at work, lunch time causes problems for a lot of people. It’s all too easy to pick up something convenient like a sandwich, or make something quick at home. If you are on a low carb diet however, bread is not usually one of the foods allowed. So here are some low carb lunch ideas that are easy to make at home and take to work.
1. Low Carb Salads
One of the more popular options for someone on a low carb diet is a salad. Just because you are on a diet however, a salad doesn’t have to be bland and boring. Mix it up with lots of different types of salad greens like watercress, spinach, and arugula. Not only do these add a nice peppery flavor, but they contain more nutrients than just lettuce. You can easily buy salads pre-prepared, so for a quick low carb lunch keeping a salad or two in the fridge proves helpful.
Another great thing about making salads is that you are limited only by your imagination. You can include cold meats like pork, beef, and chicken. Protein foods are great for filling you up. Seafood, tuna, and salmon are great choices too as they provide essential vitamins and minerals. Caesar salads and Greek-style salads with feta cheese and eggs are easy to prepare for work.
2. Add Variety
With any diet it’s important to keep the foods interesting so it doesn’t become boring, so add variety to your low carb lunch menu. Adding seasoning and flavors to salads will help to make them more appealing. So with a chicken salad for example, use chicken tikka, chicken marinated in your favorite herbs and spices, or use grilled chicken.
Using salad dressing is another way to make the salad taste better and add flavor. When using bottled dressings always be careful to check the label first and see how many grams of carbohydrates they contain. A lot of well known brands have a high carbohydrate value. There are a lot of salad dressings you can make yourself. Olive oil is very versatile as a salad dressing, and you can buy olive oil infused with garlic, basil and other herbs for added flavor. Dressings need to be added just before you eat salad, so keep a bottle at work for convenience.
A low carb dressing that is easy to prepare yourself is lime dressing. To make this you will need 1 tablespoon of lime juice, 1 teaspoon of water, 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, and some seasoning and sweetener to taste. Pour the lime juice and water into a bowl, then add the sweetener. Whisk together adding seasoning to taste, whisking in the olive oil.
3. Low Carb Soups
If you prefer to have hot food for lunch, soup is a complete meal. If you are buying a soup always check the label carefully, there are not many soups that are low carbohydrate. Soup is a good way to make use of leftovers, you can make plenty spare and keep it in the freezer until needed. You’ll find plenty of low carbohydrate soup recipes online.
Chicken stock makes a great base for a soup. If you have cooked a chicken, boil chicken bones for around half an hour, strain using a sieve and freeze for use later. You can fry some leeks or onions and add vegetables like peppers and mushrooms and blend this with the chicken stock to make a great tasting low carb lunch.
Another food that is easy to cook for lunch is eggs. You can make an omelette and fill it with ham, cheese, mushroom, peppers, or other low carb vegetables. Alternatively some scrambled eggs wrapped in a low carb tortilla topped with cheese is a great meal.
5. Eating Out
Eating out or lunch at work can cause problems. A lot of restaurants do not cater for low carbohydrate options.
But with a little pre-planning, you can usually find somewhere that has some low carb menu options. For example, if you are at a steak restaurant you can have some green salad with a steak, grilled chicken, or salmon. A lot of pizza restaurants have salad options, just be sure to ask for the dressing to be put on the side, not over the salad. You can have a burger too of course, just not the bun.
6. Super-Fast Low Carb Food
There is a range of low carb bars and protein shakes on the market for people seeking fast food already prepared. Protein bars are good for providing a quick snack. They don’t really fill the gap of a meal, but keeping some in the office drawer or a cupboard at home can prove handy in an emergency.
7. Use Those Leftovers!
When you are making a main meal, think about cooking a bit extra to keep for tomorrow lunch. This is a great way to think ahead and make sure you will have a lunch the following day. Just put a helping in the fridge or freezer ready for the next day. Doing this is a way for you to build up your own line of ‘ready meals’.
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