If you’re following a low-calorie diet, you’re likely looking for easy, packable lunches that are flavorful and satisfying while still falling within your calorie budget. Not only do these recipes have fewer than 400 calories per serving, but they also happen to be vegetarian — great for anyone who doesn’t eat meat, or if you’re simply trying to work more plant-based food into your diet.
1. Roasted Cauliflower and Lentil Bowl with Sweet Potato Hummus
There are no chickpeas in this “hummus.” Instead, cooked sweet potato is combined with tahini for a nutty, orange-hued spread that’s a delicious base for roasted cauliflower and protein-packed lentils.
2. Crispy White Beans with Greens and Poached Egg
If you’re prepping this recipe in advance, soft-boil a bunch of eggs instead of poaching them, then refrigerate them until you’re ready to dig in. And while this recipe calls for Swiss chard, feel free to use any hearty green, such as spinach or kale, which holds up particularly well in lunches.
3. How To Make the Very Best Vegetarian Chili
Make a big pot of this vegetarian chili over the weekend, then portion it out for lunches throughout the week. It’s packed with an assortment of veggies and beans, so it’s guaranteed to keep you full until dinnertime.
4. Mediterranean Veggie Pita Sandwich
Enjoy two veggie-stuffed pita pocket halves for a satisfying, low-calorie lunch. Feel free to use store-bought hummus instead of making your own.
5. Couscous Salad with Cucumber, Red Onion & Herbs
Couscous is incredibly quick-cooking (it’s ready in a matter of minutes), which means this fresh, summery lunch couldn’t be easier to pull together. Opt for whole-wheat couscous to bulk up the nutrients even more.
6. Tomato and Feta White Bean Salad
If you like, pile this bean salad onto a bed of greens to bulk it up without adding extra calories. It will be especially tasty this time of year, when fresh tomatoes are bursting with flavor and juiciness.
7. Easy Spinach Salad with Apples, Walnuts, and Feta
Think of this salad as more of a mix-and-match formula than a recipe: Feel free to swap in your favorite fruit, nuts, or cheese. For extra protein, toss in some chickpeas or tofu.
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