Don't let a busy day tempt you into ordering high-calorie, carb-heavy fast food on your lunch break. These low-calorie lunches (all around 300 calories or less) are tasty and fit well into a healthy meal plan. Plus, these are quick and easy to prepare.
Homemade Walking Tacos
One of our favorite on-the-go lunch options, this easy recipe combines the tastiness of a taco with the convenience of a bag of chips. Plus, the all-in-one meal adds up to just 207 calories and 16 grams of carb per serving.
8 ounces uncooked ground turkey breast
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped red sweet pepper
1 tablespoon reduced-sodium taco seasoning
1 tablespoon water
1/8-1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
5 100-calorie packages nacho cheese-flavor tortilla chips
1 cup shredded romaine lettuce
2/3 cup diced tomato
1/3 cup shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese
5 teaspoons light sour cream
In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add turkey breast, onion, and sweet pepper. Cook until turkey is no longer pink, using a wooden spoon to break up meat as it cooks. Stir in taco seasoning, the water, and crushed red pepper. Cook and stir for 1 minute more.
Meanwhile, open the bags of tortilla chips; if desired, gently crush chips. Add lettuce to the bags. Top with cooked turkey mixture, tomato, and cheese. Top each with a teaspoon of the sour cream. Use a fork to mix together and eat from the bag. Makes 5 servings (1 walking taco per serving)
Nutrition Facts Per Serving: 207 cal., 10 g total fat (2 g sat. fat), 28 mg chol., 327 mg sodium, 16 g carb. (1 g fiber, 2 g sugars), 15 g pro. Diabetic Exchanges Starch (d.e): 1; Vegetables (d.e): 0.5; Fat (d.e): 1.5; Lean Meat (d.e): 1.5
Fresh Tomato Sandwiches
Who says sandwiches have to include meat? Our vegetarian open-face sandwiches feature a cheesy spread and juicy tomatoes on bagel thins.
1 tablespoon light mayonnaise
1/3 cup part-skim shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
1 teaspoon snipped fresh dill or 1/4 teaspoon dried dill
2 -3 roma tomatoes, sliced (you can also use other varieties)
1/4 cup red onion cut into thin wedges and separated into pieces
Dash garlic powder
2 teaspoons grated Parmesan cheese
Fresh dill (optional)
Lightly toast bagel thins. Place bagel thins, cut sides up, on a baking sheet. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a small bowl combine mayonnaise, mozzarella cheese, ricotta cheese, and the snipped fresh or dried dill. Spread mixture on bagel thins.
Layer tomato slices and onion pieces on bagel thins. Sprinkle lightly with garlic powder.
Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon of the Parmesan cheese over each bagel thin half.
Bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until mayonnaise mixture is melted and Parmesan is lightly browned. If desired, garnish with additional fresh dill.
Nutrition Facts Per Serving: 248 cal., 11 g total fat (5 g sat. fat), 27 mg chol., 423 mg sodium, 27 g carb. (6 g fiber, 6 g sugars), 16 g pro. Diabetic Exchanges Fat (d.e): 1; Lean Meat (d.e): 1.5; Vegetables (d.e): 1; Starch (d.e): 1.5;
Greek Fusion Burgers
These turkey burgers revved up with chipotle chile peppers in adobo sauce are ideal for diabetic meal plans. Ground turkey breast, light cream cheese, and reduced-fat cheddar cheese all help to keep calories around 272 and fat to a minimum.
2 teaspoons finely chopped canned chipotle chili peppers in adobo sauce
1 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
1/4 cup light tub-style cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese
1 tablespoon finely chopped green onion
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 large whole wheat pita bread rounds, halved crosswise
8 small slices tomato
1/2 of a medium cucumber, cut into thin bite-size strips
In a medium bowl, combine turkey, 1 teaspoon of the chile peppers, and the oregano. Shape mixture into four 1/2-inch-thick oval patties.
For a charcoal grill, grill patties on the rack of an uncovered grill directly over medium heat for 10 to 13 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into side of each patty registers 165 degrees F, turning once halfway through grilling.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the remaining 1 teaspoon chile pepper, the cream cheese, cheddar cheese, green onion, and salt.
Open cut sides of halved pita bread rounds to make pockets. Spread cream cheese mixture into pockets. Add cucumber, grilled patties, and tomato slices.
Nutrition Facts Per Serving: 272 cal., 6 g total fat (3 g sat. fat), 58 mg chol., 473 mg sodium, 22 g carb. (3 g fiber, 3 g sugars), 33 g pro. Diabetic Exchanges Fat (d.e): 0.5; Starch (d.e): 1; Vegetables (d.e): 1; Lean Meat (d.e): 4