3 Lunch Recipes for the Total Body Diet

By Victoria Shanta Retelny, Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics

As part of the Total Body Diet, you must eat a balanced lunch, which is essential to fuel your mind and body well for the work ahead — whether it’s at the office, running around with the kids, or studying. Your midday meal sets the tone for the rest of the day.

Try these recipes as part of your Total Body Diet lifestyle.

Chicken and Lentil Soup

[Credit: ©iStockphoto.com/SMarina]

Credit: ©iStockphoto.com/SMarina

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 30–40 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

1 tablespoon olive oil

One 4-ounce chicken breast, cut into bite-size pieces

1 medium celery stalk, diced

1 medium carrot, peeled and diced

1/2 yellow onion, diced

3 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 quart low-sodium vegetable broth

One 15.5-ounce can diced (no-salted added) tomatoes, undrained

1-1/4 cup dry lentils, rinsed

1 bay leaf

1/4 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped

1 teaspoon red wine vinegar

2 cups spinach leaves, washed and dried

Salt and pepper (optional)

  1. In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add chicken pieces and sauté for 10 minutes or until chicken turns white and golden brown. Add celery, carrot, and onion. Stir occasionally until vegetables begin to soften, about 10 minutes.

  2. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper.

  3. Add vegetable broth, tomatoes (with juice), lentils, bay leaf, and thyme and stir to combine. Cover and simmer about 15 minutes. Once simmering, reduce heat to low and continue to simmer, covered, about 15 minutes until lentils are soft.

  4. Stir in vinegar and spinach until wilted. Season with salt and pepper as needed.

Per serving: Calories 342 (From Fat 58); Fat 6g (Saturated 1g); Cholesterol 18mg; Sodium 427mg; Carbohydrate 48g (Dietary Fiber 20g); Protein 28g.

Apple and Chipotle Cheddar Sandwich

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Yield: 1 serving

2 slices whole-grain bread

1 tablespoon chipotle mustard

1/4 medium apple, thinly sliced

1 ounce cheddar cheese, thinly sliced

1 romaine lettuce leaf, washed and dried

  1. Lay the bread slices out and spread the mustard on both slices.

  2. Top one slice with apple, cheese, and lettuce. Place the other slice of bread on top to make a sandwich. Cut in half and enjoy!

Per serving: Calories 286 (From Fat 110); Fat 12g (Saturated 6g); Cholesterol 30mg; Sodium 565mg; Carbohydrate 30g (Dietary Fiber 5g); Protein 15g.

You can purchase chipotle-flavored mustard or make your own by simply tossing 1/2 teaspoon crushed chipotle pepper flakes (or grind them in a spice grinder) into brown mustard. Mix and spread generously on bread, tortillas for wraps, or sandwich thins.

Spinach, Chicken, and Goat Cheese Spinach Bowl

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 2 servings

1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed

1 cup water

Pinch of salt

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons unsalted raw sunflower seeds

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 cup diced and cooked chicken breast

1 cup spinach leaves, washed and dried

3 tablespoons lemon juice

2 tablespoons goat cheese

Pinch of ground black pepper

  1. In a saucepan over high heat, bring quinoa and water to a boil. Add salt and olive oil. Lower the heat and simmer, covered, for about 15 minutes or until water is absorbed. Fluff with a fork and set aside.

  2. In a large sauté pan over medium heat, add the sunflower seeds and toast for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  3. Add the garlic to the pan and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the chicken, quinoa, and spinach to sauté pan and combine. Cook until the spinach is wilted. Then add the lemon juice.

  4. Remove from the heat and toss with the goat cheese and pepper. Divide evenly between 2 bowls and serve.

Per serving: Calories 382 (From Fat 135); Fat 15g (Saturated 3g); Cholesterol 63mg; Sodium 84mg; Carbohydrate 32g (Dietary Fiber 4g); Protein 30g.