Make brown-bragging a breeze with easy, healthy lunch recipes that keep low-calorie, vegan, and gluten-free diets on track

By By the editors of
May 25, 2015

Meal prep can be a time suck, but these no-cook lunches, created by Dawn Jackson Blatner, R.D.N., mean the only minutes you have to invest are the ones spent throwing everything in a tupperware before you head to work. The Vegan "Sushi" and Mediterranean Protein Plate will feed your cravings for more exotic dishes while still delivering essential vitamins and nutrients (betcha didn't know seaweed can pack up to 9 grams of protein!). And you'll be addicted to the cashew-butter-slathered sandwich, which has the added perk of sprouted bread. (Ask the Diet Doctor: Benefits of Sprouted Grains.) And don't underestimate our salad-we're the first to admit most lettuce bowls will leave you hungry and unsatisfied, but the high-protein chicken and high-fat avocado in this recipes means you'll be full for hours after your lunch break.

Vegan "Sushi" Rice Bowl

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To a bowl or to-go container, add 1/2 cup cooked brown rice. Top with 1/2 cup shelled, cooked edamame; 1/2 cup shredded carrots; 1/2 cup finely chopped cucumber; 1/4 avocado, chopped; 1/2 sheet nori seaweed, cut into strips; and 2 teaspoons sesame seeds. In a small bowl whisk, together 2 tablespoons orange juice and 2 teaspoons gluten-free soy sauce. Drizzle sauce on rice bowl.

Mediterranean Protein Plate

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In a to-go container or on a plate, place 1 1/2-ounce cube Feta, 1/2 can (2 ounces) tuna in olive oil, 12 gluten-free brown rice crackers, 1 cup cucumber slices, and 8 olives. (Want more? 5 Delicious Ways to Follow the Mediterranean Diet.)

Cashew Club Sandwich

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Divide 1 1/2 tablespoons cashew butter between 2 slices sprouted whole grain bread and spread evenly. To one slice, add 1/2 cup shredded carrots. To other slice, add 2 radishes, thinly sliced and 1/2 cup spinach. Close sandwich, slice, and serve with 1/2 cup grapes. (Cashew butter?! Spread the Love and expand your nut butter horizons even more.

Chicken and Avocado Ranch Salad

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To a medium bowl or to-go container, add 2 cups chopped romaine lettuce, 1/2 cup shredded carrots, 1/2 cup sliced red bell pepper, 1/2 cup frozen and thawed corn kernels, and 3 ounces grilled and sliced chicken breast. In a small bowl, mash 1/4 avocado with 1 1/2 tablespoons organic ranch dressing. Add dressing to salad and toss.

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