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15 Healthy & Filling Lunches

Looking for some new healthy lunch ideas to spice up your tired-out rotation? From grain bowls to hearty salads to soups, we've got you covered

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Millet Amaranth Buddha Bowls

Imagine a classic Asian-style rice bowl, but with a risotto-like blend of millet and amaranth as the base. At Vital Root in Denver, chef-owner Justin Cucci tops the grains with loads of vegetables and tofu, then drizzles on a silky tahini sauce.

Recipe: Millet Amaranth Buddha Bowls

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Saffron Tomato Chickpeas, Freekeh, and Brussels Sprouts

Create this tasty vegetarian bowl using chickpeas and Freekeh with Parsley and Onions, topped with thinly sliced brussels sprouts, plain yogurt, and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil.

Recipe: Saffron Tomato Chickpeas, Freekeh, and Brussels Sprouts

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Chicken Salad with Miso Dressing

This chicken salad recipe is lighter than most (mustard, citrus, and miso replace the typical mayo) and is a great way to use up leftover grilled chicken from last night's dinner.

Recipe: Chicken Salad with Miso Dressing

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Black Bean Soup with Avocado, Orange, and Cucumber

We left the soup chunky with a clear broth, but you could easily purée it to create a smooth soup. Just don't skip the avocado mixture, as it makes a refreshing contrast to the beans and spice.

Recipe: Black Bean Soup with Avocado, Orange, and Cucumber

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Freekeh Tabbouleh

This tasty tabbouleh uses Freekeh with Parsley and Onions recipe as its base, with additional ingredients like Persian cucumbers and feta cheese to take it to the next level.

Recipe: Freekeh Tabbouleh

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Salmon and Grains Salad with Pistachio Salsa Verde

Kris Tominaga serves this dramatic salad at Cadet restaurant in Santa Monica. Wild rice and black quinoa (the quinoa fried until crunchy) form a backdrop for colorful greens and salmon. In winter, frozen sockeye salmon is an excellent choice.

Recipe: Salmon and Grains Salad with Pistachio Salsa Verde

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Snap Pea Minestrone with Poached Eggs

This lovely soup is practically spring in a bowl. To make it heartier, scatter quartered cherry tomatoes and croutons on top. Snap peas often have a fibrous string that runs down the pod's straight side; to remove it, snap off the stem end and pull down sharply.

Recipe: Snap Pea Minestrone with Poached Eggs

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Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chili

Earthy sweet potatoes add depth to this vegetarian chili. New Mexico chile powder is fruity and mild, so don’t be scared off by the generous amount called for here. Feel free to swap in any other kind of chile powder you have on hand—just use less of it.

Recipe: Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chili

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Kale Salad with Red Quinoa, Fennel, and Carrots

A simple vinaigrette and creamy goat cheese perfectly dress crisp and crunchy veggies. Quinoa adds a punch of protein to a main-dish vegetarian salad that’s sure to please.

Recipe: Kale Salad with Red Quinoa, Fennel, and Carrots

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Red Quinoa Bowl with Swiss Chard and Poached Egg

Technically a seed (so no gluten), quinoa is touted as a superfood for its high fiber and protein. The runny yolk of a poached egg creates a little sauce on top.

Recipe: Red Quinoa Bowl with Swiss Chard and Poached Egg

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Sumac Hummus with Kale Ribbons and Roasted Delicata Squash

Bring together some of our favorite vegetarian flavors in this dish. Don't forget to bring out the warm pita or lavash.

Recipe: Sumac Hummus with Kale Ribbons and Roasted Delicata Squash

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Spicy Peanut, Carrot, and Snap Pea Wraps

Swap in a low-carb whole-wheat tortilla and these crunchy vegetarian wraps will become a new lunchbox staple.

Recipe: Spicy Peanut, Carrot, and Snap Pea Wraps

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Quinoa Salad with Chicken, Avocado, and Oranges

In this balanced and nutritious salad, you get protein from two sources, the citrus brightens up the flavors, and the avocado adds a touch of richness.

Recipe: Quinoa Salad with Chicken, Avocado, and Oranges

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Black Rice Salad with Butternut Squash and Pomegranate Seeds

Everyone loves the sweet, nutty flavor and chewy texture of black rice; add crunchy pomegranates and a hint of smoky paprika, and you’ve got a home run combination.

Recipe: Black Rice Salad with Butternut Squash and Pomegranate Seeds

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Spiced Red Lentils with Caramelized Onions and Spinach

This gently spicy dish uses a North Indian technique called tadka or chaunk: seasonings are sizzled in hot oil or clarified butter, then swirled into the lentils right before serving for a massive flavor boost.

Recipe: Spiced Red Lentils with Caramelized Onions and Spinach

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