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Oh No! It's Lunch Time!!!!!!!

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So, I'm doing really well with my food choices and eating healthy, but when it comes to lunch I have no idea what to eat. I don't want to have too much carbs, so I skip out on a sandwich; and with cold weather I am not too keen on salads. What I need is a good warm low sodium, low fat, low carb soup. I used to rely on Campbell's Chicken Noodle. Mmm MMM!!! But the sodium content is so high, even in the low sodium cans. 

Anyone have any suggestions for a warm lunch?

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Why not make your own soup, then you know exactly how much salt is in it. You can make up a big batch really cheaply then put it into portion sized tubs and freeze them. Then just defrost as and when you need them.

You could do vegetable and barley, chicken and broccolli, bacon and lentil etc etc

a grilled cheese sandwich :) 


pasta with marinara sauce and veggies



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I second making your own soup. It doesn't take very long, and you can make enough to eat all week. Or you can freeze individual portions, then heat them up later.

I love chicken noodle soup and make my own frequently. I also make potato vegetable soups frequently - saute onions, garlic, carrots and celery in a little oil til the onions are translucent, then add potatoes and/or sweet potatoes and cover with water or stock (use homemade stock - much less sodium). Add some ham if you like, or toss in some green beans, or some hearty greens (kale, collards) - whatever you like, really. If you want, you can add some milk at the end of the cooking time. To add body to the soup, slightly mash some of the potatoes once they're cooked. To add creaminess to the soup with minimal added fat, make a roux with 1 Tbs flour and 1 Tbs melted butter in a separate saucepan. Add one cup of milk and stir until it thickens (10 minutes or so). Then add that to your soup.

Bean soups are also delicious and easy. I love lentils - they cook faster than shell beans, and have a nice, earthy taste. Rinse and pick through the lentils, again saute onions and garlic, then toss in the lentils and cover with stock or water. Add whatever vegetables and seasonings you like (conventional lore says not to add salt until the lentils are done, but I don't know that this is necessary). Bean soups are similar, they just take longer, as the beans should either be soaked first, or cooked longer.

For seriously quick, seriously easy soups, my favorite recipe is this: Heat one carton (32 ounces) of vegetable or beef stock, one small jar of salsa (no-salt added, by preference), one can of black beans, drained and rinsed, and one can of corn, drained. Add 1 T chili powder, 1 tsp cumin and 1/2 tsp black pepper (adjust to taste). If you like a thicker soup, sprinkle 1/4 c cornmeal slowly into the soup, stirring constantly until all of the cornmeal is added. Simmer 10 minutes. You can add cooked chicken if you like. It's high in sodium, so use low-sodium canned goods and stock (or use homemade stock - 4 cups - and frozen corn), but takes maybe 15 minutes total and is very tasty.

Veggie stock is very cheap and very easy to make. Keep a ziploc bag in your freezer and thow vegetable trimmings (like carrot or potato peelings, onion ends, asparagus stems etc) or past-their-prime veggies into it. Once the bag is full, empty the contents into a big pot. Make sure there's at least one onion's worth of onion scraps in there - if not, add an onion. Throw in a bay leaf, parsley if you've got it and some peppercorns, cover with water, and simmer for 30 minutes or so. Strain and portion into freezer containers. Way, way tastier than store-bought veggie stock and practically free. Different veggies will flavor the stock in various ways - corncobs (un-gnawed on, of course!) make a very sweet stock. Mushrooms make a very savory stock. I'd avoid broccoli, cabbage or sprouts unless you're making cabbage soup - the taste is very distinctive and overpowering.

ETA: Milk-based soups don't freeze as well.

Here's one that'll take ya about 5-8 minutes to throw together:

1 med white or sweet potato (cook in microwave), cut up and top with 1/2c black beans (just open can drain and rinse), 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt (high protein and tastes like sour cream) and add salt/pepper and other dried herbs as desired (I like cumin).

Don't know if this helps, but chicken nuggets are fairly low in carbs. You could have some type of veggies with them. it may satisfy you a little because you said you get really hungry at that time.

what about tofu? bake it, grill it, just eat it raw, marinate it. I also eat alot of steam veggie packs (100 calories for a huge serving of delicious vegetables) stick it in the microwave for 3-4 minutes~

Original Post by jenhelle:

Don't know if this helps, but chicken nuggets are fairly low in carbs. You could have some type of veggies with them. it may satisfy you a little because you said you get really hungry at that time.

I wonder how on earth chicken nuggets can be a better option than healthy carbohydrates... Undecided

This isn't really a low sodium option, but if you don't really have the time to make your own soup the V8 soups taste amazing and are almost as good as homemade. They have only around 100 cal per serving, and contain a full serving of vegetables. They are more of a puree then a brothy soup so I end up feeling a little more satisfied.

Eggs or Egg Beaters make a really satisfying lunch as well with a little bit of laughing cow (or other low cal cheese) and fruit. Or make an omlete with them and fill it with veggies.

or a veggie burger without the bun and a side of veggies (I also sometimes mix the veggie burger into my Egg Beaters)

Wraps are good, just get the low fat ones.  Or, just have one slice of whole grain bread for your sammy.

Or, how about sushi? I have California rolls sometimes, just keep it to 5 or 6 small ones.

I've got some really easy & good homemade soup recipes it you are interested!

Here is a good quick and easy recipe for Turkey noodle soup, I have used it with chicken also, It is one of my family's  favorites.  I leave the soy sauce out and cut my chicken in cubes & use no yolk noodles. r.dyn?action=displayRecipe&recipe_id=1120 328

When I make dinner, I always make enough for lunch the next day.  Then I don't have to think about it.

Today for lunch I have spicy couscous (whole wheat) with roasted vegetables and a grilled chicken breast left over from last night's dinner.  I love the couscous because it's really delicious and filling - and you can eat it either warm or cold.  If I want to up my protein, I substitute quinoa instead - also delicious and just as easy to make.  The veggies that I include are zuchinni, summer squash and red peppers - but you can put in anything you want.  I always keep a carton of soup at the office in case I don't have time to pack a lunch - that way I can microwave it and still have something light and healthy. 

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I use shirataki noodles for many lunches.   They come in a bag, pre-portioned.  You rinse them, and then mix them with whatever you'd like.  They are only about 40 calories per bag, and made of soy, so they're low carb.  For warm food options, you can add a bit of broth, veggies, and a protein then microwave or heat on the stove top.   Another option is to mix a little peanut butter with soy sauce and heat up, mix it in with the noodles, and it tastes like peanut noodles from a Tai restaurant! One other option is to use a low calorie pasta sauce, and add parmesan or low fat ricotta or mozz. cheese for protein!  These are some ideas.  I've ordered the noodles from and was happy with their service!Smile

I actually prepare my meals on saturday and sunday and freeze/refrigerate them...soups, stuffed chicken, beans, etc.

I did have a burger and fries yesterday, whole wheat bun and loaded it up with spinach, tomatoes, pickles and onions.  I didn't feel bad because it wasn't that many calories...I couldn't even eat it all lol

Whole grain tortilla's (from Sams Club) with a low-fat Cheese stick, black beans and avacado.... Yum!!

lrjones11: I make my own soup for lunch. Start w/ low sodium chicken or beef broth, then add frozen green beans, corn, beans, spinach-any combo. I then add some spice; maybe oregano. In this way, you can make it as hearty as you want and it is still very low fat, low calorie. If that's not enough, you can always add maybe 1/4 cup of lean ground beef or a few pieces of left over chicken. Experiment and enjoy!

The big trick when watching sodium is to avoid procesed food.  A serving of canned tomatoes has enough sodium for a full day for two people.  If you are making soup at home don't add salt if you are adding canned veggies.  Also, if you are using canned broth or boulion cubes double the water suggested on the instructions.  Using fresh celery, onions, and garlic make up for the 'missing' salt.

i understand your frustration: i totally agree with homemade soups- i made a tortellini soup the other day: i use, whole tomatos, carrots, celery(or cabbage), tri-color tortellini, and one large onion. i chop it all up, throw it all in a pot, and cook my skinless, boneless chicken separate (i boil it and then drain all the fat). I then shred up the chicken into my soup. i add about a large cup of water or 2. your veggies give off water, so i go easy with the water and add little by little- i like my soup a bit thick and hearty. i season with NO SALT!! i use herbs- black pepper, italian seasoning- or fresh oregan and basil if you have some around.  i have a little microwaveable ceramic cut that has a lid( bought at wal-mart) and i take that to work. too easy.   i also eat little snacks  like a hard boilded egg- for protein. and may throw one into a salad or again boil my chicken, drain and shed and place it into a container where i can use a little chicken here and there- like on top of a salad, or i also love a tortillia with some chicken and one strink cheese- melted in a toaster oven. then i top mine with a little salsa or hot sauce or avocado.    also another nice snack is airpopped popcorn NOT MICROWAVE!!! if you invest in an airpopper (i bought one at the Goodwill or yard sale??) and i air pop my popcorn the night before and take it in a ziplock  to work. 3cups= 80 calories- again no salt and no butter added.  egg hardboiled about 55 calories. hope this helps has some great ideas for meals throughout the day, including quick lunch ideas. I like the eggs in a cup recipes. They can be done in the microwave and you can add all sorts of veggies to make it healthy, plus the amount of salt used is up to you...

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