Leftover Lunch – Health Recipes for Work and School

When people find out I’m a chef and that I’m also into health and fitness I tend to get asked “what can I do to make a quick healthy lunch?”. I also get the “I don’t have time to make lunch”.

Listen, if you care about your health and what you eat you better find the time.

I’m a big fan of planning ahead. I do it myself everyday. I’ll get my oatmeal ready in the pot with water before I hit the hay so when I get up I just turn on the stove and booya breakfast done. Same thing with lunch. Plan ahead. Think of a dinner for yourself and your better half and make some extra so that you have lunch for the next day.

That’s not too hard, right?

Whenever I know I’m going to have a busy day I’ll pack some food the night before and off I go. It really doesn’t take that much organizing.

Here’s a great light high protein meal (add some salad, brown rice or a sweet potato if you fancy it) to finish your day with leftovers for lunch the next. It couldn’t be easier.

Orange Ginger Chicken with Roast Asparagus

Serves 2

  • 4 x 6-8oz organic boneless, skinless chicken breasts ( 2 for dinner, 2 more leftover lunch)

Chicken Marinade

  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger – grated
  • ½ tsp chili flakes
  • 12 asparagus spears

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Put all marinade ingredients in a large Ziploc bag along with chicken breasts. Marinade in the fridge for up to 4 hours.
Remove the chicken from the fridge 30 minutes before cooking to let them return to room temperature.

To prepare asparagus; trim woody white stalks from the end of each spear approx.
1 -2” in length.

Once ready to cook, lay marinated chicken breasts on a foiled roasting tray and pop in oven for 8 minutes until internal temp 165°F. Once cooked let rest on tray for 3 minutes before cutting.

TIP: Lean proteins like chicken breasts will dry out very easily so add ½ cup low-sodium chicken broth or water to the roasting tray before popping in the oven. The broth will create steam in the oven and help keep the chicken moist while cooking.

While chicken is cooking lay asparagus, in a single layer if possible, on another foiled oven tray and season with salt & pepper. Drizzle some olive oil and a squeeze lemon over. Pop in oven 4 minutes after chicken. Roast until tender but still have a crunch to the bite, 4 minutes approx.



Chicken Avocado Wrap

  • Leftover chicken breasts from dinner – thinly sliced lengthwise
  • ¼ avocado per tortilla – sliced
  • Handful chopped romaine lettuce
  • light mayo – thin layer
  • mustard
  • 8” whole wheat low-carb tortillas

The amount of ingredients you’ll need will depend on how much chicken you have leftover.

To assemble:
Lay the tortillas on a clean surface. Smear thin layer of both light mayo and mustard on each tortillas primarily around center.
Lay 3 or 4 slices of chicken in center of each.
Place 2 or 3 avocado slices on top along with small handful of chopped romaine.
Add pinch salt on top.
Fold tightly (without breaking) as normal to make wrap.

Make ahead of time and refrigerate for next days lunch. Serve with side of fruit, cottage cheese or side salad.

Not bad, right?

Need more lunch recipes? Of course you do.

Gavan Murphy

I’m an Irishman who is passionate about healthy cooking. What's an Irishman know about healthy food? I trained at the infamous Ballymaloe Cookery School in Ireland. Situated in the middle of a 100 acre farm, half of which is organic today, Ballymaloe was a pioneer in sustainable cooking. What was grown on the farm and what was locally reared is what we used in our cooking and what we ate. I learned the importance of eating fresh, farm to table food and the importance of using quality ingredients including meats. Los Angeles, being the Mecca of health and fitness (I saw that at Gold’s Gym) was the perfect destination to continue my career in healthy cooking. I began working for a number of prestigious L.A. based catering companies and was hired as a consulting chef on the Body-for-Life Program for EAS, a multinational sports and nutrition company. My recipes have been published in books and magazines and I’m a regular contributor to other websites. You name it, I do it, all in the sake of healthy eating. And I still find time to provide recipes for our blog, which is now a part of my site. My focus and passion remain the same with everything I do: to show people that cooking doesn’t have to be complicated and healthy food doesn’t mean bland or boring. I advocate buying local, seasonal and sustainable foods and I encourage people to get away from the convenient “out of a box” food and to get back to the basics of home cooking. As far as I’m concerned, it doesn’t have to be flashy, just damn tasty! And that’s what an Irishman knows about healthy food. GavanMurphy.com. Twitter: @healthyirishman Facebook: thehealthyirishman

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