3 quick and healthy summer lunches

Here are 3 of my favourite summer lunches; easy to make, packed with health promoting nutrients and the right foods to give you energy through the afternoon.

Jess Childs
Jess Childs
Tuesday 21 June 2022

1) Sardines on toast, with tomatoes, garlic and olive oil

What you need

Slice the tomatoes and garlic and pan fry them on a low heat for 5 minutes. Use coconut oil or butter to cook them. Toast your bread. Serve with sardines straight from the tin and a drizzle of olive oil.

Top health benefits

  • Sardines contain Omega 3, an anti-inflammatory fat which is excellent for cognitive function and reducing risk of inflammatory disease.
  • Tomatoes contain lycopene, the antioxidant linked to a reduced risk of heart disease and certain cancers.

Sardines on toast

2) Quinoa, edamame, pomegranate and feta salad

What you need

  • Cup of quinoa - cook from scratch or buy ready made for ease
  • 1/2 cup cooked edamame beans - buy frozen bags here
  • 3 tbsps pomegranate
  • 1/2 packed feta
  • Handful of rocket / watercress / spinach
  • 2 tbsps pumpkin / sunflower seeds
  • Olive oil

Heat the quinoa in a pan, and cook the edamame beans for a few minutes in boiling water. Add all ingredients to a bowl and serve with olive oil and a sprinkling of seeds

Top health benefits

  • Packed with healthy plant protein (quinoa, edamame beans and seeds) which provides you with a hefty dose of protein, beneficial for maintaining a healthy weight and balancing blood sugar levels.
  • Pomegranate has anti-inflammatory properties, and may reduce the risk of heart disease.
  • Eating greens, e.g. rocket or watercress, provides a good dose of magnesium, folate, vitamin K and fibre, supporting gut, heart and nervous system health.
  • Feta is a good source of protein and calcium, supporting bone health and muscle health.

Quinoa salad

3) Lentil, roast peppers and courgette salad - and your choice of protein

What you need

  • Cooked lentils, from scratch or buy ready made here
  • 1 Red pepper
  • 1 courgette
  • Extra protein: prawns, chicken slices, tofu slices, handful of cashew nuts
  • Few sprigs of mint
  • Olive oil mixed with lemon juice dressing - a few tbsps

Heat the lentils in a pan for a few minutes. Roast the peppers and courgette in the oven for 10-15 minutes. Add your choice of extra protein and diced mint leaves, drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice.

Top health benefits

  • Lentils are an excellent source of fibre, which contribute to regular bowel movements and a reduced risk of colorectal cancer. They also act as a food (prebiotic) to our good bacteria, which is great for overall health.
  • Red peppers are very high in Vitamin C which is great for wound repair, skin health and the immune system.
  • Olive oil is an excellent choice to use on foods, added cold. It has got heart support properties. Ideally, don’t cook with olive oils as this can damage it.
Lentils with veg lunch

These 3 lunches contain the basics of a good meal: at least 1 complex carbohydrate, at least 1 serving of protein and 1 serving of healthy fat. These meals should keep you feel full throughout the afternoon, and give you a good dose of energy. Hope you enjoy them!