Fuel up for the afternoon with these nutritious lunch recipes. Not only do these meals contain 15 grams or more of protein per serving, but they also contain complex carbohydrates such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables and legumes. Additionally, we’ve prepared these lunches using low amounts of saturated fat and high-sodium ingredients, making them well-suited to a diabetes-friendly eating pattern. Recipes like this Green Veggie Bowl with Lemon Chicken and Tahini Sauce and Green Quinoa Bowls with Arugula and Shrimp are delicious meals that will help you stay full and satisfied all afternoon.

Grilled chicken taco salad

Peppery arugula, grilled corn, and a tangy citrus vinaigrette give this healthy taco salad recipe a serious upgrade. This recipe is the perfect way to use up the crushed tortilla chips in the bottom of the bag.

Salmon chili garlic bento box with avocado

Charlotte and Johnny Autry

Keeping salmon in the freezer means you always have something on hand for dinner, and—bonus!—you can cook it from frozen like we do here.

Green vegetable bowl with chicken, tahini sauce and lemon

For a healthy 30-minute dinner, treat vegetables like pasta and cook until tender or just cooked. If you have a little extra time, double or triple the lemon tahini sauce and use it for a quick salad dressing or as a sauce for steak or shrimp.

The best tuna salad recipe for sandwiches

Photographer: Jane Causey, Food Designer: Emily Nabors Hall, Props Designer: Josh Hogel

The tuna salad in this easy recipe has the flavor of celery and apple, which also provide a touch of sweetness. We use Greek-style yogurt instead of mayonnaise to bind everything together and add a tangy, creamy touch. You can take this seriously and make it a “Waldorf Tuna Salad” by adding 2 tablespoons toasted walnuts, 3 tablespoons quartered baby grapes, and an additional tablespoon of Greek yogurt. Serve on a bed of greens or between two slices of whole grain bread.

Mason jar power salad with chickpeas and tuna

This power salad will give you energy for hours, thanks to 26 grams of protein and 8 grams of fiber. Stir the dressing and kale and then leave it in the jar, which will soften them enough that you don’t need to massage or cook them to make them tender.

Five-spice turkey and lettuce wraps

Turkey lettuce wraps come together quickly for a healthy dinner or try them as a fun appetizer for entertaining. Adding instant brown rice to the filling increases the fiber, making it more filling. Serve with spicy garlic sauce and rice vinegar for extra flavor.

Chipotle Quinoa Chicken Burrito Bowl

This delicious burrito bowl features grilled chicken topped with a spicy chipotle glaze. Loading it up with veggies and using quinoa instead of rice adds nutrition for a healthier dinner.

Grilled steak salad with corn, cucumber and sweet onion sauce

Photographer: Rachel Marek, Food Stylist: Annie Probst

Grilled onions do double duty in this quick summer steak salad. Its sweet and smoky flavor is blended into the dressing, and the remaining slices add the same flavor to the salad along with grilled corn and steak. Use a grill basket to grill onions so they don’t fall through the gaps between the grill grates.

Avocado, tomato and chicken sandwich

In this healthy chicken sandwich recipe, avocado is mashed for a healthy creaminess.

Green Goddess Quinoa Bowls with Arugula and Shrimp

We take advantage of all the healthy items you can find at your local grocery store to create these healthy lunches. To add more protein (while reducing preparation time), we use fully cooked quinoa and cooked shrimp, both of which you can find in the freezer section. With a few simple items, including bottled salad dressing, you’ll have all the ingredients you need to make protein-rich Green Gods Salad Bowls in less than 20 minutes.

Sesame and peanut noodles with chicken and zucchini

Laura Kania and Brianna Killen

In this creamy peanut noodles recipe, we’ve replaced half the noodles with zucchini noodles to reduce carbs and calories and add veggies. Zucchini noodles can be found in the prepared vegetable section of your grocery store, or get a kit to make them from scratch. Two medium or one large zucchini should give you 6 cups.

Vegetable goddess dishes with chicken

Dark green Lacinato cabbage contrasts with the warm tones of bell peppers and tomatoes in this healthy Green Goddess Salad recipe.

Salmon pita sandwich

This quick lunch recipe is packed with heart-healthy omega-3s thanks to canned salmon. If you’re making this sandwich for lunch, keep the salmon salad separate and stuff the pita right before eating.

Rainbow Bean Bowl with Cashew Tahini Sauce

This vibrant bowl is packed with nutrients to keep you full for hours. Look for pre-cooked lentils in the refrigerated section of the produce department.

Apple rolls with chicken curry

Shredded chicken and chopped green apples are a delightful combination in this quick and easy curry sandwich wrap.

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