Easy Summer Lunch Ideas
We checked in with Aisha Beau Johnson, a self-care writer, digital content creator, and speaker, specializing in beauty, wellness, travel, and mental health, to get inspired by how she approaches the midday meal during the hot season. She is also the host of Re-Written, a podcast featuring uplifting yet actionable words of encouragement meant to kickstart your day, help you unwind in the evening, or boost midday morale.
What are some of your favorite lunches to make in the summer?
In the summer I'm all about keeping things light, fresh, and simple. My go-to is generally a salad, and I love doing my own play on spring corn and chicken salad with diced cherry tomatoes, spring mix, fresh mozzarella, and croutons for a little crunch. I do also love a good cobb salad, I can never go wrong with that. I also try to incorporate leftovers in making something new for lunch, like salmon.
Can you share with us a few of your favorite tips for low heat meals? What about a few tips for keeping healthy eating simple?
The best way to make healthy eating simple is to prep ahead of time. The reason we gravitate towards meals that are less healthy is that they honestly take less time to cook, we can generally just pop them in the microwave and go. So, to help me make healthy eating more of a habit, I tend to prep ahead of time and keep the ingredients in my fridge to mix them together in five minutes or less. I also feel healthy snacking in between is helpful in sticking to this routine. Having fresh or dried fruit, nuts, and so forth, available will make you less likely to go for something unhealthy.
How do you like to incorporate in-season produce into your recipes?
It definitely requires more frequent trips to the grocery story, but I look at adding fresh produce as a way to make what I eat more fun and vibrant. I love color, especially in my meals so I try to see what's in season and from there make it the star of each dish.
More Summer Lunch Ideas:
• Bowls! They’re so versatile and can be mixed and matched with your rotating list of favorite prepped ingredients (some PF favorites: quinoa made with coconut milk, brown rice, organic grilled chicken, line caught salmon or shrimp, sweet potatoes, avocados).
• Keep some sauces or dressings you love around to spice up bowls, salads or for dipping (we love this coconut curry aioli!)
• As hard as it is, find the time that works best for you to pre-prep your ingredients. And this may not be a Sunday as is often suggested! Think about when you’re most likely to stick to the routine of ingredient prepping and put it on your calendar.