7 Easy And Affordable Fall-Perfect Lunch Recipes

We say it every week, but this is finally going to be the one in which we pack homemade lunches—we can no longer comfortably look at our Mint.com accounts otherwise. It’s always a challenge, however, to figure out how to throw together something healthy and affordable that will actually be appetizing once we get it to work. Here, five recipes that we think check all the boxes and shouldn’t take you more than 30 minutes to prepare. We recommend assembling them today while watching Good Girls Revolt , which premiered on Amazon this weekend.

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7 Fall-Perfect Lunch Recipes To Make In 30 Minutes Or Less

Eating Bird Food

Cobb Salad Avocado Toast

Author: Brittany from Eating Bird Food

Ingredients: 4 slices of your favorite bread, toasted 1 package guacamole 4 slices turkey bacon 2 hard-boiled eggs, sliced 3 tbsp blue cheese, crumbled 1/4 cup micro greens or baby spinach Salt and pepper

Directions: Divide guacamole among four slices of toast. Add remaining toppings. Salt and pepper to taste.

Anne Thornton

Quinoa Black-Bean Chili

Author: Anne Thornton, chef at Little Pine Makes 8 servings, 1 cup each. Can be frozen.

Ingredients: 1 tbsp grape seed oil 1 cup onion, chopped 2 cups diced sweet potatoes 1.5 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed 1 cup tomato paste 4 cloves garlic, chopped 2 tbsp chili powder 2 tbsp chipotle powder 1/2 tsp cayenne 1 tbsp ground cumin 1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes 2 19 oz. cans black beans, drained and rinsed 1 green bell pepper, chopped 1 red bell pepper, chopped 2 tsp dried oregano 3 cups water 1 cup frozen corn 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro Cilantro and chopped red onion, for garnish 1/2 tbsp seal salt or more, to taste

Directions: Add vegetable oil to a large pot over medium heat. Stir in onion, and cook until it softens and turns translucent, about 5 minutes. Add sweet potato and quinoa and let cook for 3 minutes. Then, add tomato paste and garlic, chili powder, chipotle powder, cayenne and cumin. Cook and stir for five minutes to release the flavors. Stir in the tomatoes, black beans, bell peppers and oregano. Add water. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a simmer over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer 20 minutes. Add corn and cook 5 more minutes. Remove from heat, stir in cilantro, and garnish.

Ambitious Kitchen

Vegan Sweet Potato Buddha Bowl

Author: Monique from Ambitious Kitchen Serves 4

Ingredients: 2 medium to large sweet potatoes, diced 1 large head broccoli, cut into florets 2 garlic cloves, minced 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil Salt and pepper Brown rice (recipe here) Orange sesame almond-butter dressing (recipe here) Green onions, cilantro and sesame seeds, for garnish

Directions: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place sweet potatoes in a bowl and microwave 3 to 4 minutes to help pre-cook. Place sweet potatoes, broccoli and garlic on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Drizzle sesame oil over veggies and toss to combine. Bake 20 to 30 minutes or until sweet potatoes are tender, stirring halfway through. To assemble the bowls: Add about 3/4 cup of rice to each bowl, then top with roasted veggies (distribute evenly) and about 1 1/2 tbsp dressing. Garnish if desired.

A Couple Cooks

Thai Curry Naan Pizza

Author: Sonja and Alex from A Couple Cooks Serves 4

Ingredients: 4 pieces naan bread 15 ounces Muir Glen crushed fire-roasted tomatoes 1 ½ tablespoons red curry paste 2 teaspoons Sriracha hot sauce 1 red pepper 2 green onions 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese ¼ cup cashews Handful fresh cilantro Kosher salt

Directions: Preheat oven to 450°F. Place naan directly on the oven grate and pre-bake 3 to 4 minutes per side until crisp. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine Muir Glen crushed fire-roasted tomatoes with 1½ tablespoons red curry paste, 2 teaspoons Sriracha, and a few pinches of kosher salt. Thinly slice the red pepper and green onions. When the naan is ready, spread each with the tomato mixture, then top with mozzarella cheese, vegetables, cashews, and a sprinkle of kosher salt. Bake for 5 minutes, until the cheese is melted. Remove from the oven and garnish with a few cilantro leaves. Slice and serve immediately.

The Minimalist Baker

Eggplant & Almond Butter Tofu Bowls

Author: Dana from The Minimalist Baker Serves: 2-3

Ingredients: Sauce 1 Tbsp (15 ml) sesame oil 2 Tbsp (32 g) salted creamy almond, cashew or peanut butter 1 Tbsp (15 ml) tamari (or soy sauce if not GF) 1 Tbsp (15 ml) lime juice 1 1/2 -2 Tbsp (20-30 ml) maple syrup or coconut sugar 1 birds eye chili, crushed (or sub 1 tsp chili garlic sauce)

Tofu 8 ounces (227 g) extra firm tofu 3 Tbsp (21 g) cornstarch 2 Tbsp (30 ml) sesame oil

Eggplant 1 Tbsp (15 ml) toasted or untoasted sesame oil 2 Japanese eggplants, stem removed, halved, then cut in 1-inch pieces (skin on) 1 Tbsp (15 ml) tamari (or soy sauce if not gluten free) 1 Tbsp (15 ml) maple syrup 1 tsp sesame seeds (optional)

Directions: Start by wrapping tofu in a clean towel and setting something heavy on top (like a cast iron skillet) to press out excess moisture for 10 minutes. Set aside. Prepare the tofu sauce in a medium mixing bowl by whisking together sesame oil, almond butter, tamari, lime juice, maple syrup, and 1 crushed chili (or chili garlic sauce). Taste and adjust seasonings as needed, adding more tamari for saltiness, lime juice for acidity, chili pepper for heat, or maple syrup for sweetness. Set aside. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and cut pressed tofu into small rectangles. Toss in three-four Tbsp cornstarch (they should be well coated) and sauté in two Tbsp sesame oil, flipping once browned on the underside to ensure even browning—about five minutes total. Add the almond butter sauce and stir to combine. Cook for another two-three minutes, stirring gently to ensure even cooking on all sides. Remove from pan and set aside. To the still hot pan—over medium-high heat—add 1 Tbsp sesame oil and once hot, the eggplant. Drizzle with tamari, maple syrup and sesame seeds (optional) and sauté, stirring frequently for 2-3 minutes or until browned on all sides. To assemble, divide rice between serving bowls (2-3) and top with eggplant, tofu and other desired toppings, such as fresh vegetables, Asian pickles, Kimchi, or chili garlic sauce.

A Couple Cooks

Pumpkin Quesadillas

Author: Sonja and Alex from A Couple Cooks Serves 1

Ingredients: ¼ cup pumpkin hummus 2 corn tortillas ¼ cup shredded Mexican blend cheese Hot sauce ½ tablespoon butter 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped

Directions: Make the pumpkin hummus. On one tortilla, spread ¼ cup pumpkin hummus. Sprinkle with ¼ cup shredded cheese and a bit of hot sauce. Heat a griddle over medium heat and melt ½ tablespoon butter. Place the tortilla on a griddle and place the remaining tortilla on top. Cook until the bottom is slightly browned; flip and cook the other side until browned. Remove from the griddle and cut into 4 pieces. If desired, sprinkle with chopped cilantro.

Naturally Ella

Ginger Bok Choy Soup With Noodles

Author: Erin from Naturally Ella Serves: 2 large bowls

Ingredients: 1 tablespoon olive oil 1/2 bunch scallions 2 cloves garlic, minced 2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger 2 cups vegetable broth 2 cups water 1 head bok choy 4 ounces ramen noodles (see note) Salt, if desired Sesame Seeds, for topping Red Pepper Flakes, for topping

Directions: In a stock pot, heat olive oil over medium-low heat. Trim the ends off the scallions and chop up the light green stem. Save the dark green tops for topping. Next, add the scallions to the pot with the garlic and ginger. Cook, stirring occasionally for 2 to 3 minutes until the garlic and ginger is fragrant. Pour in the vegetable broth and water. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook for 5 minutes. While broth is simmering, cut the end off the head of bok choy. Cut off the stems and then cut the stems into thin strips. Roll the leaves together and also cut into strips. Add the stems to the broth and cook for 5 minutes or until stems are starting to be tender. Follow with the leaves and cook for another 5 minutes more. Finally, stir in the ramen and simmer soup until the noodles and bok choy are tender, 4 to 6 minutes. Taste and add salt as needed. Divide soup into two bowls. Then top with chopped scallion greens, sesame seeds, and red pepper flakes. Tips & Tricks: I'm not referring to instant top ramen noodles. Rather, I recommend ramen noodles such as my favorite dry ramen. Ramen is also available fresh or try your hand at making the noodles.