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Lunch Menus With 375 Calories or Less

by Margaret Morris

You can eat a filling lunch without taking in a lot of extra calories. Planning ahead, which will help you to avoid a last-minute rush to the nearest fast-food restaurant, is the ideal way to keep your lunches tasty, satisfying and low-calorie. When you cook meats such as turkey or chicken, make sure you have leftovers to use in sandwiches and salads. Opt for the fat-free or light calorie versions of the foods that jack up the dietary price of lunch, such as cheeses, sauces and dressings.

Tuna Melts

Make satisfying, warm tuna melts for lunch. Mix 1/2 cup of water-packed light tuna, drained but not dry, with a tbsp. of light creamy ranch dressing. Spread it on two pieces of light whole-wheat bread, add tomato slices and top each one with a slice of low-fat American cheese. Slide them under the broiler to heat until the cheese bubbles. Serve the tuna melts with celery sticks and 2 tbsp. of light ranch dressing for dipping, for a total of about 325 calories.

Pitas

Make a southwest turkey sandwich by spreading the inside of a pita with 1 oz. of low-fat cream cheese. Stuff it with 2 oz. of cooked turkey breast, two tomato slices and a cup of shredded iceberg lettuce. Top your sandwich with 1 tsp. of chipotle salad dressing. Total calories: 375. Or whip up a chicken Caesar pita with 2 oz. of chicken breast, a cup of shredded romaine lettuce, 1 tbsp. of Caesar dressing and 2 tbsp. of grated Parmesan cheese. Calorie count: 370.

Fajitas

Fajitas make up quickly and, when you put them together yourself using low-calorie ingredients, you can eat two and still have a light dessert. Warm two corn tortillas in your oven or toaster oven. Put 3 oz. of raw chicken breast, a small sliced bell pepper, a small diced onion, tomato sauce and a shake of chili powder in a skillet and simmer the mixture until the chicken is cooked. Fill the tortillas and roll them. Add a 5-oz. fruit cup for a total of 359 calories, or two medium-sized chocolate chip cookies for a total of 355 calories.

Pizza

Treat yourself to a piece of pizza for lunch. Thin-crust cheese pizza with vegetables contains 202 calories per slice. Add a salad of iceberg or romaine lettuce, cherry tomatoes, celery, shredded carrots and a few black olives drizzled with 1 tbsp. of regular creamy balsamic dressing. The 1 tbsp. of dressing is about half the serving size and contains about 50 calories. Skip the cheese on your pizza and enjoy two smaller slices with your salad.

About the Author

Margaret Morris has a Bachelor of Arts in English with a concentration in creative writing from the University of Pittsburgh. She also holds a celebrant certificate from the Celebrant Foundation and Institute. Morris writes for various websites and private clients.

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