6 SUPER QUICK KETO LUNCH IDEAS 3g CARBS OR LESS
Look for keto meals on Instagram, Twitter, G+, Facebook or Pinterest and you’ll get bacon and eggs aplenty. But very few other options. For that reason, I have decided to compile 6 Super Quick Keto Lunch Ideas 3g Carbs or Less to make your life a little easier and less boring.
A sustainable, healthy, keto lifestyle involves cooking with fresh ingredients and being a bit more inventive than average. Inevitably, it also means spending more time in the kitchen than one would like. Fine if you love it and have plenty of time in your hands. Not so good if you don’t.
Keto dinners will always, inevitably, mean cooking a meal from scratch, or re-heating leftovers, or defrosting something made previously. But it doesn’t have to be that way for lunch as well. I know eggs and bacon don’t take much effort, but if you’re in a rush it will still be too time consuming. And if you’re at work, what do you eat? Bacon and eggs in the local caff, again? Or an expensive yet tiny tray of cheese and olives from the deli counter? Or meat and soggy veg from the canteen, again?
It sounds like I’m an egg and bacon hater. But I definitely am not! I love both. However, I crave variety. Plus I don’t like wasting my money on ridiculously overpriced take away foods when I’m out and about. And if I’m at home, I hate having to stop doing what I’m doing to make time for mid-day cooking.
We all lead frenetic lives nowadays, so I’m sure there will be many of you who feel the same: one cooking session a day is enough, thank you very much.
Hopefully, with my 6 Super Quick Keto Lunch Ideas 3g Carbs or Less, I will save you from both food boredom and expense of eating out.
Just a note for you to bear in mind before we dive in: spare 10 minutes of your evening time to prepare a low carb loaf of bread, or some cloud bread (oopsie) rolls in advance.
The protein loaf is my firm favourite.
It comes as no surprise that it’s one of my most popular recipes. It’s not eggy at all, it is very close to the texture and smell of traditional sliced bread. And it’s so versatile that it can be eaten without re-heating or toasting. Perfect for the lunch box. Oopsie rolls won’t stay as nice as when just baked and may well become sticky and more eggy in flavour as time goes on.
#1 SALAMI ROLL-UPS
Salami, soft cheese and a few rocket leaves is all you need. Choose the right salami and the right soft cheese (all contain different amount of carbs – always check the label). I have used a variety of soft cheese fillings to make these roll-ups. All tasted great. So take your pick out of full-fat cream cheese, mascarpone and gorgonzola combo, brie, robiola, stracchino, soft goats cheese or anything else you might fancy. You can easily add a couple of slices of my Amazing Protein Bread, generously buttered to enhance the fat factor :)) and still be under 3g carbs.
- toast and butter bread slices (optional).
- spread out salami slices, spoon some cheese over them, top with a few rocket leaves and roll up.
- serve with some scattered rocket leaves.
#2 HALLOUMI, HUMMUS, OLIVES AND BUTTERED PROTEIN ROLL
Well….you need Halloumi, Hummus, Olives and a Protein Roll !!! Protein Rolls are basically my Amazing Low Carb Keto Protein Bread Loaf recipe. But I pour the batter in muffin cups to obtain rolls.
It will take you less than 5 minutes to cook the Halloumi while you toast the bread roll. Add 1 more minute to spread butter and lay olives and lettuce on the plate. Still only 6 minutes to make this incredible lunch!
- grill or shallow fry the cheese for a couple of minutes each side until all water has evaporated and the Halloumi is golden brown.
- slice the bread roll in half horizontally and toast.
- place Halloumi over Little Gem lettuce.
- spoon olives and hummus onto your serving plate and enjoy.
#3 BURRATA, AVOCADO AND CHEESE CHIPS
Hold on! Don’t get too excited! When I say chips I don’t mean ‘chips’. On keto you have to be creative…:) This is just low carb cheese that’s been cut into strips that resemble chips. Hence the nomenclature. Sorry to disappoint you!
Burrata is an amazing Italian cheese that is basically a mozzarella pouch filled with cream and cheese curd. Pure keto heaven!
Unfortunately, it isn’t easy to find outside Italy. I buy mine in the UK at Waitrose because I cannot find it anywhere else. Very expensive. But oh so worth it! If you find it anywhere other than Waitrose, it will likely be cheaper, and I’d love to know. Apparently, you can make it at home. But I’m just not brave enough. If you try burrata, love it, and fancy giving it a go, click on this link for step-by-step instructions. Good luck!
When it comes to hard cheese, the world is your oyster, but always check the packaging for carbs content. I tend to opt for extra mature Cheddar or Leerdammer, or Jarlsberg, or Gruyere, or Edam, or Provola, to name but a few. All are either zero carbs, or contain less than 1g per 100g of product.
One last thing. Everyone thinks that avocado is very low carb because it is a staple of the keto lifestyle. Not so if you eat a whole one I’m afraid. Avocado is very healthy and good for keto because it is high in monounsaturated fatty acids. But it’s actually quite a heavy weight. So at 2g net carbs per 100g, you really only want to eat 1/3 of a large one or 1/2 of a small one. Otherwise you will load up on carbs without realising.
- slice avocado and cheese.
- take the burrata out of its tub and plate alongside cheese chips and avocado slices.
#4 HAM AND CHEESE TOASTED SANDWICHES
My Amazing Low Carb Keto Protein Loaf comes in handy again for #4 of 6 Super Quick Keto Lunch Ideas 3g Carbs or Less. Isn’t it wonderful to be able to eat bread and not worry about carbs? I make it so often that it now takes me 5 minutes to prep ready for the oven. The aroma whilst it bakes is simply irresistible!
So. Once you’ve toasted your protein bread slices, you just need ham, cheese and mayonnaise. With optional cucumber strips. Lovely. Again, watch the carbs in the cheese that you choose. You can use any kind of ham, but be careful of cooked ham that contains added sugar. Yeah. I know. It’s ridiculous. But sugar is a preservative that also enhances flavour, so it is quite commonly added to foods you don’t expect it to be in. Parma ham or Prosciutto Crudo (Italian-style raw cured ham) are higher in fat and don’t (usually) contain added sugar. These tend to be zero carbs.
If you want to take this to work in your lunch box, you can. The protein bread tastes great as it is, no need for toasting. Therefore, yes, you can just enjoy a ‘normal’ bread sandwich on your lunch break.
- toast bread slices and butter them.
- add prosciutto and cheese.
- serve with mayonnaise and some cucumber strands (optional).
#5 PRAWNS AND AVOCADO SALAD WITH TOASTED BREAD
Yep. Protein bread once again. I can’t help myself. It is too good not to feature in most of my lunches!
Making the prawns and avocado mix doesn’t take long at all, but to save time you might want to prepare it in advance. It will keep for 2-3 days in a sealed tub. To make it, just dice avocado and add it to cooked, peeled prawns together with mayonnaise, tomato paste, Worcester sauce, lemon juice, salt, pepper and paprika. It takes 5 minutes, so don’t panic if you forgot to prepare it earlier. You can easily do it while the bread is toasting.
- in a medium bowl, mix prawns, diced avocado, mayonnaise, lemon juice, tomato concentrate, Worcestershire sauce, salt and paprika.
- mix thoroughly with a fork.
- add a little cold water if too dense for your preference.
- taste test and adjust salt/paprika.
- spoon onto Little Gem Lettuce and serve with buttered toast.
#6 CAPRESE SALAD
Classic Italian and perfectly ketogenic. Mozzarella, tomato and basil bathed in olive oil and wine vinegar. Stunningly simple. Mouthwateringly delicious. #6 Super Quick Keto Lunch Ideas 3g Carbs or Less should be on a podium. Forever my favourite, as long as the mozzarella is of good quality. To be authentic, it should really be buffalo mozzarella, but if you cannot find it, a bog-standard, fresh, good quality mozzarella will have to do.