August 29, 2014 09:02 AM

Courtesy Health.com

LUNCH, REIMAGINED

Turkey sandwich. Tuna sandwich. Ham sandwich. Sigh. If breakfast is the most important meal of the day, then lunch may be the most boring. Put an end to ho-hum midday meals with these genius recipe upgrades.

CLASSIC: PEANUT BUTTER AND JELLY SANDWICH

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Twist: Peanut Butter and Pear Sandwich

Swap out sugary jelly for naturally sweet pears, raisins, and honey. Pears break up the monotony of traditional PB&J by adding crunch to every bite—and a dose of filling fiber and antioxidants.

Ingredients: Peanut butter, whole-wheat bread, raisins, pears, cinnamon, honey

Calories: 525

CLASSIC REUBEN

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Twist: Pastrami-Spiced Tofu Reuben

The average Reuben sandwich racks up nearly 800 calories. This vegetarian-friendly version swaps out beef pastrami for tofu, reducing the calorie count by nearly half. With 20 grams of protein per serving, you’re sure to feel full until dinner!

Ingredients: Firm tofu, reduced-fat mayonnaise, ketchup, sweet pickles, coriander, ground black pepper, garlic powder, salt, sugar, Worcestershire sauce, extra-virgin olive oil, sauerkraut, pickled jalapeno, unsalted butter, pumpernickel bread, Swiss cheese

Calories: 454

RELATED: 13 Comfort Foods That Burn Fat

CLASSIC: COBB SALAD

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Twist: Cobb Salad Lettuce Wraps

We get it: eating a salad every day is good for you. But does it get boring? Yes. These wraps—which you eat with your hands—are a finger-licking-good alternative that makes eating veggies feel fun again. Avocado and a touch of blue cheese add creaminess without fattening dressings.

Ingredients: Reduced-fat mayonnaise, red wine vinegar, black pepper, cooking spray, Canadian bacon, iceberg lettuce, smoked deli turkey breast slices, tomato, avocado, red onion, crumbled blue cheese

Calories: 177

RELATED: 15 Foods That Help You Stay Hydrated

CLASSIC: TURKEY CLUB WITH MAYO ON WHITE BREAD

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Twist: Pesto Turkey Club

Choosing pumpernickel bread over traditional white for your turkey club has two clear benefits: it gives your sammie a more complex nutty flavor, and it’s a lot better for you. (A recent study revealed that frequent white-bread eaters are 40% more likely to become overweight than those who eat it less often.) And pesto not only adds flavor; the olive oil and pine nuts it’s made from are known metabolism-boosters.

Ingredients: Prepared pesto, pumpernickel bread, sliced turkey, turkey bacon, romaine lettuce, tomato, apple

Calories: 390

RELATED: 10 Make-Ahead Breakfast Recipes

CLASSIC: CHICKEN-NOODLE SOUP

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Twist: Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Soup

Forget canned chicken soup. Ginger, garlic, Thai spices, mint, and cilantro give this homemade version an Asian twist. Make it ahead of time and package it to take to work for the rest of the week.

Ingredients: Water, shallots, ginger, garlic, Thai fish sauce, salt, pepper, chicken broth, chicken thighs, vermicelli noodles, bean sprouts, green onions, cilantro, basil, mint, lime

Calories: 346

Get 8 more delicious lunch ideas on Health.com

—Christine Mattheis

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