Day 205: Satisfying Lunch in One Point ♥

Satisfying Lunch in One Point
My favorite standby lunch, year-round, with any luck, the inspiration to help readers discover their own low-point standby lunch.

~recipe & photo updated 2010~

2005: If you're wondering, yes, those are canned beans! But please, keep reading. Canned beans are not required!

When there's a big supper on the calendar, this is my standard eat-at-my-desk lunch. It racks up a grand total of 1 Weight Watchers point (that's about 5% of a day's calories) but is still very filling and very satisfying. (If I'm having hunger pains before going out, I might fix another. The point is to fill up -- with volume and fiber -- without wasting the wonderful calories that'll be so enjoyed later on! I fix the same salad at five o'clock to avoid overeating at a happy hour. Or if I've had a big lunch out but still want to nosh for supper. Or if I'm just too full from too much and too-rich food over a few days. Or just because it's easy and fast and healthful.

Everyone needs a "standard lunch" in the culinary repertoire: easy, filling and satisfying. (Canned beans definitely not required -- but hey! I like 'em!) If you like, add something warm like this or this.

2007 & 2010 Update: Do you have a favorite one- or two- point lunch? Leave a comment, to share with others. This is one of A Veggie Venture's top posts so do share your own favorites with readers here. It's also still one of my favorite quick lunches, five whole years later!


Hands-on time: 5 minutes
Time to table: 5 minutes
Serves 1 but easily multiplied

Fresh spinach or lettuce greens
A can of green beans, drained
A scant half cup of 1% cottage cheese
Other chopped vegetables (often leftover from the night before)

ST LOUISANS The Pevely/Dierbergs 1% cottage cheese is so creamy, it makes for a great no-mix salad dressing.
Believe it or not, I buy green beans by the case at Sam's Club, a case or two at a time for about $5 for a dozen cans, way cheaper than buying individual cans at the grocery store.

© Copyright Kitchen Parade 2005

Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. Possibly it's a sign of poor upbringing, but I actually like canned green beans about as much as fresh. True, they are different, but not necessarily worse. I'm thinking of experimenting with making Fasolakia (sic?) Green Beans Stewed with Tomatoes (Greek dish) with canned beans to see how they turn out.

  2. I don't have any problems eating canned beans. I'm not that choosy with food. I appreciate your food intake control tips.

  3. I plan to try this meal soon, and yes it does strike a chord and is very appealing!...something similar I love is to begin with a leaf or two of lettuce on a plate, followed with a slice or two of fresh tomato, then some slices of well drained canned beets, then well drained canned asparagus, and finally some crumbled hard boiled egg and a tablespoon or two of thousand island dressing. A sprinkling of diced sweet red onion is nice too, as is some salt and pepper.

    The points would be dependent upon the fat content of the salad dressing and the amount, and if you used the egg yolk or just the white.

  4. Man - talk about a "blast from the past!" I used to make something almost identical to this nearly 30 years ago when I did WW for the first time and canned green beans and cottage cheese were two BIG staples in that diet!! Thank goodness there is so much more variety to WW now (and I'm down 35 pounds!!) but it definitely is good to resurrect oldies but goodies!

  5. Very funny! I hadn't thought about it being very 70-ish, but sure! Especially with a ring of pineapple and a maraschino cherry on top, right?!

  6. (LOL)Yep! Except of course, the pineapple ring and maraschino cherry might change the PV!! :)

  7. I personally have a VERY strong aversion to any canned vegetables (with a few minor exceptions) but heartily respect others' opinions on that. Personal taste only other big problem with canned vegetables is the amount of sodium - and often hidden sugar too. Nutritionally, research has shown they 'generally' are the same as fresh but the added sugar and high sodium content can something to be aware of for anyone watching their intake on these - and who eat canned veggies frequently. Just a friendly comment...hope I didn't sound like I was scolding or lecturing! (I'll blame my mom - she is a health professor!):D

  8. Dear Anonymous Offspring of Health Professor ~ Ha! No scolding or nattering perceived. In fact, it's a good reminder to watch labels. I remember the shock of finding high-fructose corn syrup in a can of diced tomatoes. Now I always check the labels. Rest assured, (turn your head) the canned green beans are just that. Come back often!

  9. AnonymousMay 12, 2008

    I tried this with canned beets instead of green beans- it was great!

  10. Great idea, I would go with the fresh green beans (or maybe Trader Joe's frozen), but canned beets intrigue me, too.

    How about a healthy sprinkle of smoked Spanish paprika over the green beans and cottage cheese. That would just about make the dish irresistable to me.

  11. Thank you so much for this idea for an easy and low-point lunch. It should really help out with my new diet resolutions.

    Just a note to think about. Many canned foods brands now offer lower-sodium or no sodium versions of their vegetables now. That's the only kind I ever buy anymore, and you can't tell the difference.

    I can't wait to try this and so many more of your recipes--thank you!

  12. Yay! It's great to see a recipe with canned green beans - I won't eat them any other way. (My husband believes I'm insane.) I sprinkle them with onion flakes, garlic powder and a tiny dot of butter (or ICBINB spray if I'm feeling the points pinch) before heating. Yummy!

  13. Made this for lunch for the first time today, and loved it. I am REALLY old, and was raised on canned green beans since fresh were not available except in the summer, and then only if you grew your own -- so I like them. Now, when I can get good quality fresh I prefer them, but have never developed a taste for frozen. When I was a kid, canned veggies were on every table since they provided the nutrition you couldn't get any other way. I have to confess, even my children like canned green beans -- since I like them, I fed them to my kids.

    Another thought I had about this lunch is that for a couple more points you could add an ounce or two of cooked chicken, tuna, tofu, or a "perfect hard boiled egg" for those of us old folks who need a little more protein.

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  16. Before low- and no-sodium canned veggies were readily available, I read a nutrionist's article about the sodium in canned goods. Her suggestion, backed up by her own research, was to rinse your can of veggies under cold tap water, draining & refilling for a total of 3 rinses. After testing, she'd found more than 90% of the added sodium was rinsed away. I sure wish I could remember where I read about this; I'd link it if I could find it again.


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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe, whether a current recipe or a long-ago favorite. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. ~ Alanna