Lunch time: the wildcard meal that can either make or break our healthy eating plans.
Odds are that come 1 o’clock, you’re ravenous (well, it has been at least five hours since we last ate after all) and you’re therefore tempted to reach for something fast, quick and not necessarily all that healthy to help silence your rumbling stomach.
However, all is not lost, because if you’re anything like this GTG writer, the only way to anticipate such potential slip-ups is to match that temptation with an equal dose of preparation the night or weekend before.
We asked Henrietta Norton, nutritional therapist and founder of Wild Nutrition for her five favourite fridge to office recipes that won’t take all evening to make, don’t compromise on taste and won’t interfere with your New Year resolutions either. Oh, and they’ll also last 2-3 days too, meaning you can forward-plan your working week menu well in advance too.
LUNCH IDEA 1: A delicious gluten-free open sandwich with humous
Spread the humous thickly on the bread and sprinkle with alfalfa seeds. This is a simple, fast and delicious lunch that would be extremely portable for work or picnics.
LUNCH IDEA 2: A vegetable and fresh herb salad
1 chicory bulb , leaves gently torn
1 fennel bulb , thinly sliced
A handful of broad beans (if in season)
1. Blanch or steam the vegetables, asparagus, broad beans, purple sprouting and chill immediately.
2. Throw into a tupperware box. Add all of the rest of the ingredients.
3. Throw the fruit in at the end to add some sweetness and colour – it will brighten up your day as you proudly unpack your delicious salad at work or simply on your own at home.
4. Dress with virgin olive oil and a squeeze of lemon.
LUNCH IDEA 3: Celeriac coleslaw with prunes
Small bulb of celeriac , grated
3 carrots grated (organic with lots of flavour)
1. Make a French dressing using a couple of tbsps of olive oil, 1 tsp of sherry vinegar and 1 tsp of Dijon mustard and the juice of an orange.
2. Throw all of the ingredients into a bowl, stir through the herbs, seeds and dressing. This can be kept in the fridge for up to 3 days.
3. Either eat on its own or with a steamed piece of fish such as mackerel or sardine.
LUNCH IDEA 4: A wholesome salad with a fresh mint dressing
100g organic chick peas, soaked overnight and cooked in plenty of boiling water until tender
100g of soaked and cooked red kidney beans
100g of soaked and cooked black eye beans
100g of quinoa (simmer in 1 pint of water for 15 mins)
50g of organic feta cheese (optional)
If soaking and cooking your pulses is impractical for you, use organic tinned versions instead and rinse through.
1. Pulse 25g of mint, a tbsp of good oil, seasoning and one garlic bulb. You may also choose to add a tbsp of live yoghurt.
2. Mix all the beans, quinoa and chick peas and stir through the mint dressing.
3. Sprinkle crumbled feta over the top.
LUNCH IDEA 5: Spring greens and purple sprouting broccoli with blood orange dressing
1 medium head of spring greens (approx. 400g), destalked and roughly chopped
8 radishes (optional!)
1 tbsp mint leaves , torn
For the dressing:
Large pinch pepper
A little fresh chopped chilli (optional)
1. First make the dressing. Grate the ginger onto a plate to catch the juice too. Whisk this with the rest of the dressing ingredients by shaking in a jam jar or mix in a bowl.
2. Blanch the broccoli for 2-3 mins then drain.
3. Heat the oil in a pan and cook half the spring onions for 30seconds or so, add the spring greens and sauté for another 30 seconds.
4. Then add the broccoli, stir through and take off the heat.
5. Transfer to a dish, add the sliced avocado, radishes and rest of the spring onions.