At the moment I’m all about lunch. I have a couple of go to favourite lunches. No. 1 is last night’s dinner (I am a lazy girl at heart!) and No. 2 is a rainbow salad bowl (which often involves last nights dinner ha). They’re such a great way to get loads of high nutrient unprocessed foods into your diet and are ridiculously tasty. Also, you never get bored of them because they can be varied endlessly. This post gives you a set of guidelines of what to include to be sure of a delicious and nutrient packed lunch, but remember they are guidelines, not rules, so take the reigns and make your salad bowl your own. The key is to get the balance right. Basically, you want a balance of texture, flavour, colours and food types. Each number in the list below represents one type of ingredient you should try and include and my recommended quantity to achieve all that balance stuff! The images should also give you some ideas. Remember these are just guidelines to help you build your own creations. I 100% advocate using these bowls as a way of using what you have on hand. I often use left over slaw, grains or salad in mine, as well as left over roast or poached chicken. I usually buy a bunch of veg from the market on the weekend and do some prep on a Sunday or Monday night (whenever life allows), such as roasting veg. Sometimes my salad bowls are completely made up of leftovers from dinner the night before but just offer a new way of presenting them so I don’t feel like it’s a repeat meal! If you’re making veg for your dinner just prepare a little extra for your lunch! Sometimes the cooked veg is just left over roast, stir fry or steamed veg from last night’s dinner and sometimes the raw veg is left over salad or salsa – use what you have on hand, be economical. Try to keep the ingredients as local and seasonal as you can just because they will taste better! Tip: Eating great, healthy lunches takes a little bit of prep and planning ahead, but once you’ve got into the habit of doing that it all gets really easy! 1 serve = 1/2 cup unless otherwise stated
- Cooked Vegetables (1 serve ): If you want a raw bowl just omit this but I love to roast pumpkin, carrot, sweet potato, eggplant, zucchini, cauliflower, beetroot or brussel sprouts in fragrant spices and herbs (cumin, nutmeg, sumac, garlic and thyme is a favourite combination). Cut these into bite sized chunks. Barbecued corn or steamed veg is also great here. Even fritters can work.
- Raw Vegetables (2-3 serves of different veg): Go for a variety of colours here and try to choose different ones to what you have above. If not already bite sized chop into bite sized pieces. I like broccoli, mushrooms, grated (or spiralized) carrot, radish, grated (or finely sliced or spiralized) zucchini, tomato, fennel, grated beetroot, peas, snow peas, green beans, avocado, cucumber the list goes on.
- Salad greens (2 serves): rocket, spinach, watercress, kale, lettuce, cabbage, snowpea sprouts or left over salad.
- Flavour boosters (a few Tbs all up, i would usually choose 2-3 of these): fresh herbs, squeeze of lemon or lime, spring onion, pickled veg, sliced chilli, parmesan, feta, pomegranate seeds, borage (this is just so pretty, it’s more of a booster for your eyes!)
- Sauciness (2 Tbs): greek yoghurt, guacamole, avo and feta mash, hummus, tahini, baba ganoush, pesto, yoghurt, feta and basil sauce
- Filler (1 serve): quinoa, brown rice, freekah, lentils, beans, wild rice, tabbouleh, buckwheat noodles.
- Texture boosters (1-2 Tbs): nuts, seeds (linseed, sunflower, pumpkin, sesame) Try to use a mix if you have it on hand.
- Protein booster (optional, if i have have something leftover): chicken, salmon, ocean trout, or simply a poached or fried egg
Arrange your selection of the above in a bowl, I usually put the sauce in the centre, and then mix and eat (or if you’re a “don’t let my food touch” person don’t mix!). Remember this is just a guide, if you want a specific recipe for a bowl you’ve seen on my Instagram or in these images just let me know! HH. x