Thursday, September 2, 2010

Lunch, Part Une


One of the concerns people most often bring up, when I tell them about how I eat, is time. This seems to connect more specifically with lunch. So today, I am offering two delicious, beautiful, sustaining meals that make an amazing lunch, and don’t take very much time. I’m not going to lie; eating this well takes forethought and a little planning, but it’s nothing you can’t handle. 


For my first offering, I present the leftover lunch. When you start eating a diet based primarily on vegetables and whole grains, chances are you will always have leftovers of these two ingredients in your fridge. Sometimes I have as many as three or four different grains in my refrigerator and as many types of greens. Start by making a big pile of greens on your plate. Spinach, arugula, kale, whatever you have. This is the foundation of your lunch and your diet. I try to eat greens twice a day. My heroes, Alicia Silverstone and Christina Pirello, even eat greens with breakfast! Seriously, these leaves will change your life. Scoop a pile of grains onto your greens. If you don’t have any leftover grains, whole wheat couscous cooks in five minutes, and quinoa cooks in fifteen, so there are no excuses. On top of the grains goes my secret weapon, Trader Joe’s Black Beluga Lentils. They’re fully cooked! All you have to do is microwave them for two minutes. If you don’t have access to a Trader Joe’s (my condolences), or you already ate your delicious lentils, you can open a can of beans, garbanzo, kidney, black beans, etc. Just rinse them and toss them on top; you can even heat them if you like. The beauty of this meal is that it works with whatever you already have. Then, I like a dollop of pesto. I make pesto practically weekly, so there is always something in the freezer. Pesto is another great source of greens, and you can make it with almost anything. I have experimented with spinach, arugula, parsley, basil, and cilantro. I hear sorrel makes a beautiful sauce as well. Finally finish it off with whatever you see: roasted vegetables, chopped tomatoes, nuts, seeds, mushrooms, anything within reach. In this example, I used fresh tomatoes (from the garden, thank you very much), sunflower seeds, and maitake mushrooms. And voilà! You have a lunch rich in fiber, omega-3s, vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats, everything you need to help you power through the rest of your day.

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