Saturday, 30 August 2014

Lunch-box Envy - Nutritious Salads to Impress!

Preparing delicious food in bulk for the week at work is one of the most important things you can do to make sure you make healthy choices and keep costs low. The key is to make meals that you look forward to devouring and will not lead you to be tempted by the vending machine/ McDonald's around the corner or spending $15 on a sandwich at the near-by deli/cafe.

Here are a couple of the salads (including my much-envied breakfast-in-a-jar) I have enjoyed in the last week...Inspired by the latest recipes in the August issue of the 'Cuisine' magazine.

Citrus Noodle Salad:

From Michael Van De Elzen's new book: 'Fast'.

Serves 6
1 Cucumber (de-seeded)
2c Mung Bean Sprouts
1/2c Edamame Beans (prepared)
1c Spring Onion (sliced)
1 Red Onion (sliced thinly)
1c Fresh Mint (chopped)
1c Fresh Coriander (chopped)
1 Head of Broccoli or 12 Stalks of Broccolini
200g Green Beans/Snow peas
1 Capsicum (sliced thinly)
1 500g Packet of Fresh Egg Noodles
12 Large whole prawns (uncooked) or 1c Cooked/Smoked Chicken (shredded)
1/3c Roasted Peanuts
2 Tbsp Black Sesame seeds (toasted)

Julienne carrots into 'noodles'. 
Peel the de-seeded and halved cucumber into ribbons. 
Combine carrots, cucumber, mung beans, edamame, spring onion, red onion and herbs,
Blanch the beans and broccoli. 
Prepare noodles as per package instructions. 
Stir fry prawns.

Juice of 3 Limes
Juice of 2 Lemons
Juice of 6 Mandarins
1 tsp Mustard Powder
1 Egg Yolk
125-250 ml Olive Oil

In a saucepan on low heat, combine the juices. Whisk in mustard powder and egg yolk vigorously. Slowly add in the oil, whisking to combine. Remove form the heat to cool.

In the bowl of prepared vegetables and herbs, add the cooked beans, broccoli, meat and noodles. Toss through the dressing.


Multi-Grain Salad:

Serves 4

Carrot & Harissa Puree:
700g/6 Medium Carrots (peeled)
2 Garlic cloves (crushed)
1/3 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Tbsp Harissa
1 tsp Salt

Boil carrots and garlic in salted water until tender.
Drain well and while still warm process with oil in blender.

1/2c Mixed Quinoa (dry)
1/2c Millet (dry)
1/2c Mixed Seeds and Nuts (toasted) - I used Sliced Almonds, Sunflower and Pumpkin Seeds
1/8c Chia Seeds
4 Tbsp Preserved Lemon (finely diced)
4 Tbsp Dried Cranberries (or Currants/Dried Apricots/Dates etc...)
1c Fresh Parsley (roughly chopped)
2c Broccoli Florets (blanched)

2 Tbsp Pomegranate Molasses
1/2c Red Wine Vinegar
Zest and Juice of 1 Orange
125ml Olive Oil

Prepare quinoa and millet in the same saucepan or in your rice cooker using this method.
Once the grains are cooled, add in the rest of the salad ingredients.

Whisk together all the dressing ingredients then drizzle over the salad mix - toss.


NOTE: The quinoa and millet can be changed out for pearl barley/brown rice/amaranth etc...

Dessert for Breakfast:

Salted Caramel, Spiced Pumpkin Overnight Dessert Oats:

Yield: 4 servings

Step 1:
2 cup Pureed Pumpkin (steam/boil fresh pumpkin until tender and puree with the milk)
3-4 tbs Unsweetened Almond Milk (or other milk of your choice)
1 tsp Chia Seeds  
1 tsp Flaxmeal
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Nutmeg


Step 2:
1 tsp Molasses (to taste, I use 2 tsp) or 1 Tbsp Sugar Free Maple Syrup
4 Tbsp Salted Caramel Sugar Free Torani Syrup
1/4 cup Dried Cranberries/Raisins/Sultanas
1 Tbsp Raw Pecans/Walnuts, chopped (optional)

1. In a bowl , mix together the pumpkin and protein powder. Add in the chia, flax/linseeds and spices and stir again.
2.  Add the Step 2 ingredients and stir again (you can add the cranberries and pecans later if you want). Cover with plastic wrap and let sit in the fridge overnight. Enjoy first thing the next morning!

I like to layer this up with Chocolate dairy food, sliced banana and low fat Greek yoghurt, topped with a sprinkle of my favourite cereal at the moment.

This Month’s Favs:

Banana Bites - my go to sweet treat at night :)

Chia puddings
Simple Chia Pudding on

Cravelife online magazine - healthy recipes

Vitalzing  - a NZ owned and operated brand that creates healthy, effective drinks for health, energy, sports and beauty.