What should I have for lunch? If you work nine-to-five, then you’ve probably struggled with this question regularly – even daily!
Of course there are many options. You can go to a restaurant near where you work ($$$). You can go to a fast-food place near where you work (cheaper). You can eat at your company cafeteria, if there is one. All of these options are expensive, and will almost certainly result in long-term weight gain.
Or you can bring something from home. Frozen prepared meals are a convenient option, but over time can become a little expensive, and are frequently low-fiber, high-sodium. Leftovers are a great alternative, but that only works if you’ve been cooking meals that a) have leftovers, and b) lend themselves to being heated up in a microwave at work. Or, you can prepare things the night before that are healthy and delicious and quick to prepare and inexpensive, like this Cilantro ‘Tabbouleh’ Salad.
Cilantro is a wonderfully nutritious leafy green – good source of Thiamin and Zinc, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, B Vitamins, Pantothenic Acid, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Copper and Manganese. And it adds an amazing, intense flavor (which you either love, or you really don’t!) to any dish it’s added to.
Cilantro ‘Tabbouleh’ recipe (serves 2)
– 2/3 cup cooked bulgur wheat (can be replaced by quinoa if you have issues with gluten)
– 1 tbsp olive oil
– 3 tbsp lemon or lime juice
– 200g chopped cilantro (or, if you hate cilantro, you can use parsley instead)
– 3 cubic inches of feta cheese, chopped
– 1 cucumber, chopped
– 3 tomatoes, chopped
– 1 yellow pepper, chopped
Mix together, serves 2 (or save some for lunch tomorrow). I recommend serving it with a bowl of vegetable soup.
Nutritional breakdown of salad [nutritiondata.com]
This food is a good source of Dietary Fiber, Riboflavin, Vitamin B6, Folate and Potassium, and a very good source of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K and Manganese.
– glycemic load ~12 (very low – that’s good!)
– inflammation factor ~234 (anti-inflammatory – that’s good too)
– calories 285
– fat 13 grams (primarily mono-unsaturated, with lots of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids)
– protein 11 grams
– dietary fiber 9 grams
– Vitamin A 175% DV
– Vitamin C 385% DV
– Vitamin E 23% DV
– Vitamin K 443% DV
– Thiamin 19% DV
– Riboflavin 30% DV
– Niacin 20% DV
– Vitamin B6 34% DV
– Folate 36% DV
– Calcium 25% DV
– Iron 22% DV
– Magnesium 26% DV
– Phosphorus 26% DV
– Potassium 42% DV
– Copper 28% DV
– Manganese 62% DV
– Phytosterols ~54m