For those of you who need a healthy, tasty and easy on-the-go option for lunch, this rainbow salad bowl ticks all the boxes! I have a couple of teacher friends I’m thinking of in particular and, during a recent (epic) girls night, they shared with me how they find it difficult to put something creative and yummy together quickly, that will keep their tummies happy and their brains switched on! I make some version of this salad nearly EVERY DAY for lunch and don’t tire of it!
For the base, I like to cook up a big batch of quinoa, amaranth or brown rice at the beginning of each week and pop it in the fridge to add to my salads. However, if you’re really pressed for time, or you just want to simplify things further, you can even substitute canned chickpeas, lentils, white beans – whatever you like – for the grains I mentioned above.
I also make up a batch of roasted veggies at the beginning of each week to keep in the fridge for salads and dinners – usually pumpkin, sweet potato and beetroot, or a blend of all three. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees and then dice them up, coat them in coconut oil and give them a generous sprinkling of turmeric, cumin and cinnamon before roasting them for 45 minutes – an hour, depending on how finely you chop them!
1/4 cup cooked quinoa (or whatever else your tummy may desire)
A small handful roasted sweet potato
1/4 cup roasted beetroot (you can also buy canned beets that are pre-diced and store in a container along with the juice in the fridge)
1/4 cup diced carrot
1/4 cup diced cucumber
1/4 cup halved cherry tomatoes
A small handful pitted kalamata olives
A few chopped up semi-dried tomatoes
1/2 cup homemade sauerkraut (recipe here)
Organic, raw apple cider vinegar
Creamy tahini dressing (recipe here)
First, pop each element next to each other in and around your bowl. Then, drizzle over about a tablespoon each of flax seed oil, which is an amazing plant-based source of omega-3, and apple cider vinegar (Google it. the benefits are many). If you don’t have these on hand, good old olive oil and lemon juice is just dandy too! And finally, top with lashings of tahini dressing and some dulse flakes. It is just so good.
The beauty of this type of salad is that you can add anything you like to it – change it up according to what’s in season and what your body is craving! A few ideas, and regular favourites for me are:
- A big dollop hummus
- Dried goji berries
- Pepita’s and sunflower seeds
- Sweet red capsicum
- Crunchy celery
- Peppery rocket
- Strips of crunchy cos lettuce
- Marinated kale
- I generally keep my lunches vegetarian, but you can always toss some salmon or tuna through too (my favourite brand is called Fish 4 Ever)
Doing this prep with your grains and veggies at the beginning of each week really does make all the difference in being able and motivated to eat healthy lunches. It especially helps me out as a mum, because FJ can pretty much eat what I eat these days, and it is all there for us – ready to go!