My usual lunch is some kind of a salad. Not only are they quick and easy to make, but they are also a great way to make sure you get enough fruits and vegetables. Most of the salads I make are simply the result of whatever I have in my kitchen (or growing in my garden) at that moment.
Waarom zijn avocado’s zo gezond?
Ruim drie-kwart van de ongeveer 360 calorieën in een avocado komen uit vet en toch zijn avocado’s erg gezond en passen ze uitstekend in een verantwoord dieet. Avocado’s, die eigenlijk geen groente maar een vrucht zijn, bevatten veel omega-3-vetzuren (in de vorm van alfa-linoleenzuur) die je tegen hart- en vaatziekten beschermen en het immuunsysteem sterk houden. Ze zijn ook rijk aan vitamine E (bevordert het neutraliseren van vrije radicalen), kalium (helpt om het cholesterol te verlagen) en vitamine C (zorgt voor de aanmaak van collageen en voor een mooie huid). En omdat avocado’s vol voedingsvezels zitten, geven ze je een langer verzadigd gevoel (goed voor de lijn dus!) en zorgen ze voor een optimale darmwerking.
OK, I know. I posted a quiche recipe just last week, but honestly, is there really such a thing as ‘too much quiche’? Exactly. Quiche is one of those versatile dishes that looks pretty, tastes great and is perfect for a million and one different occasions. You can have quiche for lunch or dinner (although why not for breakfast or brunch?), take it along on a picnic, bring it to a potluck or to a neighbor or friend in need of a little TLC, and it makes great leftovers. The variations are pretty much endless. I actually can’t think of a single ingredient that won’t go well in a quiche. Have you ever had an escargot quiche, for example? Looks and sounds like heaven to me!
Quiche is also the perfect answer to a busy weeknight and a fridge full of bits and pieces that need to be used up.
I used to think breakfast was my favorite meal of the day, but these days it’s lunch I look forward to most. After all, weekday breakfasts are smoothies and vitamins chez nous. The fun stuff like bacon, eggs and bread is usually saved until the weekend. Plus, breakfast is probably the only meal wine doesn’t pair with very well (though every now and then an exception is made for champagne, of course).
It’s not that I make a very big deal out of lunch during the week, but I do make sure to indulge in something that’s both tasty and nutritious. I have never been one for sandwiches, really, with the exception being a well-buttered baguette with raw ham enjoyed in the French sunshine. Most of the time, my lunch consists of freshly-made soups or salads, and it’s usually something vegan or vegetarian. I love bean salads or salads made with healthy grains such as whole wheat couscous or quinoa. Fresh herbs and spices are always thrown in. My favorites include flat leaf parsley (lots of it, and not finely chopped, thanks), ras el hanout, turmeric (very healthy!), smoked Spanish paprika, basil and mint.
I always have beans and grains in the house, and my daily inspiration pretty much comes from whatever’s left in the fridge. Today it was a salad of quinoa, grated carrots, raisins and ras el hanout topped with a few dollops of leftover hummus, for example.
Last week, however, I came up with one salad I knew I had to share with you. It is a perfect combination of both grains and pulses, deliciously spiced with thyme and aromatic Spanish paprika.
I’m confident you’ll also love it. Here’s the recipe:
Lentil & Couscous Salad
- 100g couscous
- 3/4 tsp smoked Spanish paprika
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- salt and freshly-cracked pepper
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 200ml boiling water
- 1 can of lentils (400g), drained and rinsed
- 10 sundried tomatoes, chopped
- 1 small red onion, halved and finely sliced
- a small handful of arugula
Put the couscous in a small bowl with a tightly fitting lid and season with the spices and salt and pepper. Drizzle with the olive oil and pour in the boiling water. Cover tightly. If you don’t have a lid, use cling film. Allow to rest for 10 minutes and then fluff with a fork. Gently stir the rest of the ingredients through the warm couscous and serve. The heat works magic in bringing all the flavors together! The salad keeps very well in the fridge for up to three days.