Thursday, March 25, 2010

A portable lunch and home in time for dinner

Remember on Monday I said that hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) and hypotension (low blood pressure) have very similar presenting symptoms? So it makes sense to treat those symptoms in the same way - at least as far as eating goes. The suggestions I made on Tuesday are applicable treatments for both conditions. But then, those suggestions are good for anyone interested in healthy eating (apart from increasing salt and protein, of course. Most of us eat way too much of those.)

Yesterday I looked at on-the-run breakfasts, and today I'm going to dream up some no-fuss take-to-the-office lunches. A healthy, balanced dinner at home shouldn't ever present a problem - there are new recipes on this blog every week day, and past and current recipes are collected and categorised on my other blogs, listed on the right of this page.

I am a great fan of the soup-salad-sandwich lunch, whether I am at home or at the office. I'll start with soup.

You can make a rich, creamy tasting soup out of butternut or carrots (or both), which is delicious hot or cold.
Start with: 1 onion, peeled and quartered.
Add to this 1 medium butternut, peeled, deseeded and cut in chunks (or 5-6 large carrots, scrubbed and sliced).
Put the prepared veg in a saucepan and pour in about 750ml of chicken or veg stock .
Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 30 mins.
Once the veg are soft, blitz the whole lot with a hand-blender, or in a liquidizer, until it is smooth.
Now you can add more water if you want a thinner soup.
Then add in whatever you like in the way of flavouring - 2 Tblsp curry paste, 2 Tblsp chopped coriander (cilantro) or 2 Tblsp of grated ginger root - and blitz again to disperse the herbs.
Pack into plastic containers (this freezes well, though you may want to blitz it again on thawing).
Serve with a dollop of fat free yoghurt, creme- or fromage fraiche.
I usually get 4-5 servings of about 350ml each out of one pot of soup.

Salads are a fabulous way of packing in all those vitamins and minerals. And 'salad' is very versatile - you can put in pretty much whatever you have. To most people a salad is rabbit food, but it doesn't have to be. I always start off with mixed lettuce leaves because I like lettuce, but you can add rocket; baby spinach; chopped fresh mint; chopped fresh basil; watercress; mustard cress; asparagus and alfalfa sprouts; and I'm still only on the green stuff. For colour and crunch there are: red, yellow and green bell peppers, red onion, radishes, olives, beetroot. For substance add: chickpeas, cannellini beans, broad beans. For extra protein add; hardboiled egg, feta cheese, nuts, pine nuts, seeds, smoked trout. For a sweet surprise add chopped apple, mango, pineapple, pear, grapes, cherry tomatoes, orange segments. No dressing required.
Or you could start with cooked rice or pasta and add any or all the above.
Lucky rabbits!

Sandwiches are versatile, too. You could pack the salad above between two slices of whole wheat bread, or in a bagel, or in a hollowed out whole wheat seed roll. Then there are the usual sandwich fillings; egg- chicken- or tuna mayonaise (use a low oil light mayo, and you don't need to butter the bread). Or choose a filling of cold meat, chicken or cheese.

Full yet? Don't get bogged down with eating the same lunch every day. Ring the changes with left-overs (which don't sound very appetizing after the soup-salad-sandwich combo above!) or look back at the breakfasts I suggested yesterday - many of those make a suitable lunch.

If you suffer with hypoglycemia or hypotension remember to split your meal between lunch and a snack.
And please, watch your portion sizes.

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