Monday, April 11, 2011

What should I have for lunch?

Here is a question that I am asked frequently:

What should we eat for lunch? We are trying to eat a lot of fish. At lunch we have tuna on ryvita with sliced cucumber, but have to be naughty and add a little aromat. We eat those packet tuna 'John West light tuna' with the mixed in dressings - do you think they are bad?!

I don't know that the light tuna with mixed in dressing is 'bad' - I haven't read the label, but they probably contain some sort of synthetic preservatives. They are certainly very expensive. A plain old tin of shredded tuna in brine, drained and mixed with a little Hellmann’s low fat mayo (with the green lid and very yummy!) and some finely chopped spring onion or red onion works out much cheaper. Add a little salt and a good grind of black pepper - plus a little bit of tomato sauce and / or lemon juice if you like. Instead of mayo you could mix in some other low-oil salad dressing (Ina Paarman's range is delicious.) Aromat contains monosodium glutamate, and quite a few E-numbers - read your packaging. Try using a sprinkle of veg stock powder instead - Ina Paarman's has no MSG, and no E-numbers.

Don't get bogged down in having the same lunch every day - try and vary it a bit, or you will get very bored with it eventually. Try roasting a whole chicken occassionally, strip the meat off the bones and throw away the skin. Freeze in small portions for lunchtime use. When you thaw it, you can either use the slices, or chop up finely with some mayo.

Melrose low fat cheese slices and wedges are also a good breakfast or lunchtime food. And a hard boiled egg is hard to beat.

Ryvita's are crunchy and tasty. Have you tried all the different varieties? I particularly like the ones with sesame seed. Provita are also yummy, specially with marmite, cucumber and tomato. I have a problem with crackers and savoury biscuits - they just taste like 'more' (gotta have some 'more')! Have some bread occasionally, too - rye bread is one of my favourites.

Make the effort and eat more salad veg at lunchtime. Eating a plate of mixed salad is very satisfying, fills you up, and helps you meet your 5-a-day quota. And there is pretty well no limit to what you can put in a salad. Did you know that butternut and sweet potato are both good raw? Chickpeas (garbanzo beans), cannellini beans and butter beans are all salad friendly. Throw in some chopped mango or pineapple and add some nuts and you have a very healthy nutritious lunchtime feast.

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