Healthy lunches can be hard to come by. I think we’ve all experienced the sheer boredom of another supermarket sandwich at our desk, or the guilt of grabbing a bag of crisps and a bar of chocolate instead of some real food.
When you’re working and busy it can be tough to fit in a decent lunch – especially one which is quick to make and doesn’t break the bank. So, I’m going to share a few ideas for great lunches with you, starting with something super simple… a carrot and cumin salad.
Now this isn’t lunch all on its own (well, some days it is when I’m feeling lazy and can’t be bothered to make anything else), but you can make it at the start of the week and get a healthy side-salad to go alongside a sandwich or soup. It will liven up your lunch and hopefully stop you reaching for the crisps.
Carrot and Cumin Salad recipe
Think of this less as a recipe and more as a guide to making it the first time, and then work from there to adjust it to your tastes. There are no hard and fast rules with this salad, aside from it must include the 3 main ingredients – carrots, chickpeas and cumin.
It will take you roughly 5 mins to make and is fresh, sweet, crunchy and earthy all at the same time. Plus it’s got one of your five a day and a legume – chickpeas are very good for you – so enjoy!
Ingredients to make enough for a couple of portions:
- 1 big carrot (or two small)
- 1/3 tin of chickpeas – more if you really love chickpeas!
- Two heaped teaspoons of cumin seeds
- Salad dressing
How to make it:
- Start to toast the cumin seeds in a dry frying pan for a minute or so.
- In the meantime, grate the carrots using the largest side of the grater.
- Add the cumin to the carrot.
- If you have time, toast the chickpeas too – this gives a little extra flavour. If not, just add them straight to the carrot.
- Dress the salad and mix – it may need a little extra salt to help the flavour along, depending on the dressing.
My favourite dressing for this salad is really simple – I mix good olive oil & raspberry vinegar to taste (about a 3:1 ratio), season and that’s it!
The sweetness of the raspberry vinegar sits really well with the carrots and cumin. If I don’t have any raspberry vinegar, then lemon juice is my preferred way to add acidity to the dressing, or white wine vinegar at a pinch if the cupboard is very bare! I don’t use balsamic vinegar as I find it too heavy for the cumin.
The salad stores well in the fridge, just give it a good mix before eating and you’ve got something to make your lunches healthier which takes only minutes to prepare, looks great and has a lovely combination of textures too. Very satisfying.