Nutrition

Found: The Perfect Workday Lunch to Make Ahead of Time

3 min read

Searching for a healthy lunch that's rich in protein? Look no further—this vegan-friendly option is perfect.
Searching for a healthy lunch that's rich in protein? Look no further—this vegan-friendly option is perfect.

Whether you’re WFH or at the office, one thing’s for sure: During a jam-packed workday, it’s easy for a thoughtfully prepared lunch to fall to the bottom of the priority list. But since a nutritious midday meal can also be the difference between a spike in motivation and a 3pm slump, prepping a healthy lunch ahead of time is a strategy we should all get behind. Enter: a healthy recipe that doesn’t just hold up well in the fridge for several days, but actually tastes better the longer it sits.

Lentils aren’t just a tasty and convenient addition to your daily menu, by the way—they also happen to be bonafide nutrient powerhouses. In addition to being a vegan-friendly source of protein, just one cup of these little legumes contains 90% of our RDI for folate, an essential B-vitamin that supports brain and blood health. They’re also rich in iron (which supports blood health, energy-yielding metabolism, and more), thiamine (which also helps support energy metabolism), and potassium (which supports normal cell function). That’s not to mention a rich dose of fiber.* (1,2)

Need we say more? Catch the full recipe below.

Curried Lentil Salad

Makes 6-8 servings

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups dried lentils (le puy or black lentils preferred, but regular green lentils are fine)
  • 3 green onions
  • ⅓ cup capers
  • 1 cup golden raisins

Dressing:

  • ⅓ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 3 teaspoons salt
  • Pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder

Steps:

  1. First, cook your lentils. Add them to a pot, and pour in water until lentils are covered by 3-4 inches. Add a couple large pinches of salt. Bring to a boil over high heat, and then immediately lower the heat to a VERY gentle simmer. Cook for 15-17 minutes, just until cooked through, but still a little firm to the bite. (Really try not to overcook or they will be mushy when you mix the salad!)
  2. While the lentils are cooking, make the dressing. Add all dressing ingredients in a small bowl.
  3. Whisk the dressing.
  4. Add raisins to the dressing to plump up until you’re ready to mix everything together. Set aside.
  5. Thinly slice the green onions, using both the white and green parts (discard the root), and set them aside.
  6. Once your lentils are done cooking, use a strainer to drain the water. Rinse under cold water to stop the cooking. Drain as much water as possible and add to a large mixing bowl.
  7. Add the dressing, sliced green onions, and capers to the bowl with the lentils. Mix really well. Now, give it a taste—does it need more salt? Pepper? Sweetness? Add what it needs until the flavors sing.
  8. Serve it up! If you have some, add handfuls of greens and toasted seeds for crunch.

References:

  1. “Office of Dietary Supplements - Thiamin.” NIH Office of Dietary Supplements, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Thiamin-HealthProfessional/.
  2. “Office of Dietary Supplements - Potassium.” NIH Office of Dietary Supplements, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Thiamin-HealthProfessional/.

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