Beat the lunchbox blues with this healthy lunchbox salad
Out of my normal routine last week, I found myself in a sandwich shop, looking for something healthy to fight off those midday munchies.
Normally, I plan ahead and pack something for the day but the best-laid plans and all that…
So, I’m in the sandwich shop. And I’m stumped. Apart from the fact that almost everything contained chicken (I mean, I like chicken, but there are limits), most of them are slathered in mayo or crammed with bacon or cheese. And not in a good way. In the end, I pick a wrap that’s so cold it’s almost entirely tasteless.
When I got home, the first thing I did was make up a batch of this filling lunchbox salad, enough to last me a couple of days.
As well as livening up my lunches, it’s also made me determined to grow my own radishes again this year. Those peppery red little crunches are so underrated. There’s a touch of the retro about them that I really love.
And whether they’re mild and sweet or strong enough to clear your sinuses, they’re so easy to grow, even the kids can cope with the wait. Just push the seeds into the ground, water them, and in a month’s time, you’ll be pulling up fresh radishes.
The mint and parsley that go in this salad are super simple to grow too – pop them in a pot and you’ll be snipping onto your plate all summer. Definitely better than a limp sandwich.
Bulgur Wheat Lunchbox Salad
Serves 1 • Ready in 20 minutes
50g (¹/³ cup) cracked bulgur wheat (176 cals)
salt and freshly ground black pepper
5cm (2in) piece cucumber, finely sliced (10 cals)
4 radishes, thinly sliced (4 cals)
¼ red onion, peeled and very thinly sliced (14 cals)
small handful of fresh mint, chopped (10 g) (4 cals)
small handful of fresh parsley, chopped (10g) (4 cals)
zest and juice of 1 lime (4 cals)
½ small red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped (2 cals)
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil (27 cals)
1 tsp white wine vinegar (1 cal)
½ tsp English mustard (6 cal)
1 tsp runny honey (23 cals)
• Place the bulgur wheat in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Pour on 100ml (scant ½ cup) just boiled water, then cover and leave to ‘cook’ for 15 minutes until tender.
When the bulgur wheat is cool, stir through the radishes, red onion, mint and parsley.
• In a small bowl, mix together the lime zest and juice, chilli, olive oil, vinegar, mustard and honey. Pour over the salad, then serve immediately or cover and keep refrigerated until needed.