Those who want to save money and improve their diets can’t do better than brown bagging their lunch.
Look for recipes that use fresh, whole ingredients and that combine protein with healthy carbohydrates. For example, the following recipe for Grapefruit & Quinoa Salad combines vegetables and citrus fruit with quinoa, a whole grain that supplies a complete protein.
Quinoa, which is like couscous in texture, contains protein, iron, fiber and vitamin B6, while fresh grapefruit contains vitamins A and C. When choosing grapefruit, pick one that feels heavy for its size – that means that it’s extra juicy.
1 Grapefruit, sectioned and peeled (reserve the peel)
1 Orange, sectioned
8 thin slices fresh ginger
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 cup quinoa
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus additional for seasoning
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
2 teaspoons honey
1 small Serrano or jalapeno chile, minced
2 scallions, minced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
Freshly ground black pepper
1. Warm the grapefruit peel, ginger and olive oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. As soon as the oil starts to bubble, remove from heat. Set the oil aside to steep for 30 minutes. Strain and reserve the oil.
2. Meanwhile, rinse and drain the quinoa, and follow the package directions to cook. Transfer the quinoa to a bowl and fluff with a fork. Cool.
3. Segment the grapefruit over a bowl, reserving the segments and juice separately. Whisk 3 tablespoons of the grapefruit juice with the vinegar, honey and salt to taste in a medium bowl. Gradually whisk in 3 tablespoons of the reserved grapefruit oil, starting with a few drops and then adding the rest in a stream to make a slightly thick dressing. Season with pepper to taste.
4. Toss the quinoa with the dressing, chiles, scallions, carrots and cilantro. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
5. Toss the grapefruit segment into the salad, divide among four plates. Serve warm or at room temperature.
6. Serving suggestion: This salad makes a great packed lunch. If you want to serve this salad at dinner, try it with grilled salmon.
I'm Natatia Gemmell.