It has been a difficult year, we can all agree on that. And one of the ways to relieve stress was undoubtedly food: both because cooking relaxes and distracts, and because we often don’t eat out of hunger but out of nervousness or boredom. And that’s exactly what happened during the lockdown period. Then came the summer, a time when we all relaxed and loosened control over what we eat: inevitable, and right too. But now the time has come to recover a certain normality: both work and social, and food. We all want to get back in shape, and food, as well as exercise, is the way to go.
However, following a strict and planned diet is not always possible, nor is it mandatory. In most cases, a reasoned diet would suffice. A good guideline could be that which divides the dish into four ideal parts, and then fills them one with carbohydrates (preferably whole grains), the other with proteins (not exclusively of animal origin), and the remaining two with vegetables, fruit. and vegetables both raw and cooked. Below are some ideas of a balanced dish, with relative nutritional indications.
Greek lentil soup
1 tablespoon of olive oil
2 celery sticks, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 teaspoons of dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of pepper
8 cups of water
1 cup of dried lentils
2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
Wholemeal pita, cut into triangles and toasted
Lentils are a vegetable, but also a source of protein like all legumes. Compared to chickpeas and beans, they have the practical advantage of not having to be soaked. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the celery, carrot, onion, garlic, oregano, salt and pepper; cook 5 minutes. Add the water and lentils. Simmer, partially covered, 15 minutes. With an immersion blender or a potato masher or a vegetable mill, blend the soup until a thick cream is obtained. Season with lemon juice; serve warm or cold, with toasted pita triangles.
Nutritional values per serving: 370 calories; fat 6 g; protein 19 g; carbohydrates 65 g; fiber 21g.
Salad with crunchy quinoa
For the dressing:
3 tablespoons of olive oil
2 tablespoons of fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon of honey
1/2 teaspoon of salt
For the salad:
1/2 cup of raw quinoa
2 oranges, peeled and cut into cubes
1 avocado, pitted, peeled and diced
1/2 cup chopped shallot, white and green parts
A fresh mid-season salad, made more interesting by the dressing and an unusual way of using quinoa.
Prepare the dressing: combine all the ingredients in a jar, screw the lid on and shake vigorously until they are well combined (or use a hand blender). Shake again just before use.
Prepare the salad: Cook the quinoa according to package directions. Place a rack in the top third of the oven and preheat to maximum. Spread the cooked quinoa on a baking sheet. Toast the quinoa, stirring occasionally and checking often, until it begins to crunch and turns golden brown around the edges, 10 to 12 minutes. Leave to cool. Place the lettuce in a large salad bowl. Add the quinoa, oranges, avocado, scallions and seasoning. Mix well to mix and serve immediately.
Nutritional values per serving:
308 calories; fat 19 g; 7g fiber; protein 5 g; carbohydrates 33 g.
Sandwich alla pera
1 tablespoon of low-fat Greek yogurt
1/4 tsp dried dill
2 slices of rye bread
1 slice of lean raw ham (about 30 grams)
1 small pear, thinly sliced (leave the peel)
1 slice of Swiss cheese (about 30 grams)
An unusual and delicious sandwich, very rich in fiber thanks to wholemeal rye bread and fruit.
Combine yogurt and dill in a small bowl, stirring until combined. Spread the yogurt mixture over the slices of bread. Cover a slice of bread with ham, half of the pear slices, cheese and another slice of bread. Serve with the remaining pear slices apart.
Nutritional values per serving: 390 calories; fat 11 g; protein 19 g; carbohydrates 56 g; 9g fiber.