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Lunch Al Desko: Green Quinoa, Smoked Salmon & Chrain Dressing

Although I'm not working at the moment (well, in an office at least) I can well remember the difficulties in procuring a lunch that is both tasty, healthy and not £9. Sure, a Pret mac'n'cheese is yummy, but even the addition of kale doesn't save the fact that despite it teeny portion size you'll be mainlining 450 calories of white starchy carbs and saturated fat only to find yourself dreaming about a Kitkat Chunky by 3pm. So not so much an everydayer. Same for sandwiches; unless you're splashing out on that snazzy new protein filled bread, like Plan Bread, then you're looking at an easy 450 calories again for a standard chicken club type sandwich on brown. Upsetting.

For me the answer has always been to take lunch in. It's cheap, it's healthy and you don't have to be shouted at by the person in Vital Ingredient for not having made up your mind about your choice of salad combo. As the wedding looms ever closer, I've forced my healthy regime on my betrothed and he takes an insanely healthy lunch in to work three out of five days now, so thought I'd share some of them for inspiration.

Today we have green quinoa, with smoked salmon and a yoghurt chrain dressing. I've mentioned before how great quinoa is - despite looking, tasting and feeling carby, it's actually very low carb but very high in protein - making you feel fuller for longer for less of the calorie buck. Quinoa is readily available in supermarkets, usually near the couscous. Smoked salmon is a good choice as you don't need much weight wise and obviously there are all the lovely essential fatty acids, omegas and such like. Finally, there is a little pot of yoghurt dressing with chrain, which is a Jewish condiment of finely shredded beetroot with horseradish. I can get it in my local Tesco, but then again I live in Golders Green so it's not surprising. If you can't get hold of a jar then a tablespoon of horseradish would be just as nice instead.

Here's the recipe:

Ingredients (Two servings)

120g quinoa (dried)

Handful broccoli florets, roughly chopped

Handful kale

1/2 Chicken stockpot

100g smoked salmon

Tbsp capers

Splash lemon juice

50g fat free natural yoghurt

Tbsp chrain

Cook the quinoa in plenty of boiling water and the stock for 20-30 minutes. As the grains begin to separate from their rings you will know it's just about done, so pop the broccoli and kale in at the last minute to just take the edge off the rawness - don't cook them too much as you need the crunch. Leave to cool and add a squeeze of lemon, salt pepper and the capers to taste. Add half the salmon per portion. Stir the chrain and yoghurt together and season further - put in a little pot to take to dress the quinoa before eating.

If you're sure to measure your weights carefully this comes in at around 300 calories.

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