It is beginning to get warmer and the afternoon slump is making a comeback of sorts. So if you feel you are less productive during the 2 pm to 5 pm window everyday, maybe it’s time to change your lunch plate.
I say switch to a mid morning meal that is light and healthy both - that means switch to healthy and wholesome salads. Besides keeping you light, you’ll get enough fibre and nutrients to keep you alert, and help you tide out the afternoon slump effectively.
1. Simple Spinach Salad
Tear up baby spinach. Combine with segmented orange, chopped apple and some pine-nuts (chilgoza). Mix together with lemon juice, and some sugar or honey. Pour the dressing and toss well.
2. Yoghurt and Spiced Apple Salad
In a bowl, combine yoghurt, apple juice, raisins, lemon juice and cinnamon powder. Toss sliced apples in the yoghurt mixture and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving. Arrange lettuce and place salad on top, garnish with cherry tomato and thin coconut slices.
3. Really Hot Fruit Salad
Mix sliced apples, raw mangoes, red guavas (when in season), red radish. Drizzle a little dressing of lemon juice, crushed red chillies, honey or maple syrup, and crushed peanut. Sprinkle some sesame seeds mixed in a little sesame oil. Place on a bed of some torn lettuce leaves. And finally add some desiccated coconut and mint leaves. It is tangy and hot.
4. Feta Cheese Strawberry Green Apple Salad
Mix spring onions (or white onions), halved strawberries, green apple, then lettuce, red pepper, thrown in a few cherry tomatoes. Add a dressing of extra virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar, black pepper and salt over the salad and mix gently. Mix in some crumbled feta cheese.
5. Chickpeas and Fruit Salad
Mix sliced pear with boiled chickpeas and pomegranate seeds.
Drizzle a dressing of mustard oil, lime juice, mustard paste, green chillies, roasted cumin, kala namak and soy sauce.
6. Simple Cucumber Salad
Mix diced cucumbers, roasted peanuts, finely chopped green chilly. Add salt to taste and juice of one lemon. Mix well so that it coats the cucumber pieces. Heat cold pressed coconut oil, add mustard seeds, curry leaves, turmeric and some chilli powder, and pour over your salad. Add some coconut milk (optional). Mix it well.
7. The Tahini Fruity Delight
Mix arugula, lettuce, green apple, orange slices and pomegranate seeds. Add some feta and some cheddar cheese (or mozzarella). Mae tahini paste by blitzing sesame seeds with sesame oil. Mix tahini with olive oil, and some honey. Add water if needed to get the right consistency. Drizzle over the salad.
(Kavita is a nutritionist, weight management consultant and health writer based in Delhi. She is the author of Don’t Diet! 50 Habits of Thin People (Jaico) and Ultimate Grandmother Hacks: 50 Kickass Traditional Habits for a Fitter You (Rupa).)