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Lockdown & Lunching

In News

With the COVID-19 disrupting our lives, we are stuck in limbo with the quarantine. Normally, other things and tasks during the day take up our time and we just cook/prepare what is the easiest and least time-consuming. Most of us are making the best of this lockdown by cultivating hobbies like home-workouts, yoga, and for many of us – cooking. However, surely most of us have run out of fun meal ideas (I sure have!). Here are some refreshing and nutritious lunch ideas – quick fix and light on the belly – to make better use of your free time:

Banana Pancakes

A lot of us love having breakfast foods for practically every meal! This is a simple recipe for a tasty alternative to plain pancakes and you can even use up the bananas that are ripening up at home!

Ingredients:

  • 3 ripe bananas
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4th cup yogurt
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 5 cup oat flour (grind oats in a mixer or simply use regular flour)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • A pinch of salt and a pinch of cinnamon

Method:

  • Mash the bananas with a fork and then blend with the eggs, yogurt and vanilla.
  • Whisk together oat flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon in a separate bowl.
  • Add the wet ingredients to the dry and fold just until combined.
  • Melt butter over medium flame on a pan and ladle in a spoonful the batter. Cook for a few minutes and flip over to cook the other side.
  • This recipe serves 3, so scale up as needed.

Chickpea Salad Wraps

A fresh twist to the usual roti and vegetables on our tables, all you need is the below mixture to add into a roll of rotis for a tasty lunch (or snack!).

Ingredients:

  • 5 cups cooked chickpeas
  • ½ cup chopped celery
  • 2 tbsp chopped red onion
  • 1 tbsp fresh minced thyme
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • ½ tsp regular mustard sauce
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ cup toasted sunflower seeds (or walnuts)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method: Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and mash the chickpeas with a fork. Stuff into a wrap or leftover rotis or prepare pita bread pockets (recipe, here) and enjoy with a bowl of curd on the side!

 Vegetarian Tacos at Home

Absolutely tasty, and not that difficult to make at home – tacos are a fun twist to traditional meals at home. These tacos with a perfect Bloody Mary (or a Virgin Mary, for the non-alcoholics) is the best way to enjoy a summer at home.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups shredded cabbage
  • 1 medium red pepper – cut into thin strips
  • 1 medium onion – sliced
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • Cooked black beans, rinsed and drained (Rajma, for us Indians)
  • 1 cup salsa (find a recipe here)
  • Chopped green chillies (as per your palate)
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • ¼ tsp cumin powder
  • 8 taco shells (find a recipe here)
  • ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese (or more, if you run out)
  • 1 medium ripe avocado, peeled and sliced

Method:

  • In a large pan, heat oil over medium heat and cook the cabbage, pepper and onion till crispy, yet tender. Sprinkle the sugar and sauté the mixture.
  • Stir in the beans, salsa, chillies, garlic, chilli powder and cumin powder – let it boil. Reduce the heat and let it simmer until flavours are blended.
  • Serve in the taco shells topped with cheese and avocados and voila – a cool Mexican affair is about to unfold!

Tawa Paratha into Tawa Pizza!

Onion parathas converted into a pizza. I made an onion paratha, added pizza sauce on top (homemade) and then added a lot of cheese. Ensure there is a good helping of cheese on top so as to make it a yummy pizza. Place this on a Tava once you have put the grated cheese on and let it melt into it. This makes it a really good meal or snack. If you have roti or parathas lying around then convert them into a pizza with tomato sauce or onions or mushrooms and add the cheese.

Pear & Walnut Sandwiches

Not your usual sandwiches, this one packs a fruity and crunchy zest to your choice of bread sandwich. Spread some cream cheese (or a hung-curd spread) on your choice of bread – we recommend a multigrain option. Top with some crunchy chopped walnuts and pear slices (quantities being as per your choice). If you are a green lover like me, you could add some sprouts or arugula for a bit of texture!

A healthy, fruity and green lunch on your hands in a jiffy!

Instant Pot Lentil Bowl

Take a twist to the traditional dal preparations – make an instant pot lentil mix with your choice of lentils seasoned with onion powder, garlic paste, oregano and paprika – boil in a vegetable broth until the lentils are cooked and the broth is dried in. This can be consumed in your choicest method – with a spoonful of curd on the side, or with pita bread on the side. For the more adventurous, pair them with some cauliflower rice for an added nutrition boost!

After your delicious meals, top it off with your favourite dessert (make sure to make it a nutritious one!).

In the wise words of Ellie Krieger ‘In my food world, there is no fear or guilt; only joy and balance’. While quarantine takes its toll on our social and professional lives, try to let it turn your nutrition and well-being for the better!

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