“Lack of time” is one of the top reasons that my clients give for not preparing homemade meals or eating as healthily as they would like. This is not surprising when they are likely to be combining many hours of training each week with a demanding full-time job and little time to shop or prepare meals. If this sounds like you, read on for a simple, quick but highly nutritious recipe that can be eaten for lunch or supper, or even as a post-training brunch if you fancy it.
It uses some pre-prepared ingredients to save time, but still packs in the nutrients. Serves one person but it’s easy to double the quantities for two people. Add some extra pre-cooked rice if you have just completed a demanding training session as this will increase the carbohydrate content and help to restore your glycogen levels. This salad also works well made in advance and taken to work or training with you in an airtight container.
This salad is a particularly good source of omega 3 fats (oily fish, pumpkin seeds), monounsaturated fat (olive oil, avocado) and fibre (sweetcorn, lentils). The 5 different colourful vegetables provide a range of vitamins and phytochemicals that are beneficial to health. See my blog here on the importance of Eating a Rainbow.
Ingredients (serves 1)
1 x pre-cooked salmon, trout or smoked mackerel fillet or 125g tin of tuna
Half a 250g sachet of pre-cooked puy lentils (or lentils mixed with rice or quinoa)
Half of a 200g tin of sweetcorn kernels (save the remainder in an airtight container in the fridge for another day)
Half an avocado
Handful of prepared dark green salad leaves, eg watercress, rocket, spinach
1 large carrot – grated
1 small beetroot – peeled and grated (or chop pre-cooked beetroot)
1 tbsp of pumpkin seeds
2 tsp of extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
Instructions (10 mins preparation time)
Use the salad leaves as a base layer, then add the lentils. Follow with the carrot, beetroot and sweetcorn (which can be mixed together if time), then the avocado. Place the fish on top, sprinkle over the pumpkin seeds, and finish with the olive oil and apple cider vinegar.
Jo Scott-Dalgleish BSc (Hons) is a BANT Registered Nutritionist, writing and giving talks about nutrition for endurance sport. Based in London, she also works as a Registered Nutritional Therapist, conducting one-to-one consultations with triathletes, distance runners and cyclists to help them eat well, be healthy and perform better through the creation of an individual nutritional plan. To learn more about these consultations, please visit www.nutritionforendurancesports.co.uk.