Tuesday, 5 June 2012

A Righteous, Healthy Vegetarian Lunch

It's easy to spot a health food - it invariably looks and tastes like crap.

That's why hummus has had such an easy time of it. It is the only health food that I, and a billion like me, eat with any pleasure at all. I'm not saying that I'm morbidly obese or anything, but along with 98% of the developed world, I could probably do with losing some pounds.

I've tried eating less bread, meat, dairy and sweets and traded them for rice cakes, fish, light creme fraiche and dates, but to no avail - I'm still a wobbler. I'm sure that these foods are all amazingly good for you, but (as I have said earlier) they taste like crap. Alright, not crap exactly, but crappier versions of the other stuff, which means that I supplement these healthier foods with Cadbury's Flakes at any given opportunity.

So, with mere weeks to go until bikini season, I need to make a stab at shifting the spare tyre, and so this lunch is my attempt at redressing the balance after a long winter of storing nuts, so to speak.

But why should I lose weight? I'm cuddly, and cuddly is attractive, yeah? Or funny. Funny and fat is cool, right? Apparently not. Mrs Ribeye, who is herself 6' tall and naturally lithe, and one of those people who actually seems to lose weight after drinking a McDonald's milkshake, has given me the odd reproving glance. She says it's indigestion, but I don't believe her - it's definitely revulsion at my moobs. Plus, she seems to be laughing less with me than at me recently. So today is the first day of my diet. Well, not a diet exactly, more of a try at cutting down on the treats.

As you may remember, Mrs Ribeye and I have cut meat out of our weekday meals, so I can't exactly go on the Atkins diet - not that I would anyway; can you imagine all the vicious anger and bitchiness I would generate on a no-carb eating plan? I'm bad enough ON carbs.

So, a vegetarian (or fish, if the mood had taken me) healthy lunch today is the thing. BRING ON THE HUMMUS!!! What would I do without it? Salad with olive oil dressing is great as a side dish, but as the main feature? I think not. Slather some of the hummus onto salad veg and top with a few falafels and some jalapeno relish and I'm a step closer to my target weight of a metric half tonne.

Oh, just one thing, hummus is fattening - so don't eat too much. God, I hate my life...

Saving calories means also saving pounds - British pounds I mean. £1.50 per (not too) generous serving is all this lunch will set you back.

Serves 2


Chopped salad vegetables (I used lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, olives, fresh chillies, radishes and sweet peppers)
200g hummus
16 small falafel balls, baked
2 tablespoons of sweet jalapeno relish
1 tablespoon of paprika

Arrange the salad vegetables on a deep serving bowl and spread with the hummus. Add the falafel balls and top with the jalapeno relish. Sprinkle with paprika.

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