This week has been a huge test of my willpower. I’ve been food styling for a “fast, casual” food chain from the south – fries, chicken tenders, breaded turkey, sandwiches, burgers, milkshakes & such. We (the photography crew) could order what we liked for lunch from the restaurant’s menu. Thankfully I took my lunch with me, it helped keep me on track. Since starting on The Blood Sugar Diet, I’ve fallen in love with these pretty lunch plates I put together each day. This is one of them – The Greek Lunch Plate, it’s almost like a deconstructed Greek salad.
There’s many things to love about my lunch plates: Firstly, they’re easy to assemble. Secondly, they’re healthy. They can be made ahead. They’re inexpensive. And, they’re pretty. Savvy?! This Greek lunch plate contains roasted sweet peppers, crunchy baby cukes, olives, creamy feta, anchovies (if you don’t like anchovies, add a few nuts instead), tomatoes & red onion.
I had a bag of small sweet peppers (capsicum) in the fridge so I roasted the whole bag & then ate on them all week as part of a lunch plate. You can also buy roasted peppers in a jar or from the deli counter if you don’t want to make your own. They’re very easy to make so give it a go & try making them yourself. For the larger peppers I always peel them but these smaller guys, I just left the skin on.
The whole plate gets lightly drizzled in a vibrant & lively dressing. For the dressing I used fresh lemon juice & herbs with a hint of garlic & smokiness from the cumin. It’s a lot like the dressing I make for fattoush, a Middle Eastern/Greek salad I often make during summer. Never underestimate fresh herbs, garlic & spices when you’re dieting, they all add lots of flavor & can elevate any recipe.
My week – I’ve done zero exercise all week. My days have started at 5AM & by the time I get home I’ve been too exhausted to even think. I did manage just over a 5 lb (almost 3 kg) loss this week. And, drumroll please…this is day 11 alcohol free. Do you believe it? I hardly do. That’s how I know how serious I am about this diet. No booze. Since my drinking career started about 37 years ago, I don’t think I’ve ever gone this long without any wine touching my lips. I tell ya, fizzy water, mixed baby greens, balsamic vinegar, lemons & these lunch plates have become my new best friends. Some nights I cry myself to sleep because I’m missing my wine so much.
Over the coming weeks I hope to share more lunch plates with you. Besides this Greek lunch plate, I regularly have the low carb ploughman’s plate (sharing that with you next week) & the Mediterranean plate as part of my lunchtime repertoire & I’m working on a few more because I just love them. I can’t help but think how marvelously they’d pair with wine. Best get back to work, I’m writing recipes for a couple of clients this week & they need to be delivered tomorrow…yikes! Keep eating healthy, I’m off to pour myself a giant glass of sparkling water, cheers!
- 8 small roasted sweet peppers (or 1 large roasted pepper, torn)*
- 2 oz (56g) feta cheese, broken up
- 2 small cucumbers, cut into spears
- 14 grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
- 4 thin slices red onion
- 1 can anchovies, drained
- 1/4 cup mixed olives
- 1 cup of arugula (rocket) or watercress
- LEMON HERB DRESSING
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh Italian (flat leaf) parsley)
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
- 1 garlic clove, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon honey
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- To make the dressing: Place all ingredients in a small bowl, use a hand blender & blend until smooth. Or place in an upright blender & blend until smooth.
- Arrange peppers, feta, cucumbers, tomatoes, onion, anchovies & olives on 2 serving plates. Top with arugula & drizzle with dressing.
- * I had lots of small sweet peppers in my fridge. I preheated the oven & place the peppers on a baking sheet lined with baking paper. I tossed them in 1 teaspoon of olive oil, salt & freshly ground pepper. Then they were roasted for about 30 minutes, turning once, until wrinkled & a little charred. They store in a sealed container in the fridge for 5 days.