I joined the gym about a month ago and I have to say, I’m loving healthy living. Well, healthy-ish. I joined the gym to give myself an excuse to eat unlimited cake for life, without diets or the bitter aftertaste of GUILT.
But, going straight after work left me feeling tired and drained and instead of bouncing off the walls like the Duracel bunny others had promised me, I was ready for a post work-out nap as soon as I got in. And when you’re getting in at 8pm, well, you do the maths. I put sleeping beauty to shame (minus the beauty part, but hey, at least I’d look athletic in my glass coffin..)
Anyway, I figured my lack of energy had to be down to my lack of fuel (c’mon, I could be an engineer with that logic). I’ve never been one for lunches. When you put time and effort into dinner, making a sandwich afterwards just feels a bit wrong. So I’d either end up with a sorry looking sarnie or I’d buy a similar state of affairs from the work shop and end up spending £25 a week on half eaten baguettes. Sound familiar?!
No pleasure, no energy..If I joined the gym to eat more, I had to stop hating on lunchtime. So I have developed 5 veg and protein-rich working lunches, which I am trialling this week. They all require a little effort, but I was SO excited in the run up to 12.35 that I ended up eating it at 11.30pm, like a kid on a coach trip.
First up: Monday: Steak and Lentil salad. I used to be totally non-plus about lentils, but trust me, this dressing is IN-SANE.
+x2 steaks, sirloin is best for flavour and cost effectiveness. If you’re rich, get rib-eye.
+ 150g puy lentils (or as many as you want!)
+Salad: x4 baby cos lettuce hearts + other salad stuff (tomatoes and radishes come recommended)
+Dressing: 4tbsp extra virgin olive oil, 2tbsp red wine vinegar, salt, pepper, pinch of sugar/drop of honey.
1. Season steak with olive oil, plenty of salt and plenty o’pepper. Don’t be shy now, this meat needs f l a v o u r. When it’s done (mine was a thick sirloin, I went with 2-3 mins each side for medium) rest it on a plate covered lightly with foil.
2. 2tbsp red wine vinegar (essential – do not trade vinegar types here) 4tbsp extra-virgin oil, salt, pepper and a pinch of sugar or drop of honey. It will seem disproportionately oily, but shhh…it’s for the LENTILS not the salad! Whisk it all up good.
3. Put 150g puy lentils in a frying pan on a low heat. Chuck on the dressing an stir a bit, just to warm through. Wash and break off the leaves of your Cos hearts. I’ve used tomatoes too because I love them with steak, but radishes also work well.
4. Slice the steak, however you like, but if you’re aiming for Office Lust, do it on the diagonal, because it looks posh and people will assume you spend all your spare time in a North London gastropub, because you’re so above Pret A Manger.
Tip all the meat juices into the lentil pan. Put the steak and the lentils on the salad, toss it up, put it in your lunchbox and prepared to feel smug and energised all day.