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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Easy, nutritious lunch for work


Here is a great idea for a nutritious hot lunch that I got from an Ayurvedic cooking class my teacher runs. It's called a thermos lunch and it's so, so easy. 

All you do is heat up some spices, throw them in a thermos with some rice and lentils, add some boiling water and close the lid. When you open it at lunch time it's hot, cooked and waiting for you. 

I made it today and it was so nice to eat something fresh and hot. Usually I take something out of the freezer (leftovers) and microwave it for lunch. So I was thinking that's a lot of left overs and a lot of microwaved food. Even though when I make my dinner I make everything from scratch, so I can really limit the amount of processed food I have, once it is frozen and reheated there is very little nutritional value left. In summer it's not a problem because I just make salads or wraps or something but in winter it's a bit tricky having something hot and fresh. This is the perfect solution! 

With the spices I dry roast them first then put them back in the fry pan with a little ghee add the lentils and rice so that they get coated and then put them in the thermos. You can also add veggies for some added nutrition if you like. It takes about 10 minutes, not any longer than you would take to make a salad or a sandwich. You can choose the spices according to your dosha, your current imbalance, what you have or what you feel like. Experiment and see what happens. 

This is a great adaption of a very traditional Indian meal called a kichadi (ki-ch-ree).  A Kichadi is a very important part of Ayuredic healing because it is nutritinal, suits all doshas and is very easy to digest. 

When I was eating it today at work my coworker commented that it looked like gruel but don't let that put you off. I prefer my boyfriends comparison. He is Japanese and when I first made it he called it zen food. So that is now how I think of it and I think it's a really good description. 

* Make sure you get a good thermos as the first time I tried this I opened it up to find raw rice and lentils. I took it back and got the one that you see in the picture. My food was cooked and piping hot.