Lunch with the Gym Team

Discover how our team stay energised all day

Our gym team love to make their own healthy, super-tasty and filling salads. They say it just takes minutes and can be cheap, cheerful and utterly wholesome. We thought we’d crib some of their secrets to help you make the best summer salad combos yourself.

In the beginning

Start with the protein and build from there. For a really healthy and tasty start consider oily fish like tinned sardines, salmon or mackerel. Eggs, chicken, cheese (halloumi or feta are big flavours that work well in salads) and tofu are also great protein basics.

Dress well

Next, is a good dressing. Although not all fats are created equal, the good ones can lower cholesterol, help shed excess weight and give you shiny hair and healthy nails. Pulse 8 favourites are olive and sesame oils, which also add lovely flavour of their own.  Coconut oil is good too when combined with olive oil to stop it solidifying. If you’re in a hurry, a basic vinaigrette dressing is 3 parts oil to 1 part vinegar and a little salt.

Find your carbs

Rice and pasta are always good if you want a higher carbohydrate content. Try orzo or stellini, which are tiny shaped pastas that behave more like rice. Quinoa has a lovely nutty flavour, a higher protein content and therefore lower in carbs. It’s great if you’re trying to avoid wheat based products. Other healthy suggestions are chick peas, lentils and beans (kidney, borlotti, cannellini).

Throw it all in

The rest is up to you. The possibilities are endless. Yes, salad leaves if you like them – or spinach, Chinese leaves and herbs. Grated courgette, raw broccoli and carrot, white cabbage, spring onions, cherry tomatoes, avocado, diced red and yellow peppers all add colour and flavour variations.

Finally, why not sprinkle some seeds or nuts on top for added texture? Sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, toasted pine nuts, walnuts etc. all bring a lovely texture.

Classics and favourites

Here are some gym team favourites. They all take minutes to prepare. Add the dressing just before you’re ready to eat it.

Tuna is easy-peasy, out-of-the-tin healthy and works beautifully with cannellini beans and red onion. It looks good too on top of a bed of lettuce and is high in protein and low on carbs. With just a squeeze of lemon, a little extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper it’s cheap and ridiculously easy. Another lovely tuna combination is with boiled new potatoes and olives – good with a classic olive oil and white wine vinegar dressing with a little squeeze of juice from a garlic clove.

Chick peas and chopped mint salad is as simple as it is satisfying. Add a little finely chopped red onion with some crumbled feta cheese, lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper and you’re done.

Roasted red peppers and halloumi, pine nuts and basil with a simple vinaigrette dressing will liven up any lunchtime.