Budget Friendly Lunchboxes With Mediterranean Flavour
The highly versatile Mediterranean diet offers plenty of low-cost meals that are both nutritious and delicious and packed with healthy fats like extra virgin olive oil. Here are a few of our favourite Mediterranean diet lunches that won’t break the bank.
Top Tips For Reduced Cost Mediterranean Lunches
Speaking to Houston Life, culinary nutritionist with Fully Mediterranean Pam Fullenweider shared some really useful tips on how to make The Mediterranean Diet work to keep costs down while getting the most nutrition for the value. Some of Fullenweider’s favorite tips are:
- Meal planning is key to helping you save money.
- Purchase bulk items.
- Use meatless meals/vegetarian protein sources to save money.
- Buy canned or frozen produce.
- Keep your pantry stocked with inexpensive, essential items that mix and match with any number of foods.
- Use up your leftovers to make a new lunch.
Easy And Inexpensive Mediterranean Lunches With Extra Virgin Olive Oil
So, now that you have stocked up your pantry with the essentials of Mediterranean kitchen, it’s time to get busy! Here are a few of our favourite Mediterranean diet lunches that will help you keep an eye on your budget.
Bulgar Salad With Cucumbers, Red Peppers, Chickpeas, Olive Oil, Lemon & Dill
- 1 cup bulgur
- 1½ teaspoons salt, divided
- ⅓ cup diced red onion
- ¼ cup Morocco Gold extra-virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice, from 2 lemons
- 1 large garlic clove, finely minced
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1 small English (or hothouse) cucumber, seeded and diced
- ½ cup finely chopped fresh dill
- ⅓ cup finely chopped fresh parsley
- 1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- Bring a kettle of water to a boil. Place the bulgur in a large bowl with ½ teaspoon salt and 1¼ cups boiling water. Cover the bowl tightly with saran wrap and let sit for 15-30 minutes, or until all of the water is absorbed. Let cool, then fluff with a fork.
- Meanwhile, to soften the bite of the raw onions, place them in a small bowl and cover with cold water. Let sit for ten minutes, and then drain. (Feel free to skip this step if you don't mind the strong taste of raw onions.)
- In a large bowl, whisk together the Morocco Gold extra-virgin olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, cumin, sugar, pepper, and remaining 1 teaspoon salt. Add the cooled bulgur, onion, bell pepper, cucumber, dill, parsley, and chick peas. Toss well, then taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Chill until ready to serve or up to two days. Serve cold or room temperature.