If you’re watching what you eat, going healthy is easy with these 10 delicious and nutritious lunches.
Forget bland salads and boring soups, you can enjoy a wonderfully healthy lunch in Leeds without sacrificing any flavour. From all-veggie avocado burgers to hearty Lebanese tagines, these 10 dishes will tantalise your tastebuds and keep you fighting fit. Each one is low-cal and brimming with all the essential nutrients you need to fuel you through the day. So what are you waiting for? Dig in.
Bang Bang Chicken Salad at Banyan
Salads don’t have to be boring and Banyan’s Bang Bang Chicken Salad proves it. Sweet, salty, sticky and crunchy, it brings together a medley of flavours and textures in every bite. They toss protein-packed pieces of chicken in a rich satay sauce and place them on a crisp bed of mange tout, carrot and greens, before topping the whole thing with caramelised peanuts and cashews. It’s a seriously scrumptious mix that will load you up vitamins A, C and K, while keeping carbs down. Want to keep your sugar levels low? Swap the the sweet nuts for plain and you’ll still get that delicious crunch.
Banyan, The Old Post Office, 2 City Square, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 2ES.
Humpit Salad at Humpit
Humpit’s Salad is a deliciously healthy way to enjoy their special-recipe hummus. You can load your bowl with anything from their fresh salad bar, so go crazy with salsa, beans, peppers, mushrooms, green leaves and chillies – make sure you leave room for their irresistibly smooth homemade hummus though. Made from chickpeas, it’ll give you a good dose of plant-based protein, fibre and calcium. Throw on a couple of chunky falafel balls for a filling and nutritious feed.
Humpit, Leeds Corn Exchange, Call Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 7BR.
Cauli Bowl at Rola Wala
Rola Wala’s Cauli Bowls are a low-cal way to sate all your curry cravings. First, they load up your bowl with gluten-free cauli rice. It’s just as soft and fluffy as the real thing, but with none of the carbs and extra fibre. Meat-eaters can top theirs with lean cuts of tikka chicken, Goan pork, Bengali beef and Nagaland lamb for a hot ’n’ spicy protein hit, while vegans can get the vibrant red channa dhal. It’s a North Indian favourite, bringing together chickpeas and lentils in an aromatic tomato sauce that’s bursting with vitamins.
Rola Wala, Trinity Kitchen, 27 Albion Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 5ER.
Kimchi Hash at Eat Your Greens
Kimchi is a type of spiced, fermented cabbage that’s extremely popular in Korea because of its fantastic health benefits. Full of probiotics, antioxidants and vitamins, you can enjoy all of its goodness in Eat Your Greens’ Kimchi Hash. They mix up a big portion with root veg, organic grains and kale, the latter of which is also brimming with nutrients – just one portion has all the Vitamin A you need in a day. They use celeriac as a low-carb, high-fibre alternative to potatoes, stirring it in as a smooth and creamy mash. Top it all off with a runny, sunny-side-up egg for extra protein.
Eat Your Greens, 42 New York Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 7DY.
The Chicken One at Holy Ramen
How about a nourishing noodle soup? The Chicken One is a steaming bowl of ramen that’s absolutely loaded with fresh and nutritious ingredients. The warming chicken broth is simmered for 24-hours, before it’s mixed with noodles and lean cuts of chicken. They heap the bowls high with oriental veggies, including two chunks of pak choi that’ll give you a serious vitamin injection. They don’t skimp on the slices of chilli either, which are packed with antioxidants and help to lower cholesterol. It’s finished with a runny poached egg, which oozes into the broth for protein power.
Holy Ramen, 12 Great George Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 3AL.
Tarka Dhal at Bundobust
A warm bowl of slow-cooked curry, Bundobust’s Tarka Dhal is the perfect comfort food – and it’s good for you too. Lentils are spiced and stewed to form the base of the dish. Low calorie and basically fat-free, they’re packed full of protein to keep you feeling full throughout the day. The fusion of Indian spices elevates these humble legumes to the next level, giving them a rich and fragrant flavour that’ll keep you coming back for more. But they don’t just sate your tastebuds, they work work wonders on your body too – garlic boosts the immune system, cumin aids digestion and chilli revs up the metabolism.
Bundobust, 6 Mill Hill, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 5DQ.
Avocado Burger at Wolfox
If you fancy a burger with none of the naughtiness, make a beeline for Wolfox. They have an all-veggie, low-calorie alternative on their menu of clean eats. Instead of a patty, you’ll get juicy mushrooms layered on top of a thick slice of tomato and slathered in hummus. It makes for a nutritious stack that’ll load you up with antioxidants, B vitamins and plant-based protein. The whole thing comes sandwiched between two avo halves, so you can demolish it without counting carbs. Avocado is also rich in vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids – what’s not to love?
Wolfox, 66 Wellington Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 2EE.
Aubergine Tagine at Comptoir Libanais
The Aubergine Tagine at Comptoir Libanais is a hearty dish packed full of veggies and Lebanese spices. Chunky slices of aubergine and red pepper are stewed in a rich tomato sauce with chickpeas. It’s brimming with B vitamins and antioxidants, while the chickpeas add protein to fill you up and stop you snacking. You can get it with couscous or rice, but if you’re feeling especially virtuous go for the gluten-free quinoa. A hugely popular superfood, this little grain is high in vitamins, fibre and all nine essential amino acids. It’s a saintly choice and one that tastes darn delicious mixed with the spiced tagine.
Comptoir Libanais, Trinity Leeds, 27 Albion Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 5AY.
Plantain Curry at Kanassa
If you think healthy eating has to be bland and boring, think again. Kanassa’s Plantain Curry is positively bursting with big Colombian flavours. Plantain is a type of savoury banana rich in potassium and fibre. It’s sliced up and cooked ’til it’s soft in a thick and creamy coconut sauce, seasoned with smoked paprika. A tantalising mix of sweet and spicy flavours, the curry is spooned onto white rice before it’s topped with a colourful array or herbs and veggies to load you with vitamins. The pickled red cabbage is particularly healthy, jam-packed with probiotics that are good for the gut.
Kanassa, Kirkgate Market, 34 George Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 7HY.
Super Green Pho at Pho
The Super Green Pho is an all-vegan, extremely low-fat version of a traditional pho. This warm and nourishing bowl simmers thick rice noodles in a veggie broth with crunchy green beans, leafy pak choi and fresh Thai water spinach. All of these oriental veggies are rich in folate and iron, which helps to promote healthy blood circulation. You can add fresh herbs to taste or even customise your bowl with chicken, beef or king prawns if you want an extra protein punch.
Pho, Trinity Kitchen, 27 Albion Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 5ER.