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Let Greenleaf Gourmet Chopshop Liven Up Your Lunchbox

We all know how easy it is to fall into the dreaded lunchtime rut which, given lunch is more or less the highlight of the workday, can be pretty depresssing.  The lame options at the cafe next door to your office inevitably get old before you’ve so much as cashed your first paycheck, and lunches packed at home are likely limited to the same old limp sandwich -- turkey or tuna -- day in, day out.  It’s no wonder we so often fall prey to the siren song of greasy pizza slices and endless birthday celebration cupcakes.

Greenleaf Gourmet Chopshop Executive Chef Kristi Ritchey, who recently lost 110 pounds through diet and exercise and whose mission it is to make healthy eating delicious and accessible, would like to show us the lunchtime light.  With a huge variety of affordable organic salads, paninis, and (surprisingly low-calorie) thin-crust pizzas, Greenleaf Gourmet Chopshop is a welcome antidote to depressing, chub-inducing lunches. To perk you up even more, enjoy a special BGG-only 10% discount off any dine-in meal from now through August 20th with proof of this article.

If you live or work too far from their Century City and Beverly Hills locations, fret not -- Chef Kristi has kindly offered two easy, delicious recipes for healthy salads you can make at home:

(1) The 3-Bean Salad is perfect for Broke Girls because beans are a cheap source of protein and fiber, plus they stay fresh for a long time.

(2) With baked pita chips, Kalamata olives, and hummus, the Zorra the Great Salad tastes rich and fills you up, but it’s super healthy. These ingredients also stay fresh for a long time, so you can buy a container of olives and hummus and a bag of baked pita chips that will make a week’s worth of nutritious meals.

Here are some additional tips on making delicious and healthy salads at home:

o    Dress your salad first with herbs and fruit juice or vinegar, then taste as you sparingly add oil to avoid over-dressing your salad. You’ll often find that you need less oil than you think, saving yourself tons of fat and calories!

o    Think about incorporating easy-to-make grains like quinoa and couscous in your salads. You’ll add healthy carbs -- and in quinoa’s case, protein -- and an interesting texture to your salad that will help keep you feeling full longer.

o    Use fresh herbs. They are relatively inexpensive, you will use them all week in your meals, and they add flavor so you need less oil in your salads. They are also a surprising source of antioxidants and vitamins. For instance, basil (in both of these recipes) is a great source of Vitamin A.

Aug 08, 2011 - 08:40 AM

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