Quick & Easy Power Lunch

Wild Sardines, Rocket & Beetroot Hummus on Sourdough Bread for a powerful punch of energy boosting nutrients your mitochondria love.

Clinical Nutritionist Kay Ali's 'Power Lunch' recipe for sustainable energy, and balanced blood sugar

Over on YouTube and Instagram this month I've been discussing metabolic and mitochondrial health for more zest and vitality in our daily lives, especially post ovulation where our energy balance tends to take a nose dive. Let's be honest, two years into a pandemic, we could all do with a boost. So it seemed only fitting that I combined all the nutritional research together and pulled this quick and easy 'power lunch' that'll keep your blood sugar balanced and mitochondria optimal (you can learn all about what your mitochondria are and why they're so important for energy here).


With a little bit of prep to make the hummus (I recommend doing it on a Sunday so it's fresh for the week ahead), this lunch takes all but 5 minutes to make. Ideal for those of us pressed for time and zapped of energy.


The decline of oestrogen in the lead up to our periods increases our risk of sugar spikes and energy slumps from the foods we typically eat.

The star of this meal is beetroot (wild sardines too, but more on that later). Whilst beetroot has a Glycemic Index of 61, which is considered medium, its Glycemic Load is only 5. This means that its sugars release into our blood at a steady and balanced flow; reducing risk of those sugar spikes we want to avoid. Perfect for maintaining sustainable energy too.


What's more is it's naturally high in inorganic nitrates, which have been shown to promote mitochondrial biogenesis A.K.A growth, so that your cells can make more energy, giving you much more power! You can watch a 60 second video that explains it all here.



Then of course, wild and sustainably caught sardines are naturally rich in Omega 3 EPA and DHA Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs). These fats are crucial for energy production in your mitochondria as their double cell walls are made up of them. Significantly, the inner cell wall is where energy production takes place (learn more here). Whilst our mitochondrial walls are made up of EFAs, our bodies can't make them endogenously, which means you have to get them from the food you eat.


Despite its importance in our diets, a recommended daily intake has not been established for Omega 3 fats. However, based on epidemiological research into the diets of Blue Zone regions in the world where lifespans are the longest, I recommended that we eat oily fish about 2-4 times a week. So it's a good idea to make this meal a staple in your weekly meal plans.


Quick & Easy Power Lunch


Ingredients


For the hummus:

  • 1 can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained

  • Juice of 1 lemon

  • 3 beetroots, peeled, boiled and cooled (you can purchase cooked beets to save on time and energy if preferred)

  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled

  • 2 tablespoons of tahini

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1/2 tsp sea salt

Remaining ingredients:

  • Sourdough bread (optional, you can serve this on a bed of greens if you're gluten intolerant or want a low carb alternative)

  • 1 can tinned sardines (opt for wild and sustainably caught brands)

  • Wild rocket, dressed in Apple Cider Vinegar and olive oil

  • Salt & Pepper to taste


Directions


For the hummus:

  1. Add all the ingredients into a high speed blender until smooth.

  2. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.

  3. If stored correctly it should keep for a week.

Build your open sandwich:

  1. In a separate bowl, dress your rocket leaves with vinegar, olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper.

  2. Cut a slice of your sourdough bread. You can have it as is or toast it if you prefer a warm alternative. If opting for a low carb version of this recipe, simply move on to step 3.

  3. Smother 2 heaped tablespoons onto your slice of bread (or directly onto the plate if going low carb).

  4. Add a generous handful of rocket on top.

  5. Gently place your sardines on top of the rocket.

  6. Enjoy, sans the 3pm energy slump!


Clinical Nutritionist Kay Ali's beetroot hummus recipe for sustainable energy, and balanced blood sugar