A fresh and light lunch bowl with shredded napa cabbage, parsley, and chickpeas.
I put up our blackout blinds last weekend. And by blackout blinds I of course mean the dark brown fitted sheet we hang over our bedroom window during the summer months. Our apartment, quite bafflingly, is fitted with black blinds in every room except for our bedroom, where the between-glass-blinds are white. And I suppose we could make the effort to crack open the layers of glass and replace the blinds, or drill into the concrete wall and hang some proper blinds, but we are lazy, so the sheet it is.
So anyways, last weekend I hung the sheet over our bedroom window and indulged in a deep, dark sleep in. I’ve been keeping it off during the workweek and have been enjoying being woken by light a little before my alarm goes off, but by Monday the sun will be coming up in the 4’s and we’re hurtling towards the midnight sun, so the blackout sheet will be in use full time as of this weekend.
I realized in doing this that during the winter months I do a good amount of whining about how dark it is, but rarely do I talk about the payback of summer light. Although 3am sunshine is every bit as disorienting as a 2pm sunset, and although I’m staying at the office accidentally later and later without the dark to signal an end to my day, I must say, I really enjoy this time of year.
Since we’re on the subject of light, I thought I’d share a nice light lunch bowl with you today. This simple bowl is one of my favourite lunches these days – you’ve seen it turn up in my meal plans week after week lately. The base is shredded napa cabbage, which, although a cruciferous vegetable in the brassica family along with white cabbage, broccoli, and kale, is substantially lighter than its cousins in both taste and texture, and, I think, a little easier on the old tum tum for those of you who have digestive troubles. In Swedish napa cabbage is aptly named salladskål, or ‘salad cabbage’, which reminded me that this would be a good thing to use in a salady concoction. Duh.
I’ve been really into the bright, fresh flavour of parsley lately, and accordingly I’ve used a judicious amount of the green herb in this lunch bowl, paired of course with a liberal squeeze of lemon juice for its puckering zip. I’ve added celery (more crunch!) shredded carrots (oh heyyyy beta carotene) and chickpeas (fiber! protein!) to round it out. This lunch bowl comes together in a matter of minutes and holds up for a good amount of time in the fridge, so it’s perfect for packed lunches. If you’re looking for something fresh, light, and healthy, this is all of those things. I do hope you’ll give it a try.
Cabbage is chock full of anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, and cancer fighting glucosinolates. It is an excellent source of vitamins C, K, A, manganese, folate, and dietary fiber. Additionally, cabbage has cholesterol lowering benefits. When you eat cabbage, fiber-related nutrients bind together with some of the bile acids in your intestine, which causes them to remain in the intestine and then pass through you (you know what I mean) rather than being absorbed. Your liver then needs to replace these bile acids and does this by using up some of your existing supply of cholesterol, which then causes your cholesterol level to go down. Cabbage for the win!
- 4 cups shredded napa cabbage
- 1 large carrot, shredded
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 1 cup parsley leaves, minced
- 1 cup chickpeas
- 2 lemon wedges
- salt and pepper to taste
- Divide the napa cabbage, shredded carrot, celery, parsley, and chickpeas between two bowls or lunch containers.
- Serve with a generous squeeze of lemon, and a touch of salt and pepper.