Atlanta Restaurant Scene

Keep your New Year's resolutions with these healthy lunch recipes

If you're like thousands of other Americans, you resolved to eat healthier once the ball dropped to signal the start of 2016. Make things easier on yourself with these lunch recipes pulled from the AJC archives, check out our collection of  healthy breakfast recipes and a roundup of some of the best places to get salads in Atlanta .

Kale Quinoa Salad

2 cups water

1 cup quinoa, rinsed

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided

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1/2 red onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, chopped

2 Roma tomatoes, diced

2 cups finely chopped kale, stems removed

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

2 ounces crumbled feta

Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper

In a medium saucepan, combine water and quinoa. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook quinoa 10 minutes or until quinoa is tender. Remove from heat, drain off any remaining water and allow to cool.

In a medium skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook 2 minutes. Stir in tomatoes and garlic and cook 2 minutes. Add kale, stir and cook 1 minute or until kale turns bright green. Remove from heat.

Transfer quinoa to a large bowl. Toss with remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add kale mixture and toss. Sprinkle with cilantro and feta. Taste for seasoning. Serve immediately. Makes: 4 1/2 cups

Per 1/2-cup serving: 165 calories (percent of calories from fat, 47), 4 grams protein, 17 grams carbohydrates, 2 grams fiber, 9 grams fat 92 grams saturated), 6 milligrams cholesterol, 97 milligrams sodium.

Cafe Sababa's Kale and Lentil Soup

1/4 cup olive oil

1 cup 1/2-inch diced celery (about 2 ribs)

1 cup 1/2-inch diced carrots (about 2 carrots)

1/2 cup 1/4-inch diced onion (about 1/2 medium onion)

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

2 solidly packed cups chopped kale

1 tablespoon granulated garlic

1 1/2 teaspoons ground turmeric

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 pound dried lentils (cleaned)

12 cups vegetable broth

In a large stockpot, heat oil over medium heat. Stir in celery, carrots, onion and salt and cook until onions are translucent, about 10 minutes. Add kale and stir until wilted. Add garlic, turmeric, cumin, coriander and pepper and stir for 1 minute. Add lentils and stir for 2 minutes. Add vegetable broth and bring mixture to a boil.

Reduce heat and simmer 45 minutes or until lentils are tender. Remove 2 cups soup and puree in a blender or with an immersion blender. Pour back into the pot of soup. Simmer 10 minutes. Serve hot.

Makes: 12 cups

Per 1-cup serving: 217 calories (percent of calories from fat, 25), 22 grams protein, 28 grams carbohydrates, 13 grams fiber, 8 grams fat (1 gram saturated), no cholesterol, 328 milligrams sodium.

Grilled Swordfish Sandwiches With Mushrooms, Tapenade and Red-Pepper Yogurt

Makes 4 servings

Preparation time: 30 minutes

Cooking time: 35 minutes

1 red bell pepper

1 cup plain nonfat yogurt

Salt, pepper to taste

1/4 cup kalamata or other brine-cured black olives

1 teaspoon drained capers

1 garlic clove

1 teaspoon olive oil

2 portobello mushrooms (each about 4 inches in diameter)

Vegetable-oil cooking spray

3 plum tomatoes

4 (5-ounce) swordfish steaks, about 3/4-inch thick

4 Bibb lettuce leaves

Prepare grill. Roast and peel bell pepper (see note). In a blender, puree bell pepper with yogurt and season with salt and pepper.

Pit olives. Mince olives, capers and garlic. Stir together in a bowl with oil to make tapenade. Discard portobello stems and slice caps 1/8-inch thick. Coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray and heat over moderate heat until hot but not smoking. Cook mushrooms, stirring, until liquid they give off is evaporated, about 6 minutes, and season with salt and pepper. Thinly slice tomatoes lengthwise. Pat swordfish dry. Remove skin and slice steaks in half horizontally to make 8 pieces about 1/3 inch thick. Season swordfish with salt and pepper and grill on an oiled rack set 5 to 6 inches over glowing coals until just cooked through, 1 1/2 minutes on each side.

Arrange 1 piece swordfish on each of 4 plates and spread with tapenade. Top with mushrooms, tomatoes, lettuce and remaining swordfish pieces. Spoon some red-pepper yogurt over each sandwich.

Note: To roast and peel bell peppers, lay peppers on their sides on racks of a gas stove's burners and turn flames on high. Char peppers, turning them with tongs, until skins are blackened, 3 to 8 minutes. Or preheat broiler, put peppers on rack of broiler pan and broil about 2 inches from heat, turning frequently until skins are blistered and charred, about 15 minutes. Transfer peppers to a bowl and let stand, covered, until cool enough to handle; then peel, cutting off tops and discarding seeds and ribs.

Per serving: 266 calories, 32 grams protein, 9 grams fat (percent calories from fat, 31), 13 grams carbohydrates, 55 milligrams cholesterol, 257 milligrams sodium, 2 grams fat.




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The Food & Dining Team offers reviews, previews, food news and fun bites food trends for metro Atlanta’s vast food and dining scene.

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