On Saturday your taste buds start tingling. They begin to remind you that they exist. And they prod you until you give them an unhealthy treat.
Now your body is very forgiving. It will forgive you for that occasional unhealthy treat – if you can restrain yourself and not eat too much of it. But self-control is not such an easy thing to practice.
And so the Saturday menu is designed to ensure that you stop eating unhealthy food when you should. The food in the Saturday menu – fills you with self-control. It ensures that you don’t eat the whole plate of French fries – you are able to stop after just two. It gives you the power to say “No” to the ice cream after dinner and empowers you to say an easy no to extra cheese in your burger.
The menu also repairs and rebuilds sections of your muscles that have got damaged by the work you have done through the week. And maintains and pampers your brain after the long week of using it a lot.
Challenges with planning the Saturday menu –
- The meals of the Saturday menu must be interesting. No one will eat something that is routine on a Saturday.
- The meals must nutritious and filling so that they keep the urge to eat sugary, trans fat rich food at its lowest. .
- The meals should be easy to cook – so that very little time needs to be spent in the kitchen.
- The recipes must have ingredients that are rich in essential amino acids and essential fatty acids so that they can contribute to the repair and maintenance of the muscles and brain that are sure to be worn out after the whole week’s work.
Saturday menu breakup
- A tasty and sustaining breakfast
- A nutritive and easy to eat 11 am snack
- A healthful tiffin
- A satisfying and strengthening lunch
- A delicious and energizing 4 pm snack
- A nourishing dinner
Weekly meal planning – Day 6 – Saturday
This menu is designed by Simran Oberoi Multani with nutritional and parenting inputs from Dr Debmita Dutta
Breakfast – Omelet with broccoli/spinach and toast
10 am snack – Fig Almond laddoo
Lunch box – Broccoli and chickpea cutlet
Lunch – Chickpea with tomato quinoa
Evening snack – Healthy quinoa brownies
Dinner – Baked Methi Quinoa Amaranth Khakra
The features on the Saturday Menu
- The focus is on complete proteins and essential fatty acids.
- The meals focus on providing all the nutrients needed to nourish the red and white blood cells
- The menu ensures that there are no serious hunger pangs through the day – so that unhealthy snacking can be avoided.
- The ingredients have anti allergic and anti-inflammatory properties
- Three different fat sources have been included in the menu
- The meals are designed to energize the body but prevent a sugar spike followed by a crash to prevent craving for junk food from kicking in.
- Two key ingredients are mixed and matched to make the meals interesting and easy to cook.
The theme for the Saturday menu
The key ingredients for The Saturday menu are Chickpea ( Kabuli chana or chole) and Quinoa – that are used in recipes throughout the day. The best thing about both ingredients is that once they have been boiled they require just a little bit of further cooking to turn them into something delicious. The snacks and even the dinner are recipes that can be made ahead of time (on the weekend) and stored and served when hunger strikes on Saturday – so that not too much time is spent in the kitchen on a holiday.
Recipes for the Saturday menu
Omelette with broccoli/spinach and toast
Chopped Broccoli or Spinach leaves 1/4 cup
Chopped Spring onions 1 tbsp
Salt to taste
Black pepper to taste
Oregano or Basil to taste
Milk 1-2 tbsp
Ghee 1 tsp
- Whisk the eggs
- Milk and spices until fluffy
- Add the ghee to a non-stick pan
- Saute the broccoli / spinach leaves and spring onions until they lose their rawness.
- Add the egg mix.
- Allow it to cook through
- And serve the omelet.
11 AM snack
Simple Fig-Almond Laddoo
Chopped figs ½ cup
Chopped soft dates 1/2 cup
Seeds mix like chia seeds, melon seeds, sunflower seed
Ghee 1 tbsp
Elaichi green 1
- Mix all the above first
- Dry roast except for the ghee.
- Add to the mixie and grind well.
- Take it out in a container
- Add ghee.
- Mix well
- And shape into laddoos, and store
Broccoli and Chole/Chickpea Cutlet
Leftover white chana from lunch or extra boiled chana 1 cup
Grated broccoli ½ cup
Salt 2 tsp
Paprika 1 tsp
Crushed garlic 1 tsp
Chopped spring onions 1/2 cup
Grated cheese(optional) 1/4 cup
Olive oil 1 tbsp
- In the oil, sauté the onions
- Add the chana, broccoli and mash them well together.
- Add the seasoning and finally the cheese.
- Mix all of it together
- Make small-sized patties
- Coat them with bread crumbs
- And shallow fry.
Gingelly or groundnut oil 2 tsp
Cumin / jeera – 1 tsp
Bay leaf / tej patta – 1
Hing / asafoetida – 1/2 tsp
Onion finely chopped – 1
Ginger garlic paste 2 tsp
Tomato finely chopped 11/2 cups
Haldi as per your taste
Red chilly powder as per your taste
Coriander powder as per your taste
Salt as per your taste
Garam masala as per your taste
And dried mango powder or amchur as per your taste
3 cups water for 1 cup of white chana that has been soaked overnight.
- Saute the jeera, bay leaf in the oil in the pressure cooker.
- Saute 1 onion, red chilly and ginger garlic paste.
- Then add the tomato and cook until it is soft and loses its rawness.
- Put in the 1 cup white chana and the water.
- Then add the remaining spices except garam masala and amchur.
- Pressure cook for 6-7whistles or till the chana gets cooked completely.
- Open the cooker
- And add the garam masala and amchur.
- Mix well and serve.
Boiled quinoa 1 cup
Homemade tomato puree ½ cup
Grated garlic 1tsp
- Add the oil in a pan
- Add the garlic and let it cook a bit.
- Add the tomato puree
- And allow it to cook well until it loses its rawness.
- Add the quinoa and then the spices.
- Mix it well and uniformly.
- Switch off the gas
- Add chopped fresh coriander leaves
- And serve.
4 PM snack
Healthy Quinoa Brownies/Cake Slice
Cooked quinoa which is mashed 1cup
Dark chocolate ( 55% ) 120 gms
Butter 100 gms
Baking powder 1tsp
Coffee dissolved in water 1 tsp
Coconut sugar ¼ cup
Cup milk ¼ cup
- Beat the eggs well
- Add the coffee, milk, baking powder and coconut sugar to it
- And incorporate it nicely.
- Melt the dark chocolate and butter together on a double boiler
- Cool it off
- And then add to the above mix
- Finally add the quinoa
- And fold it in gently
- Do not over beat
- Put it into a greased and dusted pan
- And bake in a preheated oven for 30-35 minutes, at 170 degrees C.
- Cool off and eat!
- The sauce on top is a super simple mix of date syrup
- With 1/2 tbsp of melted butter
- Mixed together on low flame
- Add chopped almonds
- Cool it off and then use.
For an eggless version ,
I haven’t tried it as yet, you can replace eggs with applesauce. It will taste better than flaxseeds or curd as the replacers, since quinoa already has its own nutty flavour.
Baked Methi Quinoa Amaranth Khakra
Amaranth flour 1 cup
Powdered quinoa ½ cup
Kasoori methi 2 tbsp
Jeera, Red chilly 1 tsp
Salt as required
Oil 2 tbsp
- Mix the flours and the spices.
- Add the oil and rub in well.
- Add water as needed to bring the dough together.
- Refrigerate it for 30 minutes.
- Roll into thin discs.
- Place on lightly greased baking tray
- And bake for 15 minutes until crisp, at 170 degrees C.
- Cool off and store.