How to upgrade your lunch to be delicious and nutritious

You don’t have to have a salad to eat healthily, so skip the burger and try these options

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With our busy lifestyles, grabbing a bite at the computer is all too common – and you might not even be getting your one-a-day, let alone five.

But just because you need food fast, it doesn’t mean it has to be fast food. With a wealth of healthy options here that don’t compromise on taste, you won’t even need to move from your desk.

Soulfull

IMG_5978Flavour and nutrition at Soulfull are key, and the restaurant’s website lists all the ingredients, macronutrients and calories, so you know exactly what you’re getting.

With soups, salads, grills and more, you can still get your burger and fries fix – but we think you should also try the halloumi salad, artichoke pasta and grilled salmon, and for a protein hit, the peri peri chicken, which will keep you full for under 500 calories.

For veggies and vegans, try the quinoa biryani and falafel burger, and for dessert or a mid-afternoon pick-me-up, try the energy bites – we love the matcha coconut. Various locations, including Green Emirates Building, Al Nahyan. Sun–Thu 8am–midnight, Fri–Sat 10am–midnight. Contact: 800 7685, soulfull.ae

Basiligo

Grilled-Shish-Tawook-with-Vermicelli-White-RiceBased on clean eating, Basiligo’s outlets deliver home-cooked meals directly to your desk made from seasonal, organic ingredients.

With a key on the menu, it’s easy for those with specific dietary requirements to choose a suitable dish.

Options include beef teriyaki wraps, kale tabbouleh and coconut salmon curry, as well as local dishes like chicken machboos.

The restaurant also offers a good selection of breakfast dishes, with vegan tofu scramble, chia seed fruit cups and oatmeal pancakes to make mornings a little easier. Delivery available across Abu Dhabi; minimum spend of AED 30 required. Delivery to Yas Island and Saadiyat Island requires minimum spend of AED 200. Various locations, including Boutik Mall, Al Reem Island. Daily 7am–10pm. Contact: 02 678 9782, basiligo.ae

Simple Café

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This gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan eatery located at Zayed Sports City makes sure you’re packing in the goodness with a nutritionist-led menu and balanced dishes.

At breakfast time, try the overnight oats surprise or the nutty apple quinoa bowl, or get a protein boost from the pumpkin pie smoothie bowl.

The café also offers a wide range of soups, salads, wraps and hot dishes, with tofu pad Thai and tofu tikka masala for fans of Asian flavour, as well as a bean burrito wrap and Mediterranean pesto salad for a fresher kick.

For a sweet treat, try the virtuous banana bread and protein bites. Call to confirm delivery locations. International Tennis Centre, Zayed Sports City. Sun–Thu 9am–2pm, Fri–Sat 9am–4pm. Contact: 02 583 3612, simplecafe.ae

Qoot

25013457_181011972483653_5663894182075301888_nWith a menu featuring organic ingredients, Qoot believes you are what you eat, and that’s exactly what’s on your plate.

The café caters for dairy-free, gluten-free and paleo eaters among others, with substitutes such as soy cheese and quinoa pasta, ensuring you don’t miss out.

The menu offers tasty options including chicken tagine, young coconut salad and baked aubergine with eggs, and for vegans, there’s even a raw lasagna made with courgette, olives, tomatoes and pesto.

Don’t miss the strawberry cheesecake, made with coconut cream, fresh fruit and a crumbly base. Call to confirm delivery locations. Opposite Hilton Capital Grand, Sheikh Rashid Bin Saeed Street, Al Rawdhat. Sat–Thu 8am–11pm. Contact:
02 448 4668, instagram.com/qoot_ae

Raw by Nolu’s

Screen Shot 2018-03-08 at 3.33.32 PMThe third branch in the popular capital restaurant chain, Raw by Nolu’s is the newest addition to the family, and this one has a slight spin.

The menu is different to the other branches, but if you’re a fan of the many benefits surrounding superfoods or in need of a detox, then this place is for you.

As the name might suggest, the restaurant’s menu focuses on raw foods, so expect things like superfood bowls, veggie tacos, cold-pressed juices and zoodles – but don’t expect them to skimp on the flavour.

If you like to customise your food, try a create-your-own bowl, with heaps of veggies, a protein of your choice and dressing, while if you need some extra pep in your step, try a Green Glow juice or the elixir turmeric shot for its anti-inflammatory healing properties. Delivers to Al Maqtaa, Al Mushrif and Khalifa Park area. Al Seef Village Mall, off Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Street, near Khalifa Park. Daily 10am–10pm. Contact: 02 444 8080, nolusrestaurants.com

WORDS Camille Hogg

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