Lunch can present a minefield for working adults. It may mean dining at restaurants that serve gargantuan portions. Or it may mean bringing an unsatisfying, unhealthy prepackaged lunch to the office. Parke Ulrich knows a thing or two about food and healthy eating. He’s executive chef at San Francisco’s highly acclaimed Waterbar. Ulrich’s commitment to sustainably sourced seafood and fresh, local, organically-grown produce guide the restaurants daily-changing menu. And when it comes to healthy eating, Ulrich is all about “moderation.” We asked him about healthy eating at the office … or a restaurant.
What advice would you give people who go out for lunch and who want to eat a healthy meal?
I eat lighter, especially if it’s hot outside: ceviche, salads, etc.
How do you eat healthfully when you’re at a restaurant, your own included?
I share a lot with the people I am with. We may do all appetizers and no entrées. It is about moderation.
What’s your favorite healthy lunch that you might make for yourself – ideally one that people could make for themselves and bring to the office?
Chopped vegetable salad. Use raw finely chopped veggies – whatever you have – and dress them with vinaigrette. (See salad recipe below.) The vinaigrette will soften (cook) the veggies over time. Quinoa is also great to add.
What are your go-to superfoods that can be included in everyday eating?
What foods do you typically avoid for health reasons.
I do not avoid. It is about moderation and enjoying life! If I go for something fatty or rich then I am also balancing with fresh, and light.
Do you have a simple salad recipe that uses olive oil and that people could make for their lunch they bring to the office? (See below.)
Chopped Vegetable Salad
2 oz. each, finely chopped raw broccoli, carrot, summer squash
2 oz. marinated artichokes, chopped finely
2 oz. cherry tomatoes
3 oz. lemon vinaigrette (see below)
Mix all together in bowl or zip lock bag and store for transportation. Adjust seasoning if needed. Keep chilled
Juice and zest of two lemons
2 oz. champagne vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Place ingredients, except the oil, in a blender or small glass. Using a blender or stick blender, mix and slowly add the oil to emulsify to a creamy texture. You may need to adjust with more lemon or more oil, depending on your taste and how much juice you get from lemons. I like it assertive and tangy – not overly oily, as that will take away from the flavor of the vegetables.