I always have good intentions of bringing a Paleo Lunch in to work with me. When I do, lunch is great. I take in leftovers from the previous evening, and reheat them at work. Or I take in slices of meat that I roasted at home and eat it with vegetables. But, there are often times when I don’t get round to making my lunch – or even more annoying, leave my lunch at home! I often catch up with friends over lunch – another occasion when I venture away from home cooking and towards the food courts.
I work in Sydney CBD, so there are literally hundreds of food outlets within minutes of my office. The choices however, often leave a lot to be desired, sadly they're are many that are not what I would class a Paleo Lunch! There are the usual fast food joints like McDonalds , Hungry Jacks (Burger King to the rest of the world), Oportos (Australia fast food chain specialising in chicken burgers) & KFC. Then there are Mexican chains like Mad Mex and Guzman y Gomez. There are pancake outlets, salad outlets, fruit juice outlets, Thai, Chinese, Japanese… the list goes on. There is a wholefoods chain, Iku, in Sydney, which should be amazing, but sadly they seem to have a vegan agenda – most of their foods contain grains and legumes – and soy seems to be commonly used.
Most of these options are strictly off limits for me, as they just aren't Paleo! Whilst the Mexican chains seem to use wonderful fresh ingredients, most options also include tortilla, beans, cheese and rice (grains, legumes and dairy!). Most lunch options in the city seem to serve grains, legumes and dairy. I'm also very mindful of the fact that these outlets don’t care about our health – they just want maximum profits, so are likely to use ingredients that I won’t – to improve the taste of their products to keep us going back. I can’t imagine a single outlet uses coconut oil or grass fed, organic meat! Whilst salads are a safe option, I find they tend to bulk them out with lettuce and meat is often in very small quantities; not good value for money and certainly not satiating.
The best option I've found so far, is from one of the many outlets offering roast dinner. I often have roast beef (or pork or chicken) with a serving of seasonal roasted vegetables.
I've also found a few good places that will let me get creative and go “off menu”. For example, last week I met a friend for lunch and found an organic burger joint, who were able to arrange a burger with no bun, sauces or fries. Instead they served the burger with bacon and an egg – result!
Recently I've been trying to have brunch instead of lunch. This means I can get bacon, eggs and avocado; a much better option!
Until there’s a Paleo food outlet in every major city, I’d love to hear what your Paleo choices are for a city lunch?