Working from home allows for more flexibility with meals. If I were in the office, you’d still see a lot of pumped-up salads, they just wouldn’t be plated quite so nicely. And they wouldn’t be consumed in the backyard sunshine – my way of supplementing lunch with some Vitamin D. I choose a salad for lunch because it ensures a huge vegetable serving, is completely versatile for flavors and toppers, and gives me a high volume of healthy foods.
Let’s walk through a basic salad construction….
I don’t consume meat or poultry, but protein is always part of the salad equation here. I opt for one or more of the following: fish (usually leftover from the night before – baked/grilled), pumpkin seeds, chopped nuts, hard-boiled egg and/or avocado.
You don’t have to have “greens” to make it a salad, but I usually do. I buy the organic mixed greens from Trader Joe’s and may mix in some raw kale, arugula and/or spinach for extra nutrients. Then I pile on the rainbow! My goal is to have at least 3 colors in my salad, which may come from peppers, onion, carrots, cucumbers, squash, tomatoes, dried/fresh fruits, avocado and/or leftover roasted veggies from last night’s dinner.
At the end, I go for a little flavor with a “dressing” of sorts. I never do a store-bought dressing, nor do I take the time to mix anything together. I keep it simple: fresh lemon squeeze, drizzle of EVOO or a drizzle of Sesame oil.
Here are a few salad towers I’ve created lately:
The season hasn’t changed much here in California, but the display at Trader Joe’s suggests it may officially be fall. And therefore we have squash.
Tower toppers: leftover roasted salmon (seasoned with chili powder), roasted kabocha squash (seasoned with cumin, salt/pepper), chopped cucumbers, red peppers and carrots, sunflower seeds. Dressing: sesame oil.
If there’s only one thing you takeaway from this post: you cannot have too much avocado on your salad.
Toppers: tomatoes (still farm-fresh at the farmer’s market!), cucumbers, avocado, red pepper and sunflower seeds. Dressing: lemon squeeze, salt & pepper.
I like to have my salads with a side of brain-puzzle, too.
Toppers: baked Mahi Mahi (seasoned with dried green chile powder), chopped carrots, cucumber and pistachios. Dressing: drizzle of EVOO.
What are some of your go-to weekday lunches?