A Typical (atypical?) Lunch

Or…How to Build Your Own Salad

How often do you make a salad into a meal?  It’s a delicious and nutritious way to use up leftovers and incorporate variety into your lunches and dinners.  Make it right and it’s super nutrient-dense as well as filling.  Think beyond lettuce, tomato and cucumbers and get creative.

Here’s how in 3 easy steps:

1.  Start with a big bowl of leafy greens (any kind).  Add in more veggies– whatever you like and have available.  I always have shredded carrots in my fridge so I put those on top along with half an avocado.  For today’s lunch I added leftover broccoli and peas from last night’s dinner.  Yes, cooked veggies go great on a salad!  I love kimchee and just got a jar yesterday so on that went too.  It’s fermented cabbage and other veggies and spices…sooooo good!  Fermented foods are your friends.  Probiotics!  Great for digestion.

 

 

 

 

 

 

2.  On to a few heartier ingredients.  These are what make your salad a meal because they will provide calories, protein and fiber to fill you up.  I usually add a leftover grain like brown rice or quinoa and some beans, lentils or a veggie burger.  Sometimes grilled tofu.  Sometimes not.  Leftover baked sweet potato is a perfect salad topper too!  See what I mean– things you never normally think to put on a salad can work wonders.  Peek around the fridge and use what you’ve got.

3.  And finally, the dressing!  I often top my salad with salsa. This is especially good when you’ve got avocado and black beans in there; it makes it all Mexican-like.  Other times I am more in the mood for a little balsamic vinegar-tamari-maple syrup combo.  If my meal is low in fat then I’ll make a tahini dressing or peanut sauce to balance it out with some healthy fats.  Sometimes I’ll save my fat allotment for one of my nutty desserts.

Balance is key with making a salad meal.  I like to try to  have some green leafy veggies, some orange-colored veggies, some higher carb items (like grains or sweet potato), some protein (like beans) and some fats (like tahini).  This combination of veggies, complex carbohydrates, protein and fat is a blend that works for most people to make them feel full.  If you’re a meat-eat try tuna, shrimp, chicken or steak for your protein.                  Build your salad in a way that makes you feel your best!

 

 

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