Making Friends with Salad

Posted by on Feb 4, 2013 in Featured, Health, How-To's, Recipes | Comments Off on Making Friends with Salad

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(Image: ‘Fresh Salad’ by rakratchada torsap / FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

My life’s sometimes a roller coaster with regards to maintaining good eating habits. It’s easy to get caught up in the challenges and difficulties in eating well all the time. Really though, the creative opportunities are abundant and all around!

Take salad days, for instance, an easy and enjoyable way I’ve found to get my raw veggie fix for the day. The ingredients are as follows: find one (or more) participating co-worker(s) and choose the salad day of the week. On that day, each person brings in a couple of items to toss into the communal salad. Take turns assembling or do it together. The result: a delicious and always unique creation.

What I have discovered in doing this:
– Lunch is always huge, delicious, and cheap
– The salad is always different, allowing for variety & satisfaction
– It’s really easy to grab a few items to bring in the morning than to have a prepared lunch to take
– I am encouraged to eat better the other days
– I’m held accountable to eating well because someone else is counting on me for their lunch too
– It’s a lot of fun and there is a lot of camaraderie in doing this with other people
– I get new ideas for different salads
– It’s contagious – other people want to join in or create their own salad day alliances

How easy is it? The options are endless! I usually bring what I have in the fridge or interesting leftovers. 4 items or so apiece works nicely. Some handy ingredients, beyond the typical lettuce, mixed greens, spinach, cukes, tomatoes, could be (and have been):
– Leftover roasted/grilled vegetables
– Can of beans – I like chickpeas, romano, black or a combination
– Goat’s or any other kind of cheese
– Nuts & seeds – hemp hearts? Sunflower seeds? Tasty!
– Sprouts – many possibilities here: radish, alfalfa, broccoli, mung bean, etc.
– Grilled tempeh or tofu cubes
– Olives
– Avocado
– Hard-boiled egg (or other animal protein, if you are so inclined)
– Cooked quinoa or other grain

The possibilities are many and a lot of fun. We’ve had some odd salad combinations here but they were all great. It’s usually easy enough to keep a bottle of lovely olive oil (unrefined, cold-pressed please) or sesame and balsamic (or apple cider) vinegar & salt & pepper. You could easily keep a bottle of ready-made salad dressing around but playing with your own concoction is much tastier. I really enjoy adding a tasty fat to my salad. Avocado and lemon juice provide a really nice combination.

Or try my new favourite: tahini dressing! Mix tahini, fresh lemon juice, salt & pepper, a minced clove of garlic and a dash of sweetener (I like agave or maple syrup). Taste and adjust as to desired consistency and taste. If it’s too thick add water and adjust seasonings, if needed. This can keep well in the fridge for several days.

See – you can too make friends with salad!

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