Enjoying spring days, warm sun, smooth breeze means finally craving fresh, raw, light meals again. For me, spring = big meal salads. Salads that satisfy, that you crave, that use up all of the delicious leftover morsels sealed away in the fridge from the night before.
Lunch Salad Outline
Stock up on Sunday:
Make a few dressings to choose from throughout the week. I’m really enjoying this, and this one lately. If you want to go really crazy, experiment with one of these.
Cook 2-3 of your favorite grains – millet, quinoa, brown rice, faro – sky’s the limit.
Stock up on veggies you enjoy eating raw – those super crisp carrots from the farmers market, a bouquet of radishes, buttery avocados, rainbow beets.
Roast extra vegetables for dinner each night.
Make extra protein for dinner each night. Double your bean recipe, slow-roast a whole side of salmon, marinade an extra chicken breast or two, or just hard boil a handful of eggs.
All salads need a base. Combine leftover grains and an array crisp greens. I like to a 20:80 ratio of grains to greens.
Top your base with shreds of fibrous, colorful veggies. The more colors, the more beautiful your lunch salad will be. If you have some leftover roasted vegetables, throw those in now too. Yesterday I had leftover roasted cauliflower tossed in a lemon-parsley vinaigrette that took my salad to the next level. If you have any preserved veggies (capers, olives, roasted peppers) add those now too. Toss all of this with 2-3 Tbsp of dressing.
Select your protein of choice and add around 4 oz to your salad. As Bon Appetite puts it – “What is a salad without protein? A snack.” Protein helps to keep you full and, if we’re being honest, makes your salad all the more delicious.
Now for the extras – sprinkle on some crumbly feta, chop and toss in those aromatic hazelnuts you toasted last week, slide slivers of avocado out of their shell.
Serve yourself a big heap and dig. in.