Friday, April 6

Super Easy Designer Salad

This is what I'm eating for lunch today. Currently. As in, between typing sentences I'm taking bites. Yum :)

And yes, those are SUNBEAMS shining on that plate. We are finally seeing some real signs of spring up here in the Pacific Northwest! I just sat outside for fifteen minutes enjoying a nice sun bath. My body just craves those warm rays of light and the Vitamin D that comes with them. I am happy to say that I've improved from my last post, I didn't have to get Prednisone or anything else that drastic. Unfortunately though, the other day I was exposed to gluten through cross-contamination by a well-meaning hostess, and it's been a rough week! Moving through my daily routine has been like dragging a bag full of rocks everywhere I go - ah, I forgot how icky it feels to "get glutened!"

To segue... Hence the need for a quick, easy, healthy meal like this fantastic salad :)

Salad does not have to be boring, bland tasting, or unappealing. The stuff that cafeterias peddle as "salad" - you know the kind: some chunks of sad iceberg lettuce, a few carrot shreds and a pale tomato slice - is far from the full potential of a true salad. This here stuff I'm enjoying right now is my family's go-to meal when we're tired, hungry, and running low on food. If you've got greens and a protein of any kind, you can make it in about two minutes.

Even if you have plenty of food and time, this is a great place to start for a salad worthy of a dinner party spread. My husband makes a huge, loaded salad every day for work ("designer salads" as I've started to call them) and varies the ingredients day to day, and he always comes home telling me about the drooling comments he gets from co-workers.

Have fun with it; the possibilities are nearly endless!

What you need:
  • Salad greens such as organic baby spinach, spring mix, red leaf lettuce...
  • Shredded/sliced meat or fish (chicken breast, turkey breast, beef roast, steak, even canned tuna or salmon or perhaps leftover halibut, tilapia...) 
  • Sliced hard-boiled egg
  • Nuts/seeds: sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sliced almonds, walnut pieces, pecan pieces, dried coconut shreds...
  • Dried fruit - no added sugar if possible. Raisins, cranberries, blueberries, cherries, goji berries...
  • Healthy oil such as olive, walnut, avocado...
  • White wine or balsamic vinegar, if you are so inclined and it doesn't bother your health

What you do:
(The ingredients I used today are in parentheses following the steps)

First, create a base by filling the bottom of your bowl or plate with greens (organic baby spinach and spring mix).

Next, toss on your shredded meat and/or egg (chicken breast).

Follow that by sprinkling on nuts and seeds, and dried fruit (raw sunflower seeds and organic seedless raisins).

Finally, drizzle oil over the salad (my new favorite: walnut oil. Not to be used with heat but perfect for salad!)

And there you have it. You'll get your dietary needs of protein, vegetable, and healthy fat fulfilled, and you can adjust the ratio of meat-greens-oils to your personal preference and needs.

Did you ever think that a delicious salad meal was so easy and versatile? I find those two traits are actually pretty common in healthy whole foods cooking, especially when you keep a good stock of the right foods on hand. (For help on that, check out my master shopping list)

If the sun is shining where you are today, get out there are enjoy it! The Vitamin D is so good for you! I think I'll get back out there and soak up some more for myself :)