Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Lunch Salads

My co-workers always want to know what I'm having for lunch. It usually leads to a soliloquy on How Easy it Was and Oh, These Are Just Some Done-Up Leftovers. My boss recently asked me, in all seriousness: "Do you cook.... every day?" Yeah! Don't you?

Well for those who can't wrap their heads around bringing in lunch from home, here are a few of my recent salads. I love a good salad. 

cherry tomatoes + crumbled bacon +chopped walnuts + avocado + spinach + honey balsamic vinaigrette

Tip: Cook the bacon in a 400 degree oven on a cookie rack placed over some aluminum foil on a cookie sheet. Takes about 15-20 minutes and won't smoke up your kitchen!

broconcini + roasted peppers with capers + slice of Great Harvest bread + baby carrots

Tip: These peppers are better the following day so they make a great lunch

cherry tomatoes + roasted red peppers + black olives + assorted cheeses + assorted deli meats + lemon vinaigrette + spinach

Tip: Raid your office's fridge! This was all leftover from a social event and I happened to have spinach. Free lunch!

spinach + roasted beets + toasted pine nuts + goat cheese + fried egg

Tip: Okay, so I did this salad at home because even I can't fry an egg at the office.. But I roasted the beets the day before while making dinner so all I had to do was peel the skins off and BAM: delicious salad

General Tips:

  • Clean, shred and bag your salad a day or two early. I like to keep my leafy greens at the ready in a large ziploc bag with a paper towel thrown in to absorb excess moisture. Romaine and spinach will hold up rather well and spinach is super good for you!
  • Make a big batch of vinaigrette in a mason jar. I happen to love a honey balsamic vinaigrette and can make do with only that option so whenever I make some, I usually make a lot so I have it on hand. Not that it's hard to make: In a mason jar combine 1 tsp dijon mustard, 1 tsp honey, a few cracks of pepper, pinch of salt, 1 finger of balsamic vinegar and 3 fingers of olive oil. Seal the mason jar and shake to combine. 
  • Aaah Nuts! I will add nuts to just about every salad, especially if it doesn't contain any other kind of protein. I have just about every nut out there and keep them fresh by freezing them. Don't let your nuts get rancid in your cupboard! 
  • Get some small Tupperware and sandwich bags. If you don't want to take a whole mason jar worth of dressing to work, put it in a tiny Tupperware container. These are also handy for transporting things like hummus, olives ect. I use my sandwich bags for toast (when the salad doesn't seem hearty enough to get me through the day), baby carrots, snacking nuts, crumbled bacon bits, roasted pumpkin seeds- cookies! 
  • Have dessert. I'm definitely not a chocoholic nor do I have a big sweet tooth but I have to admit that I'm a happier person if I finish my meal with something sweet. And it doesn't have to be big or "bad for you". I'm quite content with a piece of bittersweet chocolate or peach black tea sweetened with some honey. Treat yo'self 

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