Bed of romaine and mixed greens with cukes, shredded carrots, red bell peppers, tomatoes; topped with roasted delicata squash, miso ginger baked tempeh, roasted chickpeas. YUM. Vinaigrette dressing.
I’m a big fan of the lunch salad, or dinner salad for that matter! It’s a meal I’ve been perfecting since August when this whole grad school adventure began, even though it’s a meal I’ve been eating for several years. My love affair with the meal salad began while I was in the restaurant biz–our version of a tostada is HUGE and mostly a taco salad. It’s amazing. I used to modify this into some sort of burrito bowlish thing and make a giant salad for lunch. I came to this way of eating in an attempt to eat more veggies. I was in an eating place where I wasn’t the healthiest vegan. Lots of carbs and fake meats and dairy substitutes. (Not that there’s ANYTHING wrong with these foods. I just personally feel healthier if I eat a more veggie-centric diet with these as sometimes foods.) Now-a-days, the leftover salad is my friend, an idea that solidified when I read Sayward’s post.
Earthy, woodsy dinner salad: mixed power greens (baby chard, spinach, and kale), carrots, tomatoes, tamari sunflower seeds, roasted sweet potatoes, baked tofu. Nutritional yeast, Bragg’s liquid aminos, apple cider vinegar, and olive oil.
Let’s just say when I arrived in Florida to begin my new Master Degree seeking life, my eating changed. A LOT. In stead of the copious amounts of amazing Cali-mex I ate regularly, I was completely on my own in the food department. Those meals I’d make only occasionally were suddenly ones I began making regularly again. But the meal salad still kept its place firmly rooted in my heart and on my menu. More recently, this post helped me figure out the perfect amalgam of salad toppings to keep me full and pump in some extra nutrients.
Brown rice and burrito bowl fillings, tomatoes, persian cukes, Trader Joe’s vegan mozz, lots of romaine, homemade fermented salsa, spicy chipotle sauce turned vinaigrette with some lemon juice and ACV.
I LOVE Sayward’s salad combination formula. I usually try and do something similar: bed of greens, any and all raw veggies I can get my paws on, I try to toss some raw nuts in there too, grain/protein/leftovers combination.
I’ve found that the lunch salad provides a new venue for leftovers. I often freeze my leftovers, so thawing them out and tossing them on a salad not only keeps my salad scene interesting but also provides a new flavor set to compliment my leftovers. Not much gets boring here!
Mixed baby power greens, chickpeas, roasted sweet potatoes, tomatoes, carrots, mushrooms, raw walnuts. Garlic, ACV, lemon juice, nooch, olive oil.
I also make toppings specifically for salads as well. Before the Thanksgiving holiday, I roasted up several sweet potatoes for salads that week, and just tossed them on cold, cut into chunks. I’ll also cook up some quinoa to mix in with salads, or keep a jar of canned, washed chickpeas sitting in the fridge to add to any pile of veggies and greens.
Typical salad base about to be topped with frozen, leftover curry from over a month back!
Once you begin to curate your salad arsenal, it’s a pretty easy collection to keep up. I buy greens (kale/spinach/mixed greens or some combination) once a week, but I don’t buy romaine each week as it takes me a couple of weeks to get through a bag of Trader Joe’s romaine hearts. Same goes for carrots (and the organic ones at TJ’s are less than $1 for a bag!) I don’t buy these each week, but I’ll usually grab a pack of organic grape tomatoes and a bell pepper each time I’m in the produce section. I try to mix things up occasionally–I’ll grab a cucumber here and there, and vary the types of greens I’m adding to my salads. Right now, I’ve got a bag of raw pecans in my pantry, along with some tamari roasted sunflower seeds.
My essential salad must-haves: GREENS: usually romaine mixed with spinach or some sort of mixed greens; shredded carrots: just run them over the grater right on top of the salad; tomatoes; topping: leftovers, grains, beans, tofu, roasted veggies, you name it! PUT IT ON A SALAD!