Friday Favorites: Big Ol’ Salads

21 01 2011

I have had this picture of one of my favorite big salads on my memory stick for a while now. I took it a while back when we had snow in Seattle, which is kind of a rare occurrence, though lately it seems to happen at least once a year. Today, we are just about drowning in rain, which is far more par for the course..

I have been saving it up for the right time to write about it, (you may have discovered I have too much to say) and I keep delegating it to the bottom of the “to blog” pile. No more! Today is the day.

DSC_0848

2Chili calls me the “mixer” (that’d be in addition to “vaccuum queen,” in case you’re wondering) because I am notorious for just mixing up a random assortment of things on a plate. And, that is, for the most part, true. I’m a mixer. He’s a segregator (don’t let anything touch anything else – or we’ll have trouble!). Amazingly, we live in mostly harmonious accord.

This salad is awesome for a lot of reasons. It’s nutritious, it’s big enough to be filling, and it is flexible – put in what you have. Here is my general framework:

  • 2-3 cups of of something green for vitamins. In this case, I had chopped brussels sprouts, purple kale, and some arugula. Trust me. It works. You could choose from a rainbow of greens – chard, green kale, mesculin, or even simple romaine.
  • Whole fruit for fiber. Here, I have a chopped apple, with skins.  Also good: pears, mandarin oranges (not from a can, please), kiwi fruit, grapefruit (but only if you know it is sweet, not bitter)
  • 1 ounce of cheese for protein. My go-to is goat cheese, but feta crumbles, part skim mozzarella, chunked 2% cheddar would all be good choices.
  • 1/2 cup legumes for protein and fiber. In this case, I used chickpeas, but lentils, white, or black beans are also good. I usually make up a fresh batch of a different kind of dried bean every weekend, save out some, and freeze the rest in small containers, that way I always have some at the ready, and there’s always variety.
  • 1/8 cup nuts for healthy fat. I used chopped pecans in this salad, but any nut is good – just not too too many – the fat and calories add up fast. Walnuts and cashews are good options, as are roasted pumpkin seeds (petipas) or sunflower seeds.
  • 2 tablespoons homemade dressing. I used this dressing – it is simply awesome and comes together in a jiffy. 

If I have some cooked and ready, I have been known to toss on 1/2 cup of roasted cubed winter squash like butternut, acorn, kabocha, or, my favorite, delicata for some beta carotene.

And there you have it – a big salad with big taste and big nutrition!

Thanks for stopping by, and Happy Friday!

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2 responses

26 03 2011
Chelsey

I don’t know why i don’t ever think about making something as simple, delicious and healthful as this for lunches… thanks for this 🙂 I’m going to whip up that balsamic dressing while i’m at it, too.

27 03 2011
Angela

Hi Chelsey,

Awesome! 🙂 I hope you enjoy. That balsamic dressing is my fave and just never gets old…

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