I eat salad as main course meal almost every day. They’re super easy to put together, fresh, and with the right toppings, delicious. It might sound boring and slightly too in tune with my eating disorder, but I find that eating a salad as a main course for lunch or dinner helps me get in enough vegetables for the day. Having a salad also leaves me feeling satisfied but not over-full, which is good for me because I like to snack.
I usually start with a base of spring mix or baby spinach and go from there. I like to make my own dressings, but lately I’ve been sticking to Cindy’s Kitchen Lemon & Shallot Vinaigrette for convenience and also because it’s slightly addictive, as in amazing. Toppings vary and can be endless. Sometimes, like today, I go a little crazy and pile high roasted vegetables and sauteed vegetables atop fresh vegetables for contrast. Sometimes, it’ll be all raw with just some nuts, dried fruit and cheese. I’ve been trying lately to add more protein to my salads because I’m not a huge meat eater (aka cooker). When my parents cook some sort of meat protein I’ll try to work it into salads, but lately I’ve just been hard boiling eggs for a salad topper. And then there’s cheese. There’s always cheese.
Without further ado, here are some of my favorite creations:
From a few weeks ago: baby spinach with red bell pepper, endive, tomato, sauteed green beans, crumbled gorgonzola, lemon shallot vinaigrette, and topped with some steak that my Dad made.
Yesterdays lunch (which also inspired today’s): baby arugula topped with roasted asparagus, tomato, sauteed red onion, crumbled gorgonzola and topped with a hard boiled egg. Paired with a chocolate coconut water for dessert!
From a few months ago: Dino kale topped with baby carrots, red bell pepper, pistachios, alfalfa sprouts and hummus.
And from today: spring mix topped with endive, roasted asparagus, sauteed red onion and radishes, lemon shallot vinaigrette, harvest bread “croutons” (toasted, buttered bread ripped into pieces), and a hard boiled egg.
So in theory, a salad a day seems like a boring, monotonous routine. In reality, I’ve been able to change things up a lot and come up with endless topping combinations. The best part about piling veggies on top of veggies is that they pretty much always work well together. Also, for me, salads often come with sides such as buttered toast. Sometimes they’re even followed by amazing dessert:
If I’ve enjoyed a good 2-3 servings of vegetables in just one meal and still have some room for dessert, I usually feel a-okay about indulging in a something sugary and sweet; a personal pineapple upside down cake, for instance. Although I’ve definitely learned to appreciate my vegetables, I have always loved a good dessert. When my lunch is as nutritionally packed as it was today, I have no problem treating myself to something sweet.
What’s your favorite salad combination?