A blog by ordinary people about living an extraordinary life
Show of hands, how many of you bring a salad to lunch? OK, at least some of you do. And if you are like Meg and I, most of those salads are composed of some lettuce, maybe some grape or cherry tomatoes, sliced cucumbers, maybe some black olives and some bottled dressing that you picked up at the store. Well, after a few weeks of these salads it is pretty easy for boredom to set in. So, the challenge is to keep salads interesting. But when there are only a few minutes in the morning to get the lunches put together, it is also to keep it simple. Here are a few simple ideas I use to change up the lunch salad.
Mix up your lettuce: A salad doesn’t have to be romaine or iceberg lettuce. Why not grab a pack of mesclun mixed greens? Or throw in some spinach? I like to use arugala as well, which is usually very inexpensive.
Add some beans: I love to throw some chick peas (garbanzo beans) on my salads. They add some nice protein and a little different texture. But black beans or kidney beans work really well too.
Everything is better with cheese: Feta cheese is a staple in our fridge and on our salads. But you can certainly use whatever you have. Maybe some diced cheddar cheese. Or some mozzarella. Add in some basil and tomato to make a caprice salad. Shave some fresh Parmesan cheese over the salad for a nice salty bite.
Spend a few minutes to boil up some toppings: It only takes about 12 minutes to make a perfect hard-boiled egg, and they are such great travel companions. Or boil some small potatoes until tender, slice in half and toss on a salad.
Make it a salad of salads: If you have some time, make a few side salad dishes and toss them onto your salad. When I go to Whole Foods to grab a salad for lunch I start with some mixed greens. Then I go looking for other “salads” to add on top. Sometimes it is a black bean salad with some onions, corn and tomato. Sometimes there are marinated chick peas. I love beets, so if I see some beets I will add them as well. The variety of flavors and textures makes every salad unique.
You can also mix up your own dressing pretty easily. Some of my favorite, quick, morning dressings are a mix of oil, white wine vinegar, salt, pepper, mustard and some italian seasoning or other dried herbs. These are some of my ideas, what do you like to add to your salads?