I have been a creature of habit when it comes to lunch. In fact, years into it now, I have become semi-famous for it. Lunches with friends center around Lonni's (everything but the) kitchen sink salad du jour.
In my quest to get fit and focus on the right foods, I have managed to craft or stumble upon some pretty fantastic salad recipes that accomplish everything I need from my lunch:
- fulfill most of my vegetable quota for the day
- high amount of nutrients
- minimal sugar and zero artificial/processed junk
- major fill power
- sustained energy
If you have read any of my previous posts, I am a HUGE cheerleader of healthy fats. Some of the healthiest populations on the planet (read up on the South Pacific Tokelauans) consume over 60% of their diet in the form of healthy saturated fats.
Not only do these foods provide the aforementioned fill power (think reduced appetite) and sustained energy (skip the afternoon coffee run!), they also help moderate blood sugar and improve the major risk factors for diseases like diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
A word of caution though: adding
fats to your diet can mean weight gain. They must be replacements
for other foods in order to support your weight loss efforts.
Here are three tasty ways to do just that.
Strawberry, Walnut & Feta Salad
1-2 cups spinach
1/2 avocado, diced
6 strawberries, sliced in half
1/4 cup walnuts, toasted & chopped
1/4 cup feta cheese
optional: 1 tablespoon chopped red onion
whisk together 1 tablespoon olive oil with 1 tablespoon (or more) balsamic vinegar
Bacon & Eggs Salad
1-2 cups mixed greens
3 strips bacon, fried crispy and crumbled
1 stalk celery chopped
1 or 2 hard boiled eggs, sliced
1/4 cup shredded cheddar
1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar
1 tablespoon minced shallot
salt to taste
Whisk 2 teaspoons olive oil into the above mixed ingredients
Kale & Brussels Sprouts Salad
[caption id="attachment_37668" align="alignright" width="285"]
photo by Christopher Testani[/caption]
(I found this gem via Bon Appetit by Susan Spungen and my entire extended circle of friends and family are now all obsessed!)
1-2 cups kale
2 ounces shredded raw Brussels sprouts
1/4 cup toasted almonds, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup Pecorino (or Parmesan) cheese
This dressing recipe makes enough for multiple salads. You'd be angry to go through all the effort and not have enough left over for a repeat performance!)
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon minced shallot
1 garlic clove, finely grated
1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
fresh ground pepper
Combine above and whisk in 1/2 cup olive oil. (Shake to emulsify with repeat use)
Use these recipes as a starting point and make them your own. The flavor profiles are some of my favorites, and the salads ensure I can make it all the way to dinner without ruining my day with a hunger-induced bad decision.
Eat with purpose,