I pack my lunch nearly every day for work, and while it’s usually some combination of leftovers from the night before, every now and then I manage to throw together a really phenomenal salad for my mid-day meal.
Salad wasn’t always a go-to for me, but since adopting a healthier lifestyle a couple years back, I now find my body craving that burst of color and flavor. I’m at the point now where I can physically tell when I haven’t eaten enough fruits and vegetables. Nothing beats them, and I love finding new ways of piling them all together into a big bowl of deliciousness. To me, there are few things more convenient than being able to throw a bunch of ingredients into one bowl or container, giving them a shake, and having a meal ready and waiting when lunch time rolls around. But sometimes, you want a bit of beauty with your meal as well. Friends, meet the power salad.
Arranged beautifully in a bowl, these natural wonders truly shine, inviting you to admire before you devour. Boasting powerful vitamins, antioxidants, protein and fiber, these gorgeous salads will leave you feeling full, content and ready to take on the remainder of the day. Make them as-is, or add your favorite protein, like quinoa, beans, hard-boiled eggs, tofu, or baked chicken, for an afternoon energy boost. While you’re at it, try preparing a batch of the ingredients on Sunday night to have all your salad fixings ready and waiting throughout the week, a guaranteed good start to your Monday through Friday routine. Try them out and be sure to let me know your favorite variations in the comments!
Savory Power Salad
1 large handful arugula
1/2 cup roasted sweet potato pieces (see below)
1/4 cup spiced chickpeas (recipe below)
1/2 cup sliced English cucumber
Small handful of sprouts
1/4 – 1/2 ripe avocado, sliced
Thinly sliced onion
Lime wedges (optional)
To make the roasted sweet potatoes, wash, peel and slice several sweet potatoes and arrange on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with sea salt and add a drizzle of olive or coconut oil. Bake at 425 for about 20-25 minutes, flipping and stirring often, until baked through and slightly crispy.
To make the salad, arrange all ingredients — except pepitas, lime, and tahini — in a large bowl. Top the salad with a spoonful of tahini, the juice from the lime wedge, and a small handful of pepitas (or other seed or nuts).
1 can chickpeas, drained & rinsed, husks removed
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Arrange chickpeas on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with sea salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder and a drizzle of olive oil (all to taste). Bake for about 15-20 minutes, stirring often.
What is a chickpea husk and why remove it, you might ask? The chickpea husk is the translucent, film-like skin that covers canned chickpeas, removing them is completely optional but doing so will make them more easily digestible and gentler on your system. If you’re using chickpeas in homemade hummus, removing the skin will also result in a smoother consistency!
Sweet Power Salad
1 large handful arugula
1/2 cup roasted Chioggia beets (see below)
1/4 cup roasted onion (see below)
Seeds from 1/2 pomegranate
1 small handful naturally-sweetened dried cranberries (look for bulk cranberries sweetened with apple juice)
1 small handful hemp seeds
Lemon wedge (optional)
To make the roasted beets and onions, wash, peel and slice the vegetables and arrange separately on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with sea salt and add a drizzle of olive or coconut oil. Bake at 425 for about 20-25 minutes, flipping and stirring often, until baked through.
For the salad, arrange the arugula in the bottom of a large bowl and top with remaining ingredients. Spritz with the juice from the lemon wedge, or top with your favorite dressing.
More healthy recipe ideas from the BLDG 25 blog