Working Lunch – Simple Salads To Go

June 24, 2011 8:54 PM

While the weather might be teasing us a bit with all this back and forth, hot and cold business, SUMMER really is here – promise.

One thing that we might not be super-excited about, however, is the dreaded ‘bathing suit season.’ Life is so busy that it’s hard to find as much time as we would like for getting to the gym, or eating as healthily as we know we should. It’s not all about food, and it’s not all about exercise, but if we can find a balance of the two, our bodies and our minds are going to feel a lot better about hitting the beach.

Try this simple tip: take salads to work for lunch. They’re easy to make, taste great, and will help you work towards the ultimate goal of healthy eating. Plus, developing healthy habits in one area might just motivate you in others – for instance, to start taking the stairs, walking home from the subway instead of taking the bus, or maybe just taking your dog for an extra long walk in the evenings.

Lunch salads are simple to prepare and full of ingredients that are good for you. And they won’t make you feel bloated at your desk for the rest of the afternoon – unlike that burrito or panzerotti you just couldn’t resist.

Here are two of my favourite quick and easy salads.

Blueberry Arugula Salad

Blueberry Arugula Salad

Baby Arugula Leaves
Grape tomatoes – yellow and red
Feta Cheese

Toss it all in a bowl, mix it up and your ready to go.

Chicken & Avocado Salad

Chicken Avocado Salad

Romaine lettuce
Red Leaf lettuce
Sliced green olives
Feta cheese
Toasted pumpkin seeds

Saute chicken breasts in olive oil
Add basil, oregano to taste
Add 1/2 chopped Red Onion

Let the chicken cool.

Top the salad with the chicken and a little container of salad dressing
and pop it in the fridge.

* I find if you stick the little container of dressing in your salad container,
it won’t end up in your purse, or all over your bag. It’s not as frustrating if
it spills on your actual salad.*

Prepare your salad the night before, stick the dressing in a separate container so that you can dress your salad right before you eat it, and Bob’s your uncle!

Sometimes I like to add whatever protein I had for dinner that night into the next day’s salad. An arugula and spinach salad with feta cheese, blueberries and sliced chicken breast on top is the perfect lunch. Arugula has a spicy peppery taste which gives a great new flavour to the salad, but you can use anything green as your base, add whatever vegetables suit your fancy, and maybe throw a smattering of fruit on top.

I change my salad ingredients constantly, but I always make maple syrup vinaigrette (if you make a big batch, you can use it on your salads for the week):

Maple Syrup Vinaigrette

2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup white balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup maple syrup (or more depending on your sweet tooth)
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Pinch of sea salt
Fresh cracked pepper

This dressing is super flexible, and all of the amounts can be changed according to taste, but I’ll tell you – maple syrup in your dressing will make you fall in love with salads. Guaranteed.

Start this week. Pick up a batch of fresh greens, veggies that you love, and prepare a salad the night before. You will be happy that you did, and if you become known as the “Salad Queen” at work, then that’s even better!!!


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