If you follow me on InstaStories (or social media in general) you know I LOVE a good salad. I make a salad almost every single day to bring to work for lunch. Over the years, I have stepped up my salad skills (especially since my 5-day detox) and now I can HONESTLY say that I look forward to my amazing, healthy lunch. Friends and co-workers are always asking me what I put in my salads and commenting about how good my lunch looks each day.
A salad is a simple way to get a ton of healthy nutrients in one meal… if you make it properly. There are plenty of salads out there that aren’t good for you. You may think tons of cheese and creamy dressings are a must for a tasty salad, but trust me, you don’t need that stuff! Here’s my formula for a perfect salad: Greens, protein, healthy fats, veggies, and prebiotics.
Greens: I have three go-to’s when it comes to my salad base. It is usually baby spinach, but I found a baby kale blend that I really like and sometimes you just need a good romaine salad.
- Baby Spinach
- Baby Kale Mix
Protein: You need protein in your salad to help keep you full! I’m pescetarian, so I use meat substitutes, which you could obviously sub about for the real deal!
- Hard Boiled Eggs
- Quorn Chicken Patty (chopped up)
Healthy Fats: These help to keep you full and are also really good for your skin & hair!
- Hemp Seeds (these are amazing and also have a good amount of protein!)
- Olive oil
Veggies: You can’t have a super salad unless it is packed with veggies.. here are a few of my favorites!
- Red or Orange Peppers
- Banana Peppers
- Pickled Red Onions
- Baked Portabello Mushrooms (I need to post the recipe for this.. it is SO amazing)
- English Cucumbers
Prebiotics: I wrote about the importance of pro and prebiotics on my sister blog, Strong Girl Collective. Getting probiotics is easy for me, but prebiotics are a little tougher. Including prebiotic rich foods in my salads seems to be the easiest way to get my share.
- Jicama (Trader Joe’s sells this in the salad section already cut up)
- Dandelion greens
When it comes to my dressing, I am very simple. A drizzle of olive oil, some red wine vinegar and garlic powder. When I was fresh off my detox, I did use balsamic instead of red wine vinegar just to help me get away from the sweeter dressings I was used to. Now I don’t miss conventional dressings at all, especially since I pack my salad with so many tasty ingredients that are really good enough on their own!
I usually pack my salad in the morning, since I like it to be super fresh. Not only do I like having control of all the ingredients, but packing your own salad can save you a TON of money! The salad I make each day would easily cost me 12 bucks to buy. Even on the days I don’t bring salad, I still pack my lunch every single day for work. It saves me money and helps me stick to my healthy eating goals.
The only downside of this was all the tupperware I was washing every night! I recently found Reynolds™ Disposable Heat & Eat containers and they are a life-saver if you pack your lunch daily. The 32 ounce size easily fits my gigantic salads. I also pack leftovers in them since you can reheat them right in the microwave without any worries since the bottom half is made of plant fibers. (a great alternative to plastic, which I never put in the microwave) When you are done, just toss them out!
I got mine at Wal-Mart in the food storage aisle. Right now, you can grab double coupons on these, since they are on the Reynolds™ site and also on Coupons.com! What is your favorite type of salad or go-to work lunch that you bring from home?