7.15.2013

Health is Wealth: Supreme Salads

Health is Wealth is a wellness series focusing on the baby steps I took in order to better care for myself physically when I was feeling unstable mentally.  Click here for an intro to the series or read on... :)



My Mom raised me to love fruits and vegetables, as a toddler I was asking for and feeding myself slimy boiled okra, which I still love!  I'm so thankful that I do not have to train my taste buds to like nutritious food, thanks Mom!  Any time I feel sluggish or generally bleh, I immediately do a mental check list... have I had enough water?  Am I hungry?  Was the last thing I ate nutritious or junky?  Generally, when I'm well hydrated and full of healthy stuff I find it easier to put a positive spin on things, so I try to make it a priority by planning ahead to feed my self nutritious things.  

Essentially every Sunday I take over the kitchen an make MAD SALADS that I store in mason jars (how Brooklyn of me) and each morning grab one from the fridge to take to the office.  Not only do I free my evenings up by pre-prepping mine and NPR's lunches, I ensure I don't get caught up in the rigamarole of life and lose track of fueling myself properly.

My layered jars are essentially a gigantic vitamin, they look pretty and people at work are ALWAYS jealous of my lunch.  :)  I have a few tricks up my sleeve when it comes to these beauties...

Pro tip 1-Variety is the spice of life.  Every week my salads and dressing are different, but each week I have a rainbow of veg plus a mix of crunch, smooth, spicy, sweet and savory.
   
Pro tip 2-Layer wet stuff at the bottom.  These jars of goodness get dumped out on to a plate come lunch time, allowing me to mix everything around.  In order to preserve the contents better layer "wet" things at the bottom; that means cucumbers, bell peppers, beets, etc should be your first layers.

Pro tip 3-Cram that lettuce in.  Don't mush it too a pulp, but don't be afraid to pack it in.  Generally, my quart jars are 1/2 mix ins & 1/2 greens.

Pro tip 4-Save the nuts for last.  I feel like there is a dirty joke in there somewhere, but seriously, some good crunch is important for salad variety, save your crunchies for the very top.  

Pro tip 5-Avoid dishpan hands.  I use about 8-10 dishes when making these lovlies, and here's a dirty little secret.... I hardly wash ANY of them.  For the most part my salads are vegan, as long as my dishes don't touch any animal product, raw or cooked, I don't wash them.  I'll give them a good hot rinse ensuring all the debris is gone but there aren't many bad germs on raw veggies and PS. dirt is good for you.  


Supreme Salad mix ins:

Sweet ad ins: rasins, apples, pomegranate seeds, beets

Crunchy ad ins: roasted beans (edemame or chick peas), roasted or raw seeds (pumpkin/pepeitos or sunflower seeds) or nuts (almonds or walnuts)

Smooth ad ins: avocado is my main source of silky smooth yumminess.  I'm minimizing my dairy intake, but I have been known to make homemade ricotta and that shit goes great with a salad.

Spicy: generally my spice comes from a small amount of jalapeno chopped in the salad or from sriracha in the dressing 

Savory: when flavoring my protein (legumes or beans) I use many spices to keep things interesting

I'll layer in one mix in from each of the above categories along with a bounty of veggies and lettuce (romain, kale, spinach, "spring mix", arugala, whatever looks good at the store) and call it a day.  

Dressing:

Oil: olive oil or if I have a Asian or fruity salad I use a mix of olive oil and coconut oil

Acid: citrus, ACV, or any "fancy" vinegar.  Lemon or ACV goes well with everything, orange is nice for a sweet touch.

Aromatic: garlic or shallot

Fun stuff: sriracha, various spices, really the sky is the limit

Classic dressing recipes call for 3 parts oil, 1 part vinegar, I use 1:1 and mix in everything else to taste in a small jar that I take with me to work on Monday and use for the week.


viola!

xo

3 comments:

  1. Nice Post! We do something similar, although we don't mix them up on the weekend. We do all the prep work on the weekend, and we add grilled meats to our salads. But very much the same idea (but not cool in a mason jar though!)

    One thing I do to help me out, is the first thing I do when I wake up in the morning is down a pint of water. BLAM! But, I've changed it up this week and to that pint of water I started adding juice from 1/2 a lemon and some ACV based on your previous post to see what happens!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Steve! I hope you enjoy some benefits of the lemon & ACV water!

      I just saw an instagram post for another easy lunch... 1/2 cup bulgur, 1/2 cup water refrigerated overnight then in the morning layer whatever veggies, cheese, grilled chopped meat, etc on top and at lunch give it a good stir and your set! I will be trying that for sure, but possibly for dinner, b/c its just too damn hot to cook!

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  2. Awesome idea, the salads in jars. I'm always seeing shit like that on pinterest, but I've never seen it done by a human I'm not convinced is employed by a lifestyle magazine.

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