While lunchtime has much potential, in reality it's far too often a rotation of soggy sandwiches, flat-tasting soups, and wilted salads. Avoid midday meal disappointment by preparing a complete and nutritional salad to bring with you to work, to school, or on a picnic. Here are a few tasty options.
1. APPLE QUINOA SALAD
- 1/2 cup quinoa
- 1 cup chicken broth vegetable broth, or water will work
- 1/3 cup sliced almonds
- 2 tablespoons sunflower seeds
- 3 cups fresh spinach
- 1/3 cup dried cranberries
- 1 apple (favorite variety of apple)
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- Optional: handful of feta cheese
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup raspberry wine vinegar (other option: balsamic reduction)
- 1-2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons seedless raspberry jam
- 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder (optional)
- 1 teaspoon poppy seeds
- Salt and pepper optional
LET’S DO IT
- Rinse your quinoa in a fine mesh sieve to remove the bitter saponin coating.
- In a small pot combine the quinoa and chicken broth, vegetable broth, or water.
- Follow package directions to cook the quinoa.
- Meanwhile, add the sliced almonds and sunflower seeds in a single layer to a completely dry skillet (don't add any oil) and place on medium-high heat. Stir the nuts and seeds every 15 seconds for about 1-2 minutes or until the color slightly darkens and they start to smell good. Watch these carefully as they can go from perfectly toasted to burned quickly!
- Chop up the apple (peel if desired although better to leave it on) and toss it with the lemon juice.
- Remove the quinoa and allow to completely cool (fridge).
- Mix together the spinach, dried cranberries, chopped apple, and completely cooled quinoa.
- Toss with the dressing and top with the toasted almonds and sunflower seeds.
- To make the dressing: Combine all of the ingredients in an immersion blender or small food processor. Start with 1 tablespoon of sugar and add more if needed. Taste and adjust to personal preference.
2. CITRUS SHRIMP SALAD
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup fresh orange juice (about 2 oranges)
- ½ cup fresh lemon juice (about 3 lemons)
- 5 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped red onion or shallot
- Freshly ground black pepper and sea salt
- 1/2 kg medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1 medium orange, cut into wedges or slices
- 1 medium lemon, cut into wedges
REST OF THE SALAD:
- 8 cups greens such as spinach, spring mix, up to your preferences
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Juice of ½ lemon or ½ orange
- 1 avocado, sliced or diced
- 1 shallot, minced
- 30 g toasted sliced almonds
- Sea salt and pepper optional
LET’S DO IT
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the olive oil, orange juice, lemon juice, garlic and onion. Pour the mixture into a large skillet set over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and cook until reduced by half, about 5 to 8 minutes. Add the shrimp, season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, cover, and cook until they turn pink, about 5 minutes. Serve with orange and lemon slices on the side.
- Add the orange and lemon slices to the sauce to cook and brown slightly if desired.
- Toss the shrimp with the salad greens in a large bowl. Lightly drizzle with olive oil, and if desired, some of the sauce remaining from the shrimp with a generous squeeze of citrus, and toss lightly to coat. Add the avocado, shallots and sliced almonds and then season with sea salt and serve.
3. FIGUE PROSCIUTTO SALAD
- 5 cups spinach (or any type of greens such as spring mix, up to your preferences)
- ½ kg figue
- Handful of feta cheese (other kind if you prefer such as ricotta)
- 200g prosciutto
- 200g pistachios
- Pickled onions
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- Balsamic vinegar
- Sea salt optional
LET’S DO IT
1. Fry the figs in the pan at very low temperature, just to cook a little
2. Mix with greens, olive oil, pistachios, pickled onions, olive and feta cheese.
3. Use the prosciutto to garnish the salad.
4. Balsamic vinegar to give the final touch.