3 Spring Salad Recipes That Are Easy to Bring to Work

Health Alliance Plan
May 24, 2018 - 8:08 pm
Fruit Salad

(Image Credit: Dreamstime)

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While many people just hurriedly slap together a sandwich and toss it in a bag to take to work for lunch, it only takes a few minutes more to make a lighter, healthier and fresher salad for the midday meal. Not every salad has to be a culinary puzzle of chopping, slicing and dicing ingredients. Salads can be simple and delicious, and there is no limit to the ingredients that can be added. Salad-making is limited only by imagination, but for starters here are just three spring salad recipes that are easy to bring to work.

 

Basic Fruit Salad

A fruit salad is one of the most refreshing of all salads. It is both a filling meal and its own dessert. Fruit salads can be simple combinations of various types of berries or citrus fruits, and can include apples, bananas and any other kinds of fruit available from the local market or hiding in the refrigerator's crisper. Fruit salad doesn't require dressing, and for an added crunch factor, nuts or granola make for a nice touch. Here is just one idea for a basic fruit salad, which can be modified to taste. As always, all fruits should be washed before being consumed.

Ingredients:

  • One large apple (cored and sliced, peeled if desired)
  • One banana (peeled and sliced)
  • One or two cups of berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries or a mix)
  • One orange (peeled and pulled apart into sections or sliced if large)
  • One cup of grapes (seedless work best)
  • Optional: half a cup of grape nuts, granola or other preferred crunch

Directions:

  1. Wash and prepare fruits as directed.
  2. Keep crunchies in a separate snack bag.
  3. Place the prepared fruits in a container with a tight lid, as their juices will leak out otherwise.
  4. Keep chilled if possible — either in a refrigerator at the office, in a thermo-friendly lunch bag or in a plastic bag with an ice-pack.

 

Simple Garden Salad

Everyone knows what a simple garden salad looks like. It can be as minimal as a few slices of tomato on a bed of lettuce, with or without spinach or other mixed greens, and some thin slices of cucumber, shredded carrots or both. Some may desire sliced radish for those who want a little more zing. That can be a full lunch on its own or it can be the foundation for something far grander. A garden salad, of course, is only as good as the dressing that goes on it, and that can be as basic as a mix of oil and vinegar, or a fancier dressing from a jar, packet or a home-made recipe. It can also be sparked up with any manner of cheeses, in or on the side, or sliced cold meats (chicken, steak) or fish (salmon, tuna – fresh or from a can). It all starts with the basic building block, the solid foundation that is a simple garden salad. Again, all vegetables should be washed before assembling the salad.

Ingredients:

  • One half head of lettuce (torn, sliced or shredded as preferred)
  • One cup of spinach or other mixed greens
  • One or two tomatoes (sliced) or one cup of cherry or grape tomatoes
  • One cucumber (peeled and sliced)
  • One large carrot or two smaller ones (peeled and either chopped or shredded)
  • One stick of celery (thinly sliced)
  • Optional: a handful of radishes, a quarter of an onion, a handful of olives, or any combination (thinly sliced)
  • Optional: croutons, half a cup of crumbled/cubed cheese such as cheddar, feta, etc.

Directions:

  1. Wash and prepare the vegetables and combine them in a container that has a tight seal.
  2. Add salt and pepper to taste (if desired).
  3. Shake it to mix. Keep the croutons separate and keep the cheese separate.
  4. They can be put into smaller containers or little snack bags.
  5. These will be added only at the last minute.

Dressing choices are very personal and very broad. As this is a lunch to take to school or work, packets of dressing work best, although bottled dressing can be bought or prepared and placed in a separate, tightly sealed container. Salads are best if kept chilled, either in a refrigerator at work or in a suitable lunchbox or bag with an ice pack. Don't forget to pack a fork or spork.

 

The Specialty Salad: Mediterranean Version

As noted above, a basic garden salad can be the foundation for all manner of extravagant, creative and themed salads. The addition of just a few ingredients can make it into a taco, Chinese, or for example, a Mediterranean salad.

Ingredients:

  • A Mediterranean salad begins with as much of the ingredients of a garden salad (see above) that are desired or handy. What makes it “Mediterranean,” is the number and type of ingredients that are added, such as:
  • 6 ounces of canned garbanzo beans, aka chickpeas (drained and rinsed)
  • Garlic powder and powdered red pepper to taste (half a teaspoon of each is usually enough)
  • A quarter of a red onion (thinly sliced)
  • Half a cup of sliced Italian green or red peppers and/or olives (preferably, but not necessarily black)
  • Half a cup of crumbled Feta, and/or half a cup of shredded Parmesan

Directions:

  1. Prepare the basic garden salad.
  2. Add all of the above except for the cheese, which should be kept in a separate bag or container until ready to serve, and the dressing.
  3. Place in a tightly sealed container, and keep chilled in a refrigerator at work or an appropriate lunch box or bag with an ice pack.

A Mediterranean salad goes best with a simple oil and vinegar dressing. This can be from a pack or bottle, or can be made by combining two tablespoons of virgin olive oil with two tablespoons of red wine vinegar.

 

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