~/everything-else/Salad Like a Pro
Updated Apr 27, 2021
🥗 Salad Like a Pro
Salad Like a Pro
- Keeps me full 5+ hours
- Costs less than $3
- Healthy AF
- Tasty AF, easy to vary
- 5 minutes prep time (mostly knife-work)
- Minimum amount of cleanup
I eat a salad every.single.day for lunch. And I enjoy it every single time. Try my way. Find your way, you will enjoy it too.
Dirties: 1 bowl, 1 fork. The cutting board and knife just need a quick rinse.
Get the bowl, the knife, and the cutting board. Take a few pre-prepped containers
Start with leafy greens. Not too many, the amount should be cute, not daunting.
There are many different leafy greens. They have different textures and flavors. Try a few, figure out which ones you like.
If after the salad you’re still feeling hungry, add more leafy greens next time. This is a hack, more chewing will trick your brain into reaching a satiety feeling without actually adding any calories.
Now chop some crunchy stuff. I like raw zucchini and peppers.
Crunchy stuff is all raw vegetables. Carrots, broccoli, etc. Find something you like to crunch on. Keep the crunchy stuff in a sealed container in the fridge. It’ll last for days as you work through it.
Add some chewy stuff. Examples: raw mushroom, boiled broccoli, boiled carrots, potatoes, beans (discussed separately later). Chewy stuff generally spoils faster. Sniff it before you throw it in the bowl.
The real star of the salad: protein.
Convenient options: ham (diced/sliced), fish can (tuna, mackerel, sardines, …), pre-sliced cold cuts. Tasty options: pre-prepped pulled pork or pulled chicken, or carnitas. Made to order options: hamburger, baked salmon, scrambled eggs.
Finally, the secret ingredient: slow carbs (beans).
A couple of spoonfuls of black beans are going to keep you full for hours. They are slow-burning fuel.
Thou shall not…
… add bread. Or any other processed carbohydrate. Also no other sources of sugar (for example, salad dressing).
Carbs and sugar are going to make you hungry 1 hour after the meal. Keep away.
Nuts and seeds are not as bad as bread, but avoid if you can. Same for potatoes.
Fruit is high in sugar, avoid.
Olive oil and a little salt are all you need if the vegetables and/or the protein are good.
For variety, you can try soy sauce, goat cheese, vinegar, sauerkraut, guacamole, …
Fat is not making you fat unless you pair it with sugars. Fatty dressings are great.
The following produces 7-10 lunches for about $30:
- 1 small bag of spinach
- 2 cans of beans
- 2 cans of tuna
- 2 cans of mixed veggies
- 1 cold cut pack
- 1 broccoli head
- 2 avocado
- 2 tomato
- 1 zucchini squash
- 1 bell pepper
- Various lettuce mixes
- Zucchini (neutral)
- Peppers (sweet)
- Carrots (sweet)
- Broccoli (neutral/bitter)
- Celery (neutral)
- Fennel (unique)
- Cucumber (neutral)
- Red onion (tingy)
- Mushroom (raw or canned)
- Steamed carrots (canned or frozen)
- Steamed peas (canned or frozen)
- Steamed beets (canned)
- Steamed broccoli (prep-ahead)
- Baked eggplant (prep-ahead)
- Black beans
- Red kidney beans
- Garbanzo beans (denser, need less)
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Goat cheese
- Soy sauce
- Sesame or sunflower seeds
- Cold cut chicken/turkey/ham
- Tuna/sardines/mackerel/salmon (canned)
- Frozen fish filets or prawns
Warm meal proteins (quick and easy prep):
- Chicken breasts or tights
- Pork chops
Big batch, microwave warmup proteins:
- Pork shoulder or ribs
- Ground pork/lamb/beef
About once a week, I do the following prep:
- Open 2 cans of beans and 2 cans of vegetables. Rinse, drain. Store in one container.
- Wash, clean (not cut), pepper, and other crunchy things. Store in a different container.
- Steam broccoli and/or carrots. Store in a different container.
- Bake eggplant or broccoli.
- Wash the salad if needed.
About once a month I prepare a big batch of slow-cooked meat. I freeze it and eat it over time. Happy to share recipes separately.