Saturday, March 29, 2014
VEGGIE MEAL OPTIONS: LOADED SALADS
French toast, pancakes, or crepes
Omelets (cheese, veggies, ortega chilies, whatever you want!)
Cottage cheese pancakes
But my favorite, most versatile way to fill up and get lots of nutrients without meat (or tons of carbs from bread or flour, like the breakfast options) is with big salads. I've found that the more stuff you put on them, the heartier, more flavorful, and more nutritious they are. Pictured above is a salad we had last week, and while there was salmon with it, the salad itself was big enough to call a meal. It had chopped kale, warm leftover butternut squash and red bell pepper, dried cranberries, avocado, mozzarella cheese, almonds, and lemon juice and olive oil as a dressing. It was so filling that neither of us finished it, so I ate it for lunch the next day and threw in some fresh strawberries.
One of my favorite things to do in salads is mix veggies, fruits, nuts, and cheeses. I feel like if you have at least one of each, you'll have a big salad that fulfills your nutritious needs.
Chopped kale, romaine, spinach, other microgreens (no iceburg), cucumber, roasted veggies like butternut squash, sweet potato, bell pepper, zucchini, and yellow squash (served warm on the salad is amazing, trust me). Jicama, celery, carrots, tomato, onions, asparagus, mushrooms, roasted garlic, green onions, beets, broccoli, etc. Whatever you have in your fridge (cooked or raw) can be added to a salad.
Fresh or dried berries, chopped pineapple, mango, apple, pear, avocado, grapes, toasted coconut or any other fruit you want to add. For dressings, I like to use citrus juice (either orange, lemon, or lime) with olive oil, salt and pepper, and I find that it's just enough to moisten the salad but not overpower any of the other flavors (feel free to use balsamic vinegar, though).
Almonds, pine nuts, walnuts, pecans, or peanuts (which I don't eat, but you might). Try any nuts candied, too.
Every cheese ever. Even cottage cheese.
Some additional salad ingredients:
Granola, croutons, seeds like flax, chia, or sesame, olives, leftover pasta, pickles or hot peppers, herbs like basil, cilantro, parsley, etc., beans, hard-boiled egg.
We tend to get stuck with "rules of what should go in a salad," and it gets boring or repetitive. The biggest thing that opened my world up with salads was adding warm stuff to them, like roasted veggies. Who says salads have to be any certain thing! Add whatever sounds good.