The Lunch Time Quandry & The Power of Salad

12:15 PM hits. I emerge from the psychology building on campus feeling overworked and stressed out. The hour and a half I’ve just spent avoiding taking notes, texting, and surfing the Internet on my iPhone only to find out about the test next week that’s going to kick my ass has rendered me starving. I am absolutely famished. So famished that spending 15 minutes on making myself lunch is just TOO long. Instead I will con my poor boyfriend Denan into bringing me to a fast food restaurant where I will probably wait longer than 15 minutes anyway once you factor in driving time and time it takes to order and receive my food. I will order much too much food and pack in a staggering amount of calories and fat for one meal. Then I will rationalize to myself for the rest of the day that it’s “okay because I’m going to drink water for the rest of the day and only have a little dinner.”

I am quite aware of how messed up this method of thinking is. That is definitely food addiction talking right there. I knew that I was going to have to somehow kick this fast food habit. It’s appealing, I know. It’s so easy to just drive on through and receive a piping hot meal that not only satisfies but tastes good. But I’m telling you, my friends, there is a better way to do lunch. Bottom line is: I work hard everyday in school. And I deserve to have a good lunch. A good, HEALTHY lunch that will nourish my body, fill me up and give me the energy to carry on for the rest of the day. So spending a little longer on lunch is a commitment that I think everyone should practice. The one luxury that I have is that I can come home from school. I live 5 minutes from campus and in between classes I can go back to my apartment and make myself a meal. So I really have no excuses. Some people work during the day or have to be held captive in school for long periods of time. This is where the portable factor comes in. I have found a meal that has met all of these requirements.

There is a reason that salad is the stereotypical healthy food. But some people have been SERIOUSLY mislead when it comes to salad. In fact, salad and I didn’t have a very good relationship until recently. I used to actually get ANGRY about having to eat salad, as if it isn’t a legitimate meal or something. And let’s be honest. Who wants to eat a big slab of public salad bar iceberg lettuce with a heaping amount of Ranch dressing, fake bacon and cheap cheese sprinkled on top? By the time you actually eat the salad you’ve basically consumed the dressing and toppings because iceberg lettuce has ZERO nutrition at all. That was an excerpt straight out of my High School Lunch Room Horror Stories. Believe me guys…salad doesn’t have to be this way. Here are the benefits of having salad for lunch:

1. They are usually low carb. Quizno’s puts delicious, carb-filled flatbread on top their salads. And I know it hurts but I personally must leave the flatbread out. Life is very cruel sometimes. But I know it is best for me in the long run.

2. They are easy to transport. If you have a large Tupperware your salad can pretty much go with you anywhere. It’s the ideal “carry out” lunch!

3. Done correctly, a salad can be a vehicle for a lot of good protein that can fill you up. It also supplies you with some veggie servings.

4. Salads are light. I always feel very drowsy and sleepy whenever I eat something heavy like a hamburger or pizza for lunch. That’s not going to be very useful for carrying out the rest of the day.

In today’s entry I have created for you two salads that I have enjoyed this week. I think I loved the Caprese salad the most but I will let you guys judge for yourselves.

Salad #1: Chicken and Honey Mustard:

Ingredients:

1. Romaine Lettuce *Tip: Find a lettuce or base green that you really like. That was the hardest for me because I am very picky when it comes to greens. My favorites are romaine, arugula, and cabbage*

2. Cherry Tomatoes

3. Rotisserie Chicken

4. Sliced Almonds

5. 1 tablespoon Light Mayonnaise *Tip: To quote my mother, “If you are going to go the torturous ‘low carb’ route, you might as well have whatever kind of dressing you want on your salad.” Honestly…you can’t deprive yourself of EVERYTHING. Salad dressing should not be one of them.

6. 1 tablespoon Yellow Mustard

7. 1 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce

8. Garlic Powder to taste

9. 1 tablespoon Honey

Method:

Chop the romaine lettuce into bite sized pieces. Combine with the cherry tomatoes and sliced almonds in a large salad bowl or Tupperware if taking out.

Peel the Rotisserie chicken off the bone and roughly chop. You can find fresh rotisserie chickens in the deli of any supermarket. Our favorite is Wal-Mart’s Garlic Rotisserie chicken. It is a fast and easy way to incorporate the much needed protein into your salad. You don’t even have to go through the trouble of cooking the chicken yourself!! Slap a mound of that on top your veggies.

In a small container mix together the mayonnaise, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, and honey. Drizzle this over the salad.

Salad #2: Insalata Caprese:

Ingredients:

1. Tomatoes

2. Fresh Mozzarella *Tip: This cheese can be kind of expensive but I found a good sized ball of it at Albertson’s for $3.99 which is cheap compared to the $10 packs.

3. Fresh Basil Chopped

4. Salt and Pepper to taste

5. Extra Virgin Olive Oil *Tip: I tend to get the “tasting” kind of olive oil because other kinds are a bit too strong for me.

Method:

This salad is actually very easy and very delicious!

Slice the tomatoes into medium thickness slices. Arrange on the plate.

Slice the fresh mozzarella into medium thickness slices and set on top of each tomato slice. (As you can see from the picture I might have gone a little wild with the cheese. I’m not very good with knife skills. My slices were all different sizes.)

Chop the fresh basil and sprinkle onto tomatoes and cheese. Season with a bit of salt and pepper and drizzle with Extra Virgin olive oil and enjoy!

These are two really nice salads for you guys to try! I promise you they won’t be a disappointment. Have a healthy and happy lunch!

Eat, Pray, Love,

The Hungry Hungry Health Nut

 

One response

  1. Katie,
    You are so spot on with your thoughts about salad. We are not depriving ourselves when we have salad but being kind to our bodies by nourishing ourselves. It doesn’t have to be complicated. A simple salad I throw together is organic spinach, carrot (shredded or buy the bags of matchstix carrots), blueberries (organic is best), sliced breast of chicken and balsamic vinaigrette. Make your own dressing with olive oil or buy one that is made with olive olive oil. Delicious, only 5 ingredients and so good for you. Leave off the chicken to make a simple side salad for a chicken or fish entree. Keep writing…..you are
    inspirational!

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