The Salad Challenge

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Inspiration comes in many forms. Art. Music. Pinterest. Chocolate milk. It can all give you a little extra oomph in something you’re trying to accomplish.

This week, my inspiration (other than Pincrastination) was: salad.

salad

Good ole, healthy for you, comes in all varieties salad. I’ve mentioned on here that I’m trying to eat healthier, work out more (or just work out) and lose a few pounds here and there. But I often struggle with my innate ability to be a) hungry all the time or b) eat inordinate amounts of chips/salsa, pizza and cheeseburgers, and secret option number c) be more interested in watching the Real Housewives of New Jersey then doing 30 minutes of anything that makes me sweat.

But, I’ve been doing better, and was recently inspired by this post from Can You Stay For Dinner, a healthy living blog. It basically lays out all the different options salad can give you for a healthy lunch. My lunches usually consisted of PB&J, leftover pizza slices, dinner leftovers, or a quick run to the Union Chick-Fil-A. This did not go over well when I had afternoon classes. Nor did it make my Weight Watchers iPhone app happy.

sleeping in class

So, I took up a challenge. Go one week with only salad for lunch and see how it felt. I like salad, I don’t LOVE salad, but I felt like I could try it out. I love variety, and canNOT stand to eat the same thing everyday, so I loaded up on options that would trick my brain into thinking it was getting something different.

Here’s how it went down:

Monday (no picture): regular garden salad (arugula, cucumber, red/orange/green bell pepper, pine nuts, sesame seeds and balsamic vinaigrette.

  • Expectation: boring-ville
  • Reality: not too bad, had a lot of it and it kept me pretty full, but definitely wouldn’t enjoy eating it everyday
Tuesday: arugula, sweet potato, chicken, cucumber and pine nuts with Green Goddess dressing; we had chicken caesar wraps and baked sweet potatoes the night before, so it provided a great chance to apply the “anything leftover from dinner can go in a salad principle”
sweet potato salad
  • Expectation: will pick out the sweet potatoes and only dip extra pita bread I brought in green goddess dressing
  • Reality: very good! The sweet potatoes weren’t so bad, and the mixture with the green goddess dressing was salty/sweet and chicken helped fill me up even more

Wednesday: super greens, black beans, taco cheese, tomato, sour cream and taco shells; we made tacos the night before, hence the taco salad

taco salad

  • Expectation: will LOVE because I love anything Spanish-food related
  • I LOVED IT; I didn’t use any dressing, but I think salsa would have made this even more delicious; definitely making this one again

Thursday: arugula, cucumber, green pepper, pine nuts, walnuts, bleu cheese and green goddess dressing

green goddess

  • Expectation: I wanted to try one with walnuts and cheese to test it out, but I thought the blue cheese crumbles would be too overpowering
  • Reality: not bad! I needed more lettuce to make the topping to lettuce ratio just right, but the crunchiness of the walnuts and the softness of the peppers and cucumbers mixed well

Friday: I ain’t eating no salad because I just finished my first year of grad school and I’m celebrating with a delicious helping of garlic bread and lasagna. Don’t judge me 🙂

Overall, the experiment was a success. I want to keep trying this to see if it does improve that “heavy” feeling after lunch and see if I can get even more creative. Here’s some combos I want to try:

– greek salad (cucumber, tomato, feta, couscous, etc.)
– apple and brie salad (green apple, brie cheese, vinaigrette)
– salmon salad (either smoked or baked salmon with capers, onions, lemon)
– avocado salad (avocado, black bean, tomato, corn, etc.)

Do you have any favorite salad recipes to share??

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Author: soroussell

Just a small town girl. Reader. Writer. Lover of music. Marketer. Strategist. Brand lover. Saved by grace. Wife. Sister. Daughter. Friend. Undeniable.

One thought on “The Salad Challenge

  1. Yumm-O! (except for the cucumbers…)

    I really like apple and cheese together and fruit in salads – brie is good but kind of squishy for a salad. Feta and blue cheese are good with apples, too.

    You will love the avocado salad. I make one that’s really more like a relish or salsa (no lettuce). You could add shrimp or leftover fajita chicken, too…

    We make a lot of Asian shrimp salad with frozen shrimp (or since you’re in Louisiana, the good stuff), spinach, red peppers, canned mandarin oranges and frozen/thawed shelled edemame with Asian style dressing. Yum.

    If we have “girl time” while you’re here in DC, I will take you to a WHOLE salad resturant here called Chop’t where you pick whatever in the world you want (or choose from their menu of pre-designed options) and they chop it all together with dressing, so every bite of the salad is delicious, and has good stuff in it.

    Love ya!

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