Spring into this Meal in One Salad!
Updated: Dec 13, 2019
End of the year, time to gear up the machine for the extra work we are going to ask it to do...eating and drinking at school, group & work Christmas events, late nights, more travel, irregular exercise cause you're a bit tired from last night!!
It's a fun time and it can be easy to fall of the wagon of daily intentions and routines! The great news is you don't have to say No to events, just make a plan for yourself - that suits you!
A BIT OF PLANNING CAN HELP YOU AVOID FEELING LIKE MICHELIN MAN!
That plan may be goalposts like:
How many events will I go to in a week?
How long will i go for?
How many drinks will i have and what will i drink?
How may little pieces on the platter will i eat?
What am i going to do the next morning for movement? (a little incentive to help you follow through on the above!)
Sounds a bit pedantic but if you go to an evening event with these questions answered, you can enjoy yourself and not burn out after a couple of weeks on the party circuit! You want to go into Christmas feeling good and energised, not sluggish and bloated.
WEEKEND FOOD PREP
One additional way to support yourself through party season is to spend some time prepping food on the weekend for the working week. I think this is generally a good thing to do anyway, but particularly around this time of the year. Having some nutrient dense, delicious options in the fridge ready to go will be a saving grace when you are feeling tired, a bit crappy and can't be bothered preparing food...enter the greasy egg and bacon roll!
This very simple salad is a complete meal and a definite crowd pleaser all round. You could eat this for lunch or dinner hands down. (Breakfast too - no rules about when you eat salad!). Grab a roasted chook to bulk it up for dinner or throw in a tin of tuna for lunch. It's got everything your body needs - greens to support the liver detoxing the extra alcohol and mince pies, complex carbs to keep you full and stop looking for chips at 3pm, plant based protein to keep you full and fuelling your body's rebuilding needs and yummy fats in the form of olive oil dressing - avocado is never a bad fat either!
I pre-roasted trays of zucchini and pumpkin and threw them in too. (I cheated and used bottled capsicum instead of roasting - just make sure it's in olive oil, not seed oils). Bright and colourful food = appealing to the eye and stomach, diversity of textures and fibre for gut health, ticking boxes all over the place for nutrient delivery. Basically it's a bloody awesome salad. So without further ado, here's the recipe.
Prepping session on the weekend can be a gamechanger for your working week
SUMMER MEDITERRANEAN SALAD
WHAT YOU NEED:
1 Packet rocket or mixed leaf salad or both
2-3 medium zucchini
Half a butternut pumpkin
3/4 cup bottled roasted capsicum
1 cup Sunrice brown rice with quinoa
1 tin of lentils
6 fresh asparagus spears
1/4 tsp cumin
Bunch of continental parsley
Avocado, Roasted slivered almonds and pepitas
1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Juice of 1 lemon
1 Tbs seeded mustard
Finely chopped garlic from 2-3 bulbs depending on size and your love of garlic!
Big handful of continental parsley, roughly chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
WHAT YOU DO:
Turn oven onto 180 degrees C.
Wash the rocket/salad leaves and drain well.
Cut zucchini in half, then into 5mm slices. Prepare pumpkin removing skin and seeds, then chop into 1 inch chunks.
Lay zucchini and pumpkin in trays lined with baking paper. Mix 3 Tbs Olive Oil, cumin, salt & pepper together then pour over veges and mix through with hands. Put in the oven for about 40 mins until lightly browned and smelling good. Allow to cool to room temp.
Rinse capsicum in water then chop into long slivers about 5cm long, put aside.
Put the brown rice and quinoa in a saucepan with water as directed on packet. Cook, rinse and set aside to cool when done.
Wash asparagus well and leaving wet, place in microwave on plate with paper towel covering. Cook for about 30-40 seconds. If you don't have a microwave, just blanch them quickly in boiling water for about 30 secs then rinse under cold water. When cooked, allow to cool for 5 minutes then slice into 3cm lengths and add to capsicum.
To make dressing, combine all ingredients together in an old jar and shake it until well combined.
To assemble, gently put all the salad ingredients into a big bowl. Pour over dressing and using your hands, gently toss together.
I really hope you enjoy this delicious plant based salad, which can easily be turned into many things. Maybe an evening snack with a poached egg if the party food just didn't cut it!