The Big Salad

Oh hi.

My week is completely thrown off by being away all weekend. Here I was on my soapbox, telling everyone to spend time prepping for the week ahead (by planning, shopping and cooking), and yet here I am now, on a Tuesday morning with...ahem...nothing prepped for the week.

Yeah.

It happens.

Luckily, we now have stocked fridge and all of the components for my daily eats...they just aren't quite put together. It definitely makes me realize that the times when I do have everything prepped is...well...much better.

One of my new favorite items to prep for the week is The Big Salad. It's exactly that...one big ol' salad kept in a big ol' bowl that I take from each day for my lunch. Talk about a time saver. I load up a giant container with my salad full of goodies and it makes me excited to eat come lunch time. Not to mention the time savings in the morning. Love The Big Salad. Any Seinfeld fans out there?

 

Love it.

Anyhow, I wanted to show you how my big salad comes together each week. We've definitely been varying the salad extras each week, but the one I'm about to show you is my favorite to date.

It all starts with deciding what you actually want in your salad and adding those to your detailed grocery list.

My salads usually include mixed greens (lately romaine and baby spinach), protein (chicken or hard boiled egg), vegetables (red onion, bell pepper, cucumber, carrots, etc), cheese (feta, blue or goat), and fun extras (like crispy turkey bacon, olives, chopped apple or dried cranberries).

I start by roasting up some chicken breasts. I drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper...and sometimes paprika and thyme. Once cooked through, I let cool completely and dice.

Meanwhile, I start chopping up some vegetables.

I add them to a big red bowl. Next comes the extras. This time, it's olives and feta.

I load the lettuce on top. 2 pre-chopped, pre-washed bags. Easy.

On this particular occasion when I snapped the photo, I had split it into 2 salads because Shaun and I each wanted different kinds. When the chicken is cooled and diced, I add it to the mix. I cover the big bowl and shake what my momma gave me. Serious shakage happening.

I whip up a quick dressing and store in a jar. Usually vinegar (red or white wine), dijon mustard and olive oil. Simple and works every time.

When it's time to leave in the morning, I simply portion it out into a large, totable container. I bring some dressing in a separate container. If I'm adding an apple, I bring that with me and chop it up right before eating.

At the office, I pour into a bowl. Makes it feel a lil' special. Drizzle with dressing. Eat.

Now, I will say that after a few days, the salad does get slightly wilty. I actually like it this way! The flavor is fantastic. If you aren't so down with that, then I'd say to leave the cucumbers separately and add them in on the day of eating. Otherwise, it should be good to go!

So that's how I've been getting down with salad lately. Exciting times, my friends!

But in all seriousness, having a lunch that is delicious, healthy and carefully prepared makes me excited to eat lunch everyday...and when it comes to salad - and bringing lunch from home for that matter - being excited about my food makes all the difference in the world!

Questions of the Day:

Do you do The Big Salad?

What are your favorite add-ins?