Enjoy a the full veggie rainbow with this rainbow veggie salad bowl that packs in a delightful balance of complex carbs, protein and healthy fats.
Oh salads. Yes, I’ve proclaimed my love for thee many times on this very blog, and today is far from the last time we’ll talk salad love.
I’m always especially reminded how much I crave the variety of crunchy, crisp, fresh goodness a salad provides when I’ve been traveling. No matter how much you plan, pack and prep it’s never simple finding fresh eats on the road. My goal when I travel is to get at least 1 greens-packed meal in a day and have some kind of veggie protein at each meal.
This past holiday, my family took a road trip down to South Carolina, then Florida for almost 2 weeks to visit our family and friends. That’s 2,800 miles of driving for folks counting at home. Ooph. My butt is sore just thinking about it. Some days my “greens-packed meal” was a green juice from Starbucks and I lived off of Perfect Bars and Siggi’s for lunch while driving.
However, since I started my slow, healthy weight loss journey, I’ve been determined to keep tracking and keep working on making progress, but I won’t lie and tell you it was easy. My biggest pitfall wasn’t so much avoiding treats, but finding things that actually made me feel good after I ate them. Sometimes I’d order the salad at a restaurant and either feel uninspired (aka #sadsaladsyndrom) or “bleh” after eating it.
What I’m really getting at is, nothing beats coming home to a fridge full of fresh veggies and making your own healthy flavorful salad. Nope, not the tiny pile of wilted iceberg lettuce and mealy tomatoes most places call a salad. I’m talking about a bowl of grains, veggies, protein topped with a delicious homemade dressing. The kind of salad that makes you feel like you’re thanking your body not torturing it.
So let’s celebrate starting this fresh new year with a fresh twist on salad.
- ½ cup of cooked quinoa (1/6 dry)
- 2 cups of baby arugula
- ⅓ cup of shredded carrots
- ⅓ cup of chopped red cabbage
- ½ red bell pepper sliced
- ½ cup of shelled edamame
- ¼ of an avocado sliced
- 5 slices of roasted eggplant
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- 1 tablespoon of tahini dressing*
- optional: 1 tsp of hemp seeds
- To cook quinoa: Place a teaspoon of olive oil in a saucepan over medium low heat and add ⅙ cup of dry quinoa, stir until dry quinoa is slightly toasted ~1 minute
- Add ⅓ cup of water and bring to a boil(or to make extra quinoa cook 1 cup of dry quinoa in 2 cups of water to yield 3 cups cooked)
- Cook quinoa for 10-15 minutes on low heat
- Then let stand for another 5 minutes with the lid on the saucepan
- To roast eggplant
- Preheat the oven to 400Fº
- Slice eggplant into thin slices (1/4" thick)
- Roast in oven for 15 minutes - flip over and roast for 10 more minutes
- To assemble salad
- In a medium sized bowl, once quinoa is cooked, toss ½ cup of cooked quinoa with the arugula, carrots, cabbage, sliced pepper, edamame, eggplant and avocado - drizzle 1 tablespoon of tahini dressing *recipe link below* and toss until evenly coated
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- What’s your favorite meal to have when you get home after you’ve traveled?
- What’s your favorite go-to salad ingredient?