I eat a lot of salad. Like, heaps. It’s weird how much salad I eat, but I find salad so easy, versatile and super yummy, so I classify them as a daily life win. Also, as I spend my days working in an office (sob) I find that eating salad for lunch helps to avoid the afternoon ‘slump’ (although I still wouldn’t say no to a cheeky nap), and I find that I just feel better in general as I have to either sit or stand in one place for a prolonged period of time and I don’t like feeling ‘heavy’ or blergh.
Over the past couple of weeks I’ve been gallivanting around NZ (sort of) as my brother and his wife have been visiting from mighty America, which has been completely awesome! However, this has meant that between climbing enormous hills above Queenstown and falling into an Ice Bar for a cocktail, I have been out of my usual prep and eating routine, and my body/organs/energy levels are telling me to haul myself back back onto the salad train and kick back into making delish nourishing bowls to up my greens. In saying that, I was the person who rocked up to the family holiday with a giant bottle of homemade green juice – yep, expect nothing less fam-jam!
An easy way to ensure you get a decent wack of greens during your day!
So, nourishing bowls are exactly that. They nourish your bod! So much goodness in one bowl and you can literally throw anything you have in the fridge into them – healthy styles of course! But your fav ingreds are key to the overall enjoyment and they are a speedy meal to make if you’re short for time. I quite often make an enormous nourishing bowl at night and have half for dinner and the other half for lunch the next day. I also take some homemade dressing in a separate wee container to take so the salad doesn’t go soggy and gross – more on dressing ideas below though!
Anyway, below is an example of what I like to use in my nourishing bowls, but I’ll include a list of other ingredients that I commonly use as well, just for ideas!
Olives, feta, courgette, carrot, baby spinach, pecans, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and currents
I like to grate the carrot and courgette before throwing it all together, but I literally just chopped the olives and biffed all of the above into a bowl. I also usually add some protein like shredded chicken, tuna, salmon etc, but as I had just been away when I made the above nourishing bowl, I didn’t have any so lucked-out on that front! Protein is great through so try to include some if you can as you’ll stay fuller for longer!
Approximate measurements are:
A decent handful of baby spinach/whatever leafy green you like as a base – and if you’re making a double mixture or for more than 1-2 people just use more! Leafy greens are supersonic and so so good for you so use heaps, you can’t over do it!
1 large carrot
As much feta as you like – some mozzarella or a little blue cheese (mmm cheeeese)
10ish pecans/almonds/brazil nuts – suit yourself
A handful of pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and currents
Throw all of the ingredients in together and mix. Then choose a salad dressing! I’m a huge fan of olive oil and apple cider vinegar, or olive oil and balsamic vinegar – although don’t go too mad on the balsamic if you’re trying to trim sugar as it’s sorta high in sugar.
For a single serving try:
1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1/2 a tablespoon of organic apple cider vinegar. I like Bragg’s or Coral Tree Cider Vinegar as both are organic and are really great for your digestion too! Apple cider vinegar is a gem like that!
1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1/2 a teaspoon of decent quality balsamic vinegar.
Lemon juice is also a perfect dressing for any salad, just squeeze as much as you like on and you’re good to go!
I’m a fan of avocado or macadamia nut oil too – just a slosh is all good, however these guys are a little more expensive so definitely a luxury item I think.
You don’t need too much dressing so try not to be ‘dressing happy’ – add a little Himalayan salt and ground pepper too if you fancy and voila, you’re good to go!
Other epic ingreds you could try …
Butter beans, cannellini beans, lentils, chickpeas – all great to add some extra protein in to your nourishing bowl!
Quinoa or brown rice – just a little, like 1/4 of a cup is great to add as a second base along with your greens. Especially quinoa as you’ll sneak some extra protein in with this seed too and it’s not ‘heavy’ so should also help to ward off the afternoon slump.
Sundried tomatos, Capsicum, avocado, roast veges – kumera, pumpkin, yams, parsnip.
Meat of your choice – I like to cook chicken breast and then shred it in my Thermomix for the week ahead – those with thermies cook the chicken breast for 23 mins on varoma, speed 4. Then pop into the bowl and set on reverse, speed 4 for 5 seconds. Boom. Done. I also add some Moroccan seasoning as when I cook the chicken just for a little more flavour.
Tinned salmon or tuna – check out the other ingreds on the side of the tin and what oil is used 🙂
Oranges/mandarins/apples – I’m a fan of fruit in salad and adding citrus to your salad, especially if you have used spinach as a base, is great as the citrus will help release all of the iron in the spinach and you absorb it better too. Something to ponder on.
I also quite like adding a little dried fruit, such as currents, dried cranberries, chopped apricots or a few dates. Not too many as you don’t want to pile loads of sugar into your salad, but a few pieces scattered about can add a wee zing!
I try to work in with what produce is available in each season too. Obviously you can buy imported produce all year round, but I think those in season at the time are a better option flavour-wise, and also you can source local produce where you know where it has been grown and whether they are organic or not.
If you can’t buy organic produce, which probably for a lot of us is a bit of a luxury to do so as it is way more spendy than buying non-organic, an easy way to strip some of the toxins off your fruit and veges is to find five or so mins of your day, fill a bowl/bucket or your (clean) sink with water and then add 3/4-1 cup of white vinegar and give your produce a bit of a wash. Then rinse them all in clean water and dry them off. Just a sneaky wee trick if you’re interested.
So many options, experiment and figure new fav combos out along the way.