Lunchtime for a working girl can be a dangerous activity.
Having worked in Manhattan for the last 5 years, I’ve eaten from a lot of subpar delis, overpriced salad bars, and super-salty “ramen” during my favorite mealtime of the day. Sure, occasionally you find the absolutely amazing hole-in-the-wall burrito joint, but it’s usually just a few too many avenues away to be convenient, or costs a few too many dollars than you’re willing to let go of, or, let’s face it, contains a few too many calories to ever be deemed a responsible choice.
(Side note: I might have made a spreadsheet to catalog all of the “good” places around my office. If you work near Times Square/Hell’s Kitchen, hit me up and I’ll send you the Google spreadsheet.)
I’m ashamed to say I often pick up and buy my lunch somewhere around my office rather than bringing it from home, and frankly, it’s been taking a toll on my wallet and on my waistline.
It’s just that I have a lot of expectations when it comes to lunch, and microwaved leftovers (especially microwaved meat… EWW!) just don’t cut it. So, because I’m still on the Standard Process Cleanse and most of the take-out options around here do NOT fall into anything I should be eating, I’ve had to innovate and come up with some kickass ideas in order to stay healthy and happy with my food choices.
Enter this salad- not just any salad, but my FAVORITE salad. Like, of all time.
It combines some of my favorite flavors (lemon, kalamata olives, cherry tomatoes), with some nutrition powerhouses (kale/arugula, quinoa, avocado) and turns into something so much greater than the sum of it’s parts.
The best part is… it is filling, delicious, and so much better than anything I can find around Midtown!
- 2 cups greens (I prefer kale, arugula, or a mix), chopped
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut into quarters
- ½ cup cooked quinoa
- ½ avocado, diced
- 6-8 kalamata olives, chopped roughly
- 2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 lemon slice
- ¼ cup celery, sliced
- ½ cup carrots, chopped
- ¼ cup roasted salmon, flaked
- Combine all ingredients in a bowl and toss to combine. Sprinkle with juice from the lemon slice, toss again, and serve!
Tip: An easy way to dice an avocado is to make hash marks in the avocado while it’s still in the peel, then scoop it out with a spoon:
Need some other good and healthy lunch ideas? Lentil soup is one thing I don’t mind re-heating in the microwave, and is so yummy. Another favorite is lentil salad, grilled corn salad (accompanied by some grilled chicken or flaked salmon), or carnitas tacos. (I seriously have a phobia of microwaved meat, so I usually just toast up the tortillas in the office kitchen instead, then add the meat and toast some more to heat through).
What are your favorite bring-from-home lunch options?