My Flavorful 5-Minute Lunch Salad

I’ve loved health and fitness since college, and I can truly say that I never get bored from eating well – there are millions of ways to keep it exciting, from adding in more seasonal foods to trying fresh herbs, kitchen tools, and cooking methods.

While I’d like to say I’m experimenting in the kitchen with new recipes every week, I don’t have much time lately to cook complicated meals. Instead, I tend to be a creature of habit, reaching for the same ones week after week. You guys love when I share what I’m eating on Instagram stories, so I thought I’d share my favorite lunch salad as of late. It’s extremely simple and customizable – I hardly ever eat the exact same salad every day, due to the vegetables, herbs, and protein powder I keep on rotation. Here’s how it’s made!

My Flavorful 5-Minute Lunch Salad

Choose a Base

I aim for 4+ cups of a leafy green. My go-to combination lately has been spinach and Trader Joe’s butter lettuce and radicchio blend. I’ll then add a cup or two of a raw coleslaw mix for extra crunch, which I find pre-made at Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods.

My Flavorful 5-Minute Lunch Salad

Add More Veggies

We usually grocery shop on Sundays and Wednesdays, and once we get home I immediately chop my salad veggies and place them in pyrex containers. This makes them easily available throughout the week. A few ideas for veggie toppers include:

(crunchy!) red onion + scallion + shredded carrot

(thai) scallions + sliced radish + thin red bell peppers

(savory) roasted vegetables from last night’s dinner + halved cherry tomatoes

(“house” salad) cucumber + sliced carrot + mushroom

(sweet) fresh berries + red onion + cucumber

My Flavorful 5-Minute Lunch Salad

Pick a Protein

When it comes to protein, I have two lifesavers: organic, “naked” (no salt, oil, etc.) rotisserie chickens from Whole Foods and Safe Catch tuna packets. I add 3-4 ounces and usually heat my protein quickly in the microwave so it’s nice and warm. Sometimes we’ll have leftover salmon or lean steak from the night before that I’ll throw on top instead.

My Flavorful 5-Minute Lunch Salad

Season It (Important!)

For years I was stumped that my at-home salads weren’t on par with restaurants’ until I watched a cooking show that revealed the secret: season your greens! Yes, with salt and pepper. I use pink sea salt, freshly ground black pepper, and oregano on every salad. In addition, I’ll choose an herb that seems fitting for the combination of ingredients like dill (salmon salads), cilantro (Mexican-themed), basil, mint, or parsley (Italian/Mediterranean).

My Flavorful 5-Minute Lunch Salad

Dress and Toss Your Salad

Even “healthy” dressings are loaded with salt, sugar, and stevia. I prefer to make my own at home and recently found an easy combination that tastes delicious! I mix 1 tablespoon of organic balsamic vinegar with 1 tablespoon of organic dijon or stone-ground mustard. It’s so good! Give it a try.

Other dressings I like include:

– fresh squeezed lemon and a bit of olive oil

– red wine vinegar, olive oil, lemon, and herbs

– fresh lemon juice and pepper

What do you like to eat for lunch? If you make this salad, share on Instagram stories and be sure to tag me!