As I’ve worked with more and more clients as a Vegan Lifestyle Coach, I’ve noticed that certain issues come up again and again, for almost everyone I talk to. I guess it makes sense – we’re all busy people trying to do our best in sub-optimal situations, and we all struggle with similar restrictions: time, energy, and finances, versus our desire to eat healthy wholesome food.
When I lived in Portland and I was a wife, I was lucky to have a lot of time to spend in the kitchen. Waits was younger so he napped more, and then in the evenings Damian would take him so that I could make us elaborate dinners.
I am a busy lady. Okay, I’ve always been busy (aren’t we all?), but these days I’m a single working mom and it feels like “busy” doesn’t even begin to describe the frantic juggling act I’m constantly undertaking.
But I digress. Let’s talk about salad.
So like my clients, I just want to eat healthy, wholesome foods. But I don’t have a lot of time and I don’t even have much energy to put towards thinking about food. Which is why, I guess, I stumbled onto this strange creation: “leftovers salad”. And it may look really odd, and you may be like “Wait, what does that even taste like?”, and you may be thinking “Seriously Sayward? You put spaghetti on top of salad?”
Leftover salad has become my secret weapon, my saving grace for easy healthy eating. Because I love salads, but they can take some time to prepare, what with all the chopping and toppings. And leftovers on their own are fine for lunch, but they do tend to lack in the *fresh* department. And mostly, eating greens as often as possible is the single best thing I can do to keep my body feeling fan-freakin’-tastic.
So that’s what I do. I open a bag of greens, dump it into a bowl, and plop my leftovers on top. If I have time (and I usually do, because it literally takes like 2 minutes) I’ll dress the greens before adding the leftovers. My standard go-to dressing that meshes well with pretty much anything I’m putting on top, is a splash of red wine vinegar, a little drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, a clove of garlic (crushed), and a liberal sprinkling of nutritional yeast. No need to pre-mix, just throw it all on top of the lettuce and then toss it all up.
I really like shredded carrots in my salads, so I often grate one up real quick (30 seconds? maybe 60?). And avocado makes everything better (another 60 seconds to slice and dice).
If you’re looking to streamline your lunch (or dinner) while keeping things healthy and higher in fresh, raw veggies and greens, I’d urge you to give this strange creation a try. You can use almost any leftovers imaginable – stir fry, mac n cheese, lasagna, chinese takeout, homemade stew, pudla, hummus or other dips, fettucini alfredo, enchiladas, Indian curry, shepherd’s pie, and it truly just goes on and on. Endless possibilities!
So what do you think? Am I crazy? Will you try it?