Posted by Jill Whalen | Posted in Food, Healthy Eating, Nutrition, Recipes | Posted on 06-23-2014
By Jill Whalen
Be it in salads or side dishes or just a healthy lunch, I love adding fruits and nuts to my veggies! They add so much flavor and character and go so well with just about any vegetable. I had been using dried fruits during the colder months, but now that summer is here and fresh ones are more abundant (and affordable) I’m using them when I have them on hand.
Below are a few of the recent lunches I’ve made for myself which you could easily recreate!
[Added: I decided to continuously add new creations to this post as I create them, so be sure to check back now and again!]
I love brussels sprouts for lunch. While I could certainly eat them with just a bit of garlic, they’re much tastier paired with the little sweetness that fruits and nuts can give. This one didn’t have fresh fruit in it, but was extremely flavorful, nonetheless:
I also eat a ton of salads for lunch, but mine are not your typical “garden salad”! For this one I had a pear that I thought my son would eat when he was home, but which he never got around to. So it was sitting around getting browner and browner until I decided to “save” it and chop it up with some greens, blue cheese and walnuts:
Sometimes when I get home from my afternoon yoga class, I don’t feel like cutting up tons of veggies for a salad. Enter my Ninja high speed blender! I can make a “chopped” salad in no time flat. Plus I like it even better when everything is cut in tiny pieces. It makes every bite simply delicious! The secret ingredient to this one was raw sunflower seeds:
Brussels spouts have reared their head again with this next lunch. This time I had some apples hanging around that were way too sweet for me to eat as just a plain apple. But I don’t mind the sweetness so much paired with the sort of bitter flavor of the brussels sprouts. Raw walnuts also added some additional crunch:
I didn’t think I was much of a cabbage fan until I tried shredding it into my salads. What an excellent way to add some crunch! And these fresh organic strawberries were at their peak:
Another great thing about adding fruits to your salads and sides is the beautiful colors you end up with! This salad came about because I was just trying to use up 2 small purple plums that were starting to wrinkle up. It was another winner…especially with the blue cheese:
This next creation came about by my desire to finish up the baby spinach as well as half an avocado and half an apple I had in the fridge. What could be more yummy than paring them with tuna! Unfortunately, I was almost all the way through eating the salad when I remembered that some of the cilantro wilting on my window sill would have been a great accompaniment:
Added 7/14/2013: Best Tuna Salad Ever!
Months ago I set some cabbage to ferment into sauerkraut in a mason jar and it’s been sitting in my kitchen since then. I’ve kind of been afraid to check it as I thought it might be all disgusting. (I’ve always had this fear of eating live cultures and the like!) Today took a look at it and noticed the liquid wasn’t to the top anymore and thought I might need to just throw it away. I finally got the nerve to open it up. I timidly gave it a sniff and it smelled delicious! No throwing out necessary! So then I had to decide what I could do with it. I don’t happen to have any sausages on hand or I would have made them with the sauerkraut for dinner. Instead I decided to use some of it as part of a tuna salad, which is what you see pictured.
Basically it had the sauerkraut, solid white tuna, avocado, carrot, a garlic scape, diced tomato, diced plum, and some chard. Most of the stuff I processed in my Ninja, but not the tomato, tuna, and plum. (It really could have used onion, but alas, I was out!)
Another “Ninja Chopped Salad”! I had to go out around my lunch time today, so I chopped up this latest salad with my Ninja before I left. That way it was all ready for me to eat upon my return. This entire salad was chopped via the Ninja, although after the photo was taken I did add some crushed raw pecans. I also mixed in some homemade tahini dressing and a little Siracha (just cuz!).
I still had a bunch of my homemade sauerkraut sitting around and knew my daughter had a few all beef uncured hot dogs in the freezer which I thought would go nicely. While I was tempted to turn them into some sort of reuben on some rye bread, I came to my senses and turned them into a super yummy warm hot dog sauerkraut salad by sauteing them with a bunch of other veggies I needed to use up!
These are just a few of the tempting salads and sides you’ll see me eating on any given day. I rarely make the same exact one twice, which keeps things exciting and my palette happy! I hope I’ve inspired you to try a few of these or come up with your own unique fruity/nutty combinations! Feel free to post yours below.