I may have been a little critical of vegetables last week when I said I hated them. But seriously, greens are just not my favorite food group. Thankfully, I love the Spinach & Avocado smoothie recipe that I shared and could eat that every morning!
When it comes to lunch, a meal that, for me, usually feels rushed to prepare as well as to eat, it’s easy to avoid a healthy and filling dose of veggies. For this reason, I don’t typically enjoy salads, however I’ve discovered all great salads get these three things right:
1) Lettuce: Maybe you don’t like the lettuce. I personally don’t care for iceberg, but the leafy ones, like red and green leaf lettuce, are a texture that I enjoy. There are countless varieties! Experiment until you find the lettuce you actually enjoy, and then eat more of that kind.
2) Dressing: Dressing can make or break a salad. Do you like sweet, sour, creamy, oil-based, or no dressing at all? I find that your taste buds care about this immensely. You may also enjoy salad more if you mix the dressing throughout very thoroughly. Bites of lettuce that don’t have dressing may get pushed to the side, uneaten. Just remember not to drown your salad in high-calorie dressings.
3) Toppings: Unless you enjoy eating plain lettuce, the exciting part about a salad is what goes on it. I’m talking anything from nuts and croutons to fruits, vegetables, cheese and meats, pasta and couscous. This is where a salad actually becomes a meal (it’s also where it could go from healthy to not). The toppings are where you add additional flavor, texture, and nutrition like protein and healthy fats.
Knowing all of this, here is the best green lunch for a veggie hater: arugula and green leaf salad with fruit, nuts, meat, cheese, and poppy seed dressing. It’s got a lot of flavor and color, and with the variety of toppings and lettuce it is a well-balanced meal! The turkey sausage is optional; I cook it on a skillet with oil, then pack it in a separate container to heat up and toss on the salad the next day. The best part is, there are two kinds of delicious and healthy greens!
“Arugula is a rich source of certain phytochemicals that have been shown to combat cancer-causing elements in the body… a great source of folic acid and Vitamins A, C and K…provides a boost for bone and brain health. Arugula has an array of minerals and high levels of Iron and Copper”*
Just 1 cup (of green leaf lettuce) delivers fiber, iron and B vitamins together with a boost of several other vitamins.*
Green Leaf Lettuce
Poppy Seed Dressing
*Use as much or as little of each ingredient as you’d like