So I've posted about a couple of warm salads that have been components to weekend or evening meals (you can check out all of my Chloe Likes To Eat posts in the tab on my menu bar), but I do sometimes eat cold salad too. Especially on work days.
Work day lunches are not so much challenging to me, but more of a gauntlet thrown down challenge on how can I make sure my lunch is consistently satisfying and at least partially interesting. But, and there's always a but, it's still got to be easy to throw together the night before and not use a bazillion super expensive ingredients. This is one of my favourites, and if you're on a mission to either save money, overhaul your eating habits or just generally shake things up a bit then I urge you to re-think your definition of salad. And give one of mine a go *nudge nudge*
Behold, the humble chickpea, and the sweetest of corn. For me, lunch salads are all about being able to dump some ingredients in a bowl and mix. No faffing.
So, this was chickpea, sweetcorn & piri piri chicken salad. The following made enough to feed 2 people, so would easily cover to lunches. I often use whole tins of things to make enough for 2 days or one for me and one for T. The joy of this salad- you could use whatever you have leftovers of, or you could add a very simple dress to the bulk ingredients, or both-
Dump one tin of chickpeas, one tin on sweetcorn, a pinch of salt, a good shake of black pepper and and a tiny splash or squeeze of lemon juice in a bowl and mix.
Shred or slice salad leaves of choice- mine is usually spinach but mixed leaves, iceberg, rocket, or anything else you have kicking about will do just fine. Shred as finely as you wish, I only shred mine to make it easier to shovel in at my desk.... Add green stuff to aforementioned mixture in bowl, mix well.
At this point the choices start- I added a small leftover portion of homemade piri piri chicken and it's accompanying sauce to this salad and stirred through, but other things I've tried are:
-homecooked portions of tikka chicken
-a drizzle of the following dressing: 1 tbspn natural yoghurt, 1 tspn french mustard, squeeze lemon juice, black pepper- all shaken together
-a handful of cooked smokey lardons
-a handful of shredded ham
Chickpeas are an awesome source of protein and a really nice base for a lunch time salad as they're not as carb heavy as bread or pasta, which if you're in a sedentary job can sometimes be a bit of an overload. They're cheap, come pre-cooked in good sized portions in tins, and I tend to keep 4+ tins in my cupboard at any one time because they're so easy to add into things. They are my current wonder-food obsession.
The general point here- salad doesn't just have to be lettuce, and much as I love the humble sandwich, there are other options out there if you want to try something different or if you are trying to cut down on the amount of bread you consume or if you or someone you share food with has a wheat intolerance.
This is not to say you can't have a freakin' awesome sandwich.... just saying
P.S. Would it be of interest to see costings on my Chloe Likes To Eat posts? Budget is a hot topic in our household, and as well as a strong interest in our food being nutritionally sound and super tasty, it also has to be cost effective. Let me know if the comments or drop me a tweet via @chloelikes2talk