Hello there! Today’s post is for all you working ladies (whether “work” means in your chosen career, as a mommy, or both like me!) who operate on limited time but don’t want to sacrifice a healthy lifestyle for the sake of convenience.
I know how hard it is to eat healthy, particularly when you’re running around throughout the day checking a gazillion things of your ever-growing to do list. Even now as I right this, I’m breastfeeding Emme Belle, providing the periodic “woohoo” to Livilu as she enthusiastically negotiates her way through a stack of animal flashcards, all while making mental notes of how I’m going to tackle a long list of to-dos once Emme Belle finishes up her leisurely meal — there’s dishes to do, dinner to make, baths to give, emails begging for a response, next-day lunches to pack, laundry to fold, etc. The list goes on. How’s a busy girl supposed to actually find time to prepare a health lunch or snack amongst all that chaos?
Well, this salad is an excellent start — it’s a nutritional powerhouse, and it took me less than 5 minutes to prepare. Seriously, 5 minutes. Now that’s a block of time we can all squeeze out of our day, especially for something as important as our health.
Kale, Beet, Fig & Pine Nut Salad
I chose a Kale & Beet bagged salad mix from Trader Joe’s for my base, but any green leafy salad mix will do. I can’t say enough about the pre-mixed salads at Trader Joe’s, so if you live near one, I highly recommend you visit and try a few.
On top of your chosen salad mix base, add the following:
- Sliced Cucumber
- Chopped Chicken Breast (I like to make this with roasted chicken from the previous evening’s dinner … it carries the added bonus of using leftovers rather than letting them go to waste!)
- Crumbled Feta Cheese
- Pine Nuts — if you have an additional five minutes, I highly recommend roasting them in the oven first. Simply sprinkle them on a baking sheet and roast in the oven at 375 degrees for 5 minutes.
- Dried Figs, sliced (I prefer the intense sweetness of the dried version to balance out the bitterness of the kale, but fresh figs would be equally delicious on a simple romaine or spinach base).
- Dressing — your choice, but I would go with some sort of oil & vinegar blend. Two pre-made ones I frequently use are Whole Foods’ Herbs de Provence Vinaigrette, or Panera’s Greek Vinaigrette
Toss in a large bowl and enjoy!
*And if you have a sweet tooth like me, try an ounce of dark chocolate (70% cocoa to reap the health benefits) for dessert. What? A girl’s gotta live 🙂