Food: Today’s Big Salad

Tomato WedgesAs the name implies, Today’s Big Salad is intended more as a method than a recipe. I use a variety of ingredients in each category, sometimes omitting the grains and adding an ounce or two of reduced-fat cheese or 2 to 3 ounces of cooked chicken or beef. The result serves 2-4 people, though I eat a whole salad most days for lunch.

Beans and grain:
1 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup cooked brown rice or quinoa

Vegetables and fruit:
1/2 cup cucumber, unpeeled, sliced thin
1/2 cup yellow summer squash, unpeeled, sliced thin
1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
1/2 cup bean sprouts
1 large tomato, cut in small chunks
1 Tablespoon chopped red onion
1 cup mixed fruit, cut up (apples, blueberries, grapes, etc.)

2 cups (packed) mixed salad greens

2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 to 3 Tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon Penzey’s Pasta Sprinkle seasoning
freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Place beans and grain in a large bowl. Add dressing ingredients and stir. Prepare vegetables and fruit, adding each item to the bowl as you go, and stir to combine. Add greens and toss gently. Serves 2 to 4.

Nutrition facts: serving size, 2; calories per serving, 338; calories from fat, 130
total fat, 15g; saturated fat, 2g; trans fat, 0g
cholesterol, 0 mg; sodium, 234mg
total carbohydrate, 46g; dietary fiber, 9g; sugars, 20g
protein, 8g
vitamin A, 46%; vitamin C, 73%; vitamin D, 0%; calcium, 5%; iron, 5%

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