Is being obsessed with a brand of Tupperware a sign that we’re adults? I guess, really, the only point to me is that it makes me excited to make lunch for work – half because these Mepal containers are super cute, and half because I know no one at work might “accidentally” mistake them for their own. The latter happens more than I’d like.
As the colder weather creeps into Cape Town, we are reminded of how tough it is to eat balanced meals when really I could eat plain pasta on the couch all day and snuggle my cat. So we created five (yes, that’s one for each day of the work week) incredible and filling salads that you can just pop in your bag on your way out in the morning. None of them is boring and all of them are packed with protein to help sustain you through your difficult day of emails, probably annoying bosses, small talk around the water cooler and all those other things we wish we didn’t have to endure while doing our jobs.
The key to a salad, in my books, is layering and keeping the flavours within a theme. Really, that’s kind of a design principle too so perhaps that’s why we were drawn to food in the first place? Gone are the days of butter lettuce, pineapple and cucumber passing as a good salad and we’re so grateful for it. Variety also ensures that you are getting more colour – more nutrients – into your diet. I find that I have a bit of a slump around 3 pm which I’ve recently found out has to do with adrenal fatigue – but I am always helped by having a good lunch. These colourful bowls carry me through the slump and onward to hometime and back with my cat.
The aforementioned is generally what people imagine when you talk about a salad and it really doesn’t have to be like that. No more sad salads. No more sad work lunches.
- 1/2 cup Quinoa cooked
- 2 cups Kale De-stemmed and roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup Cucumber chopped
- 1/2 cup Cherry Tomatoes halved
- 1/4 cup Kalmata Olives halved
- 1/4 cup Almonds
- 1/4 cup Olive Oil
- 1 tbsp Lemon Juice
- 2 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1 tbsp Maple Syrup
- 1 tsp Dijon Mustard
- 1 tsp Fresh Oregano
- 1/2 Garlic Clove
Place all dressing ingredients, except olive oil, in a blender and pulse until combined and smooth. Add in olive oil and set aside.
Combine all salad ingredients, except almonds, in a large bowl and toss to combine.
Keep salad and dressing separate until serving. This salad can be made ahead and refrigerated until serving.
Drizzle vinaigrette over the salad, and toss to evenly coat. Scatter with roughly chopped almonds and serve immediately.
- 1 cup Rocket
- 80 grams Asparagus Spears quartered
- 1/2 cup Frozen peas defrosted
- 3 Raddishes thinly sliced
- 1 tbsp Fresh Mint Leaves roughly chopped
- 1 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1/2 Lemon zested and juiced
- 1 tbsp Hemp Seeds
- Salt and Pepper to taste
Trim the stems of your asparagus and fill a skillet with half a cup of water. Add your asparagus and bring to a boil. Cover with a lid and let boil for 5-10 minutes. While your asparagus is cooking, prepare an ice bath and transfer the asparagus directly to the ice bath once cooked.
Place rocket, asparagus, peas and mint leaves in a large bowl and toss to combine.
In a separate bowl whisk together olive oil, lemon juice and lemon zest. Keep separate until serving.
Keep salad and dressing separate until serving. When serving drizzle the dressing over the salad and toss once again to evenly coat all salad ingredients. Add hemp seeds and serve immediately.
- 1/2 cup Quinoa cooked
- 50 grams Baby Spinach
- 1/4 Avocado sliced
- small wedge Purple Cabbage shredded
- 1/2 small head Broccoli cut into florets
- 1/4 cup Frozen Peas
- 1/2 small Cucumber sliced
- 1 Zucchini sliced
- 1 Spring Onion sliced thinly
- 10 Olives pitted
- 1 handful Mint and Basil Leaves
- 3 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 3 tbsp Lemon Juice
- 1/4 Garlic Clove finely grated
- 1 pinch Chilli Flakes
- Salt and Pepper
Prepare the zucchini by slicing them into thick rounds and grilling them on a grill pan. Roughly drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Wait until the pan is hot and arrange on the pan, allowing space between the rounds. Grill until brown, flip and repeat. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Mix all the dressing ingredients together by whisking with a fork and set aside.
Place all remaining salad ingredients, except the herbs and spring onion, in a large bowl and toss to combine. Reserve your herbs and dressing until serving.
Simply make the salad the night before and drizzle the dressing over the following day, just before eating.
- 1/4 cup Quinoa uncooked
- 1 cup Cooked Peas
- 1/2 Red Bell Pepper seeded and sliced
- 1 cup Baby Spinach
- 1/2 cup Pistachios
- 1 tbsp Smooth Peanut Butter
- 1/4 cup Tamari Sauce
- 1 tbsp Chili Sauce
- 1 tsp Maple Syrup
- 1/4 cup Water
Make sure to rinse your quinoa until the water runs clear, this removes the soapy residue on the grains.
Place the quinoa in a medium-sized saucepan with 1 cup of water. Bring to a boil and let simmer covered for 15 minutes, or until you have no water remaining in your pot.
Let stand for 5 minutes and fluff with a fork.
Add all your remaining salad ingredients to the quinoa and toss to combine.
Add all ingredients to a small bowl and whisk to combine. Depending on the consistency you prefer; keep adding water, tablespoon by tablespoon until the consistency is to your liking. If you're not a fan of spicy foods, add the chili sauce teaspoon by teaspoon and keep tasting until you're happy with the flavours.
For work week lunches we suggest keeping your dressing and nuts separate, and simply drizzle and sprinkle them over your salad when serving.
- 150 gram Extra Firm Tofu drained and cubed
- 1 tbsp Sesame Oil
- 1 Large Cucumber thinly sliced
- 2 Large Carrots ribboned
- 2 Green Onions chopped
- 1/4 Red Bell Pepper thinly sliced
- 1/4 Red Chili deseeded and thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup Roasted Peanuts
- 2 cm Fresh Ginger peeled
- 1 Garlic Clove
- 2 tbsp Sesame Oil
- 1 tbsp Tamari Sauce soy sauce if not gluten free
- 1 tsp Maple Syrup
Place a nonstick pan over medium heat and add your sesame oil. Once the pan is hot add your cubed tofu pieces and fry until crispy. Approximately 10 minutes.
place your sliced cucumbers in a colander and sprinkle with some salt. set aside to drain for 10 minutes.
Place all your dressing ingredients in a blender and pulse until smooth. Ginger takes a while to break down but keep going until you have a smooth consistency.
In a large mixing bowl combine all your salad ingredients and toss to combine.
For work week lunches we suggest keeping your dressing separate and adding it to your salad when you serve.