The Anything and Everything Salad

When it comes to lunch, I’ve always been a sandwich person. Sandwiches are quick to make and easy to tote. And, while at work, they can be eaten in a snap. But for me now, things are different. I now have the luxury of eating lunch slowly and I’ve been told to cut back on the carbs. For many of you that’s probably not much of a challenge, but for me it was.

It’s been a bit of a struggle. It’s hard to change old habits. I’ve been experimenting with various lunch ideas and will keep on trying. But of course, I know that salads – plenty of fresh veggies – are one of the best solutions. Until now, salads for lunch were out of my comfort zone.

I had a lovely break-through on salads while in a local restaurant a few weeks ago. I ignored the sandwiches on the menu (even though they have the second best Reuben I’ve ever tasted) and concentrated on the salads. One caught my attention. It was called the Anything and Everything Salad. It was so good. It was a big bowl filled with all sorts of delicious things. I thought I could get enthusiastic eating a salad like that all the time. So I paid attention to everything that was in the salad and imitated it at home. Here’s what I do:

At the base of the bowl is a good mix of lettuces and fresh spinach. On top of that I add as many non-starchy vegetables as I have in the house. Then I add some protein, and a couple of tablespoons of salad dressing.

Here’s a look at my latest creation. One thing I’ve learned to do is mix all the greens together when I bring them home from the store. It saves a lot of time each day at prep time. The salad above has carrots, cold beets, English cucumber, celery, broccoli florets, grape tomatoes, low-fat cheese, a teaspoon of bleu cheese crumbles, lean ham, red onion, and chopped walnuts. I used a raspberry vinaigrette, and had four cracked pepper water crackers. That total lunch was one carb. I felt very righteous about that, plus it tasted delicious.

I’ll take any suggestions you have for other low-carb lunches.

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25 Responses to The Anything and Everything Salad

  1. This looks yummy. I love salads, but don’t eat as many in winter — that will change now. Have a great weekend Margot.

  2. I’m not much of a sandwich person but I adore salads and make my salads with whatever I have on hand. I add pumpkin seeds, French fried onions, sunflower seeds, fruit, etc. Your salad looks delicious!!

  3. Staci says:

    It looks very pleasing to the eye which I think is the first step to being satisfied!!

  4. It does look delicious! I love good salads and they are not always easy to find.

  5. It would be hard for me to have salads for lunch. Something psychological just says sandwich!

  6. That does look good! I love sandwiches too – maybe I should try your salad.

  7. Libby says:

    Good for you! It’s not easy to cut back on carbs. The salad looks delish. 😉

  8. We’ve been on a low-carb diet for a couple of years now. (That was why I quit the foody reading challenge the first year — too hard to read about food, too boring to talk about the low-carb books I was reading — which weren’t very good anyway!). Anyway, we eat salads for lunch most days. Farmstand tomatoes are good here now, so we’ve been eating lots of those. The other day for a special treat I made a BLT salad…too much fat for everyday, but a nice treat…we had that in a restaurant once and really liked it. If you have to have a sandwich (like when you get invited to a BBQ or something) I have been buying those Oroweat sandwich thins — they’re good and way less calories and carbs than a hamburger bun. Sometimes we eat half a sandwich thin toasted for breakfast w/cottage cheese or lite nat’l pnt butter. Better than a slice of bread.

  9. Kaye,the sister, Cogdill says:

    Oh Margot…this is motivating and mouth-watering!! And yes, you are not the only one who has to cut back on the carbs and step away from the infamous lunch sandwich that I always felt was an important energy surge for mid-day!! Oh well, the challenge of it all…love ya bunches, kaye the sister.

  10. I love that salad! I get my best salad-making ideas from restaurants, too!

  11. That looks like a fabulous salad- thanks for sharing.

  12. Heather says:

    Your salad looks tasty. borrow a salad cookbook from your library. it should give you many ideas.

  13. Margot, that is DEFINITELY my kind of salad. I’m a total sandwich girl, too and you’re will is stronger than mine passing up the second best Reuben ever!! Good on you ;).

  14. Esme says:

    That salad does look good-have you ever made a salad with yogurt, sliced broccoli, grated carrots, raisins and slivered almonds. Are you allowed to eat any bread-try whole wheat wraps for something different-another good recipe is spinach, with roasted peppers and cucumbers in a whole wheat wrap.

  15. Esme says:

    Another idea-try lettuce wraps-use whatever you would in a sandwich wrapped in lettuce instead.

  16. Your salad looks fantastic! I love salad. One of my favorites is with poached chicken, fresh string beans and toasted walnuts with cherry tomatoes, any lettuce you like. With a walnut, dijon and white balsamic vinaigrette. A restaurant near my house has a hamburger salad that’s really good, everything on a burger except the bun. Grilled hamburger in pieces, grilled onions, mushrooms, avocado, lettuce, tomato, whatever you like on your burger.

  17. Oops, that was walnut OIL. I like to try nut oils to get different flavors in the salad.

  18. Louise says:

    I prefer sandwiches too. But do love salads in the summer. You can make a near endless variety just by changing a few vegies about. I know you’re trying to cut down on carbs, but you can add low Gi, or high protein like quinoa. As esme suggested wraps can be a great idea too. Less carbs. You can use rice paper rolls too, or lettuce wraps- though I prefer warm fillings then.

  19. Beth F says:

    Chopped salad is another great idea because it can be made early in the week and will last several days. On the day of eating you can add some meat, tuna, or a hard-boiled egg if you need protein.

  20. cerrin says:

    I have been eatting salads too lately. But Only at resturants. I have some of my favorite places to eat salad. At home I just dont take the time to cut everthing up. But at the resturant you get all the good stuff.

  21. Nan says:

    I am such a rabbit that I eat only lettuce with no dressing as my salad. :<)
    My lunch is homemade plain yogurt mixed with frozen (and thawed) berries in the blender. It varies between a mix of any of the following: blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, cranberries. It is filling and delicious, and good for me, too!

  22. Ti says:

    Since going gluten free I’ve had to be creative.. I still like sandwiches but I do lettuce rolls now. Big leaves of romaine or butter lettuce wrapped around
    the sandwich fixins I like. Soup is a good bet too. You can put pretty much whatever you want in a soup, add protein and you’ll have a hearty lunch. I make big pots
    of soup and put them in lunch containers so I always have some on hand.

  23. very nice fruits salad. i like it……….

  24. stacybuckeye says:

    I go through saland weeks and then a month off before we have salads again. I like the idea of an anything salad though!

  25. this is motivating and mouth-watering!! And yes, you are not the only one who has to cut back on the carbs and step away from the infamous brunch sandwich that I always felt was an important energy surge for mid-day!! Oh well, the challenge of it all

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