Despite there being so many creative salad options out there, it can be easy to default back to salad leaves, tomato, cucumber and the main ingredient… it’s so boring! At the weekends when I have more time my salad bowls tend to be more adventurous with hot and cold elements but when you are doing a packed lunch it’s not always as simple. Although the main ingredients to most of my salads are fish or roasted veg I do often revert back the above rule when time is precious….I need to change things up a bit!
I wanted to make a salad that was weekend worthy but time friendly, so that I could enjoy this at work and didn’t need to spend a lot of time in the evening prepping my lunch for the next day. As I’ve said before the key to living a healthier lifestyle is to be that little bit more organised, so if you make a big batch up this can last you a few days so you have more time to yourself!
You could change this up to suit your taste too, swap feta for another cheese, or you could substitute the cheese with some tuna or you could throw in some olives or roasted squash, different herbs/spices, different beans such as black eyed beans, whatever you have in! As I’m not a huge fan of raw onion in salads, sometimes I chop them into little wedges and roast them in the oven with some olive oil and balsamic and it makes them lovely and sweet!
This salad has become a real favourite of mine, it’s so tasty and I think it helps if you leave the salad to soak up the dressing for a little while too so it really takes on those fresh zesty flavours. It’s full of fibre and protein from the chickpeas, healthy fats form the avocado and olive oil all of which will help you stay fuller and more satisfied for longer. There’s lots of vitamins and minerals in there too from the spinach, tomatoes and broad beans, it’s a great all-rounder!
What you need:
- 1 bag of spinach or salad leaves of your choice
- 10 x cherry tomatoes
- 1/4 of a cucumber
- 3 x spring onion
- 1 x red onion or 4 little radishes
- 1 x avocado
- A handful of sun-dried tomatoes – roughly 5 or 6
- 100g – frozen broad beans
- 1 x can of chickpeas
- 100g of feta cheese – don’t worry this is for 4 meals so only 25g per serving
For the dressing:
- Juice of a small lemon or half a large one
- Handful of fresh mint
- 70ml olive il
- Salt & pepper
- Put the broad beans into a pan of boiling water for 5 minutes until cooked and then drain and put to one side.
- Whilst they are cooking pour a can of chickpeas and their water into a bowl, cover and microwave for 3 minutes on a high heat or according to the instructions, drain and add to the broad beans.
- Meanwhile roughly chop the spinach and place into a large bowl.
- Finely slice the tomatoes, cucumber, spring onions, radishes and sun-dried tomatoes into little chunks and mix with the spinach. Slice the avocado, remove the stone and scoop out the flesh, chop into bite-sized chunks and add to the salad. If you’ve got any extras I’d add them now too.
- Add the cooked broad beans and chickpeas to the salad, crumble in the feta and mix well, season with black pepper
- Finely chop the mint and add to a little bowl. Then squeeze in the juice of one lemon and add in olive oil, mix well and then season to taste.
- Drizzle the dressing over the salad and give it a good stir making sure everything is coated with the dressing and serve!
This will make enough salad for 4 lunches but I often save 2 portions for dinner and 2 for lunch the next day. The quantities for the salad ingredients are very rough, use as much as you like or have in. If you don’t have much fresh salad in, add some more beans or pulses instead. Thats when the frozen broad beans come in handy as you can always have them on standby for times like these! If you are wanting to bulk it out even more, I often add in some cooked broccoli or couscous and this works a treat!