12/02/2013

Lunchtime Salad

Lunches can often prove difficult - something portable, something that won't go off if withdrawn from the fridge in the morning and not eaten until noon, something which will not get boring after a while ...

Mark Sissons has his Two Minute Salad which he eats regularly. I have mine, which I have eaten pretty much every day for the last couple of years and not yet got bored of it, not one bit.

Here's my approach ...
  • Base - any variety of lettuce, shredded, perhaps white cabbage, perhaps red cabbage, perhaps a mix. This is to make up the bulk of the dish, something to chew on and keep the whole thing moist. Very occasionally, salad potatoes might form the base.
  • Protein - any protein will do, be it leftover meat, cooled and shredded, canned fish, flaked fish, shellfish, spicy chicken. This is the good part of the meal.
  • Fat - fatty meats and oily fish are all well and good, but we can always do with a little more fat. An avocado cubed or sliced is always welcome, as it Salad Cream. I am quite happy using Heinz brand since here in the UK, the only offending ingredients are a touch of sugar and the oil - yes, those together make it wholly bad, but it's a condiment. Let's not get stressed, eh? Olive oil and avocado oil made into a vinaigrette to slosh over is another approach I often take.
  • Interest - lettuce, salad cream and protein is all very well, but any dish can always do with some interest. I like pockets of interest around the dish - cubed cucumber, small tomatoes, radish, cubes of good cheese, olives, perhaps capers, pickled gherkin, pickled beetroot, pickled chillies ... the options are abundant.
  • Garnish - garnish with a boiled egg. I don't need to say how good eggs are and all the wonderful micro-nutrients you get from them. Also, herbs and seeds. I have a jar of mixed seeds: flax, pumpkin and sunflower. Just a sprinkle over.
So, that's my approach. Here are some examples ...

Squid and flaked salmon.

Fresh mackerel.

Pickled herring over potato and havarti.

Crab and avocado.

Bacon and egg.

Anchovies with cottage cheese.

Prawn with beetroot dyed egg.

Spiced chicken.

Have fun and eat well!

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