Lately, I’ve been trying to incorporate a new practice into my eating: for one meal per day (usually lunch), eat salad or soup. I haven’t always succeeded, particularly on weekends, but for the most part it’s working out.
My goal is two-fold. First, I want to incorporate more vegetables into my diet. Salads and soups usually contain lots of veggies and rely on a small amount of meat or cheese to enhance the flavor. And second, I want to reduce how much I eat. When I eat salad or soup, I generally eat less because greens and broth are so filling. Also, I am compelled to eat slowly, as opposed to wolfing down a sandwich, which means I get full sooner. I usually don’t need bread or other carbs to help me feel full.
When I make soup, I usually make a big pot and freeze single servings to dole out later. Salads are more improvisational, based on what I have in my fridge or pantry at the time. I’ll be posting some of my favorite soups and salads here.
Here is last night’s salad: a Southwestern chicken salad. This isn’t so much a recipe as a blueprint.
Southwestern Chicken Salad
- Cooked, sliced chicken (leftover chicken is great)
- Sliced squash, roasted at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes
- Sliced tomato
- Diced avocado
- Canned kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- Shredded cheddar cheese
For the dressing:
- Juice of 1 lime
- 2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ½ tsp. chili powder or to taste
- ½ tsp. cumin or adobo seasoning or to taste
- salt and pepper
I use this recipe to make vinaigrettes, varying the flavors to match the salad ingredients. I like to make a larger batch than I need and keep it in the refrigerator for quick salad making throughout the week. It’s a good idea to have a dedicated salad dressing bottle; here’s one I like, which allows you to remix the dressing just before you use it.