A Salad for the Weekdays

April 1st, 2014

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I’ll start off by saying how grateful and excited we are to be nominees in Saveur’s Best Food Blog Awards. The company we’re in is amazing, and it truly is an honor. If you enjoy our recipes and photos, please consider voting for Golubka Kitchen in the Special Diets category – it would mean the world!

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Finding time to spend in the kitchen is never easy. Between work, school, children and taxes, cooking can quickly become the last thing you want to worry about as your tired self. I think one of the most challenging things to plan for is lunch to take to work or school. But bringing lunch instead of buying it is much more economical, will most likely be healthier and, dare I say, even tastier.

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What I like to do is prepare a few separate components over the weekend, which can quickly be assembled into a big, tasty salad on the weekdays. Beans, legumes or grains are an important base – they will keep you nourished and full. A variety of roasted or steamed vegetables will add flavour and juice. Olives and maybe even a nice, soft cheese like Bulgarian feta will contribute a bit of depth and salt. Sliced avocado is always great for its natural fats. Garnish with herbs, seeds or nuts, lay it all on a bed of greens, and after a squeeze of lemon and maybe a drizzle of olive oil, you will have yourself a lunch. No dressing necessary. The valuable thing about this kind of recipe is that all the components can be prepared ahead of time, and you can always keep switching them up when you assemble, so as not to get tired of eating the same thing. I find that having your own home cooking for lunch at work is quite comforting, and it always tastes extra delicious.

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Weekday Salad Components

1. Eggplant
Preheat oven to 400F (200C). Cut eggplant in half lengthwise and score diagonally. Sprinkle with salt, optionally brush with olive oil. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until soft, depending on the size. Keep refrigerated in an air tight container. If you’re not into eggplants, grilled zucchini will work great too.
2. Roasted Bell Peppers
Cut peppers in quarters, remove seeds. Place on a large baking tray with minimal overlapping and bake for 20 minutes at 400F (200C). Alternatively, turn on the broiler and place whole peppers on a foil-covered tray under the broiler. Check and turn peppers frequently until all the skin is burnt. Remove and cover to let sweat, until cool. Peel the skin away. Slice and remove the stem and seeds, keep refrigerated.
3. Beans and Legumes
Pre-soak and cook any kind of beans and or lentils until soft, drain, and let cool. Or rinse canned beans. I like a variety of beans such as chickpeas, kidney, black, white, puy or black lentils, etc. – any will do. To keep things even lighter and healthier, you can sprout your beans/lentils instead of cooking them. Add sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste to your cooked or sprouted beans, add a small amount of minced garlic and plenty of fresh herbs, such as dil, parsley, cilantro, mint, basil – whatever you prefer. I’m partial to dill and parsley here. Squeeze a generous amount of lemon juice over and lightly drizzle with olive oil. Mix to combine thoroughly. The salad will become more flavorful after marinating in the refrigerator for some time. Alternatively, make your favourite grains.
4. Good Olives
I love Cerignola and Castelvetrano, which can usually be found at the salad bars of health food stores and Italian markets.
5. Other add-ons:
Sliced cucumbers
Cherry tomatoes
Sliced avocado
This Shredded Beet Salad
Sauerkraut
Fresh salad greens
Goat’s and/or sheep’s milk feta cheese
Lemons
Nuts/seeds

Assembly
Assemble any way you like! I like to arrange salad greens on a plate or in salad bowl. Top with a small amount of chopped grilled eggplant and sliced roasted peppers. Add a tablespoon or two of beans, olives, avocado and cheese and squeeze more lemon juice over, together with olive oil (even though it’s optional here). Grind more of black pepper on top, if desired.
Optionally, add a scoop of beet salad, if using. Add sauerkraut, cucumbers and tomatoes instead of or together with other ingredients. Enjoy!

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Tags: beans, eggplant, lentils, olives, salad

  • Firstly, congratulations! You deserve it! Secondly, this looks delicious. Such delicious flavors and a hearty enough salad to keep me going. Yum!

  • Congrats on your nomination, Anya! I was so happy to see you there as well :) Such a great salad inspiration post – looks very much like a salad I would enjoy on a weekday.

    xo,
    Sini

  • Maria Tadic says:

    See…people think salads are boring and don’t taste good. THIS is a good salad. This looks so delicious and fresh! Love that roasted eggplant on there! What a fun way to spice it up during the week!

  • Salads are my go to lunch and dinner on the regular! Also, the biggest congrats on the nomination. Cheering for you all the way!

  • Kathryn says:

    Congratulations on the nomination! I was so happy to see you there; your site is such an inspiration filled with such nourishing recipes. Like this one!

  • Sam says:

    This is such a beautiful salad! So happy you’re a finalist for Saveur. It is absolutely well deserved and I will be voting for you!

  • Dearna says:

    I have just come across your blog today, it is so lovely! Your photography is beautiful :) I have been loving eggplants of late and cant get enough, I will have to try this salad, it looks delicious.

  • Mareike says:

    Hey, I am following you a while now and I really like your recipes. I was just wondering, when you cook batches of pulses and grains (incl. quinoa etc.) and vegetables at the beginning of the week, do you freeze them? Or how long can you keep them in the fridge? Thank you!

  • cj says:

    Congratulations on your selection as a finalist in the Saveur Food Blog Awards!

    I would to personally invite you to share your gorgeous food photos with us over at Food Foto Gallery . com – In March alone, we had 26,382 visitors to the site & there’s no complicated approval process like the big guys. Any photos related to food (that are not watermarked) are accepted & get posted automatically. Being a food blogger, myself, we also share our daily faves on social media, giving exposure to fellow foodies whenever we can.

    Let me know if you have any questions and hope to see you at the site :)

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