I walk into the lunchroom at the office around 11:30. I’m quite excited about what I’m about to eat – a big, huge, manly salad. Before I can begin, I’m met with a barrage of questions and jabs.
“What’s in there?”
“Did you harvest your lunch from the front yard today?”
“Do you just get it out of the mulch bag when you were done mowing?”
“You must sh*t rainbows”
I kinda enjoy my coworkers’ reactions- it gives me a chance to throw a few jabs of my own. Like, “Hey man, you’re an engineer, can you figure out how that $1.85 cheeseburger stays “preserved” in the vending machine for two weeks?” (Yep, vending machine cheeseburgers are actually a thing).
I’m well aware that my lunch is very banter-worthy. Between rainbow chard and kale, I expect some smack talk. For awhile, the jokes and jabs poured in every day as I revealed the array of “fascinating” vegetables in my lunchbox. I would come home to Kayli and replay the conversation and we would have a good laugh.
Then one day… it stopped. I pulled out beets and Brussels sprouts and no one batted an eye.
It’s like I’ve made a new normal for myself. I’m the salad man. I would really like to get some other dudes in my salad club, even if it’s just to share the smack talk. Let me tell you why and how I do it.
To get full. Probably not the reason you were expecting. With salads, I can take a huge tupperware/dish and fill it with everything I need. This isn’t some wimpy little bowl of raw food.
I crave it every day. It’s true. I started doing this a few months ago and haven’t looked back. With flavor combinations like Tempeh Bacon and Creamy Maple Mustard Dressing, I truly look forward to lunch.
First, plan ahead. 10 minutes of prep will prevent a grocery store meltdown. Design your salad using the categories below and make a grocery list. This seems overwhelming at first, but gets easier after a few weeks. I usually make enough for Kayli and me for Monday – Friday. This usually means 12.5 – 15 servings – she eats 1 serving per ingredient per lunch, I eat 1.5-2 servings per ingredient.
Once you have the ingredients, block out 2 hours of your weekend. If this sounds like a lot of time to you, think about the prep time per meal. We are eating from scratch for about 12 minutes per lunch. That’s less time than it takes to get to a restaurant and back to the office… and maybe even less time than it takes to retrieve that burger form the vending machine (and muster up the courage to actually put it into your body).
[col2]beets, Brussels sprouts, carrots, sweet potatoes, cherry tomatoes, brocoli, cauliflower, etc[/col2]
[col3]Throw them in a 400F oven with a little olive oil until browned.[/col3]
[col2]beans, tempeh, tofu, lentils, egg, edamame, etc[/col2]
[col2]brown rice, barley, whole wheat croutons, buckwheat, millet, bulgar wheat, quinoa, etc[/col2]
[col3]Note: you can combine the veg, protein, and grain into a veggie burger or veggie balls. The beet balls in the picture above have all three. [/col3]
[col2]Romaine, mixed greens, arugula, kale, chard, collard greens, spinach, cabbage, etc[/col2]
[col3] I usually pair a mild one (romaine, spinach) with a stronger one (kale, arugula). [/col3]
[col2]pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, almonds, walnuts, pomegranate seed, whole wheat croutons, etc[/col2]
[col3] Trust me, don’t skip the crunch. [/col3]
[col2]Creamy Maple Mustard, Simple Vinegarette, etc[/col2]
[col3]make your own or buy a bottle depending on your desired flavor combination.[/col3]
[col2]avocado, cheese, pesto, hummus, yogurt, honey, etc[/col2]
[col3]optional calorie and taste boosters[/col3]
Welcome to the man salad club.