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3 Make-Ahead Salads to Get You Through the Work Week

image source: elizabeth stark
image source: elizabeth stark

We’ve heard it before — healthful living is about forming good habits. One of the places my good eating habits are most likely to lapse is the workday lunch. In the midst of crashing blood sugar, I make terrible lunch decisions.

With this in mind, I’ve given my routine a reboot and have dedicated a little bit of time every few days to make-ahead lunches. Then, when it’s time for lunch, I can grab something nourishing without any fuss.

These salads are rooted in a simple base dressing and cooked whole grains — both of which can be made up to five days in advance. Then, every day or two, you can wash a handful of greens, mince an onion, and toss together a couple days worth of salads.

The recipes are simple, versatile, and vegetarian. Though each is delicious and satisfying as is, consider these recipes as a jumping off point; feel free to add canned chickpeas, crumbled bacon, canned salmon, nuts, fruits, or alternate vegetables.

Whole Grain Lunches
Image Source: Elizabeth Stark

Basic Lemon Dressing

Makes: 3/4 cup (enough for 6 salads)

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons red onion, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

Directions

  1. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk to combine lemon juice, red onion, and sea salt. Whisking vigorously, slowly add olive oil.

Note: Dressing will keep sealed in the fridge for 5 days. Allow mixture to come to room temperature before using.

Sweet Potato and Apple Barley Salad

Sweet potatoes lend a hearty sweetness to this fresh barley salad with apples, arugula, and chèvre.

make-ahead lunches11
Image Source: Elizabeth Stark

Makes: 2 servings

Ingredients

  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 cup sweet potato, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1/4 cup lemon dressing
  • 1 cup cooked barley
  • 1 cup apple, cored and cubed
  • 1 cup arugula leaves
  • 2 tablespoons red onion, minced
  • 1/4 cup crumbled chèvre

Directions

  1. Bring a medium-sized sauce pan filled with cold water to a boil. Add 1/2 teaspoon sea salt. Then add sweet potato cubes and boil 5-7 minutes, or until fork tender.
  2. To assemble salad, toss cooked barley with lemon dressing, sweet potatoes, apples, arugula, and red onions. Top with crumbled chèvre.

Note: Salad will keep well covered in the fridge for 2 days. If making ahead, add apple cubes and arugula just before serving.

Tomato and Avocado Farro Salad

Creamy avocados are a great addition to this riff on tabbouleh salad.

make-ahead lunches07
Image Source: Elizabeth Stark

Makes: 2 servings

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup lemon dressing
  • 1 cup cooked farro
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 tablespoons red onion, minced
  • 2 tablespoons parsley, minced
  • 1/4 cup crumbled chèvre
  • 1 avocado, cubed

Directions

  1. To assemble salad, toss cooked farro with lemon dressing, tomatoes, red onion, and parsley. Top with crumbled chèvre and avocado.

Note: Salad will keep well covered in the fridge for 3 days. If making ahead, add avocado just before serving.

Citrus and Dried Cherry Barley Salad

Sweet cherries and citrus segments lend sweet notes to this lemony farro and arugula salad.

make-ahead lunches05
Image Source: Elizabeth Stark

Makes: 2 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 oranges (I used Cara Cara and blood orange here)
  • 1/4 cup lemon dressing
  • 1 cup cooked barley
  • 1 cup arugula
  • 1/4 cup dried cherries
  • 2 tablespoons red onion, minced
  • 2 tablespoons pepitas
  • 1/4 cup crumbled chèvre

Directions

  1. To prep orange, slice off the top and bottom of each and then use downward strokes to cut off peel. Slice peeled fruit into 1/4-inch thick rounds.
  2. To assemble salad, toss cooked barley with lemon dressing, arugula, dried cherries, and red onion. Top with orange slices, pepitas, and chèvre.

Note: Salad will keep well covered in the fridge for 2 days. If making ahead, add arugula just before serving.

Article Posted 5 months Ago

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