Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Salad Mountain: My Everyday Lunch

I eat a massive salad pretty much every day for lunch. It is usually my first real meal of the day and often it is after training so I like to make it very substantial.

The photos really don't do justice to the size and density of this salad mountain. Honestly I think it would weigh about 1kg (2.2lb). It only takes me around five minutes to make, depending on which vegetables I have to wash and chop.

It is very low carb, moderate protein and moderate fat and absolutely packed with micronutrients, especially when the ingredients come fresh from the farmers' market.

The base is always the same - it is purely a filler - mainly watery vegetables with basically no caloric content but plenty of soluble fiber, nutrients and pre-biotics:

  • Mixed organic green leaves
  • Tomato
  • Red onion
  • Diced red cabbage
  • Grated carrot
  • Peppers/capsicum
  • Cucumber
  • Raw or lightly steamed broccoli, cauliflower or kale (or other leftover veg)
The protein source varies but typically I opt for seafood, with the most common being a can of (pole-caught) tuna in olive oil. Other favorites include:

  • Wild caught salmon
  • Prawns/shrimp
  • Sardines
  • Leftover meat (pork, beef or chicken)
  • Roast chicken
  • Boiled eggs (2-3, preferably pasture-raised from a local small farm)
I don't go too crazy on the protein. I think 20g as a minimum and 40g as a maximum is totally sufficient for me, espiecally if I've had a post-workout meal or shake containing protein. 

The remainder of the calories from this salad come from the liberal addition of quality fats. The real beauty of this salad is that it is satiating, nutrient-dense and gives me the energy I need to last the often 4-6 hours until dinner. This is the case because I add upwards of 50g of fat to it in the following forms:

  • Cold Pressed Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Dressing: 2 parts olive oil, 1 part balsamic vinegar or lemon juice, salt and pepper)
  • Avocado (1/2, chopped)
  • Olives
  • Shredded dried coconut
  • Nuts (e.g. half a handful of chopped raw almonds or walnuts)
  • Bacon 
The last three items would be considered more of a condiment than a main ingredient. 

Finally, if I want some more carbohydrates (or have any leftover) I will throw in some roast or steamed sweet potato or yams. 

HOT TIP: Any good salad is made with love, but more importantly it is MIXED BY HAND. Get your hands dirty and feel the goodness. No tongs can compare to a (clean) pair of human hands. Trust me, it makes a difference to the taste and is satisfying to get intimate with your food... but not in an 'American Pie' kind of way.

Related Posts:

Concerned about mercury in your fish? Read Fat Eggs, Rabbit Starvation and the Mercury Myth
To see a full run down of my typical day read My Ideal Paleo Eating Day
To explain why good fats should be friend not foe read Eat More Fat!

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Salad Mountain example with leftover beef and dried seaweed


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