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Apr 27, 2007 01:13 PM

Healthy salads to take to work

With summer coming, I'm looking to add more salads into my workday lunches. Any ideas for yummy healthy salads (perhaps with some protein) that can be prepared (entirely or mostly) in advance?

And my apologies in advance if there's already a thread on this. I'm a new Chowhounder and did do a search, but didn't find what I was looking for.


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  1. I love a mixed green salad with tomatoes, cukes, grilled chicken, toasted pine nuts and balsamic vinaigrette. Throw some blue cheese or feta on it if you like. The pine nuts really add a delicious quality to salads.

    2 Replies
    1. re: mojoeater

      My favorite healthy meal-sized salad has lettuce, tomato, scallion, avocado, garbanzo beans and canned tuna. Serve with a vinaigrette made with seasoned rice wine vinegar and oil (with the seasoned vinegar, you don't need as much oil to make a balanced dressing). When I bring this to work, I put the salad in a large tupperware container and keep the tuna and the dressing on the side until I'm ready to eat it.

      1. re: DanaB

        Seasoned Rice vinegar is great! I just use that alone.

        Another huge fave of mine is thin sliced cucumber and some thin sliced onions, in the Rice vinegar or just mixed with no fat yogurt.

    2. I usually make different green salads:
      Romaine with tomato, cucumber, artichoke hearts, feta, torn fresh basil and grilled chicken or shrimp with a drizzle of good balsamic. I prefer balsamic on it's own if it's decent, as opposed to a vinaigrette.

      Mixed field greens with carrot, tomato, cucumber, chick peas and dried cranberries. I also top this with balsamic, but I believe it would also go really well with a lemon vinaigrette.

      You can always prepare the salad ahead of time, and dress it right when you're ready to eat. I used to do this for work all the time. Pack your dressing into a small tupperware container (or just take the bottle with you). I used to save all the soy-sauce containers my sushi restaurant would give me for take out and pack dressings in these. They worked well because they fit right into the container with the salad. No worrying about spillage or losing it.

      Let me also add that grilled or broiled salmon filets are also great on salad.

      4 Replies
      1. re: QueenB

        My co-worker just bought the salad storage container shown here:

        It's pretty nice. I might get one too since I bring a lof of salads to work and like to make my own dressing up in the am before I leave.

        I'd add that grain salads like cous cous, farro, quinoa are great for summer lunches.

        I also like Italian tuna with white beans and or potatoes.

        1. re: C. Hamster

          I bought my daughter a salad container. You put the dressing in the top compartment and the salad below it. When it's lunch time you press the dressing button and the dressing squirts out over the salad, then shake. She says that the kids at school all use these containers. I had some trouble finding it, but then found one at D'Ag.

          1. re: C. Hamster

            I bought one of the ones with the green top and salad dressing dispenser. It was cheap, never worked, and dispensed oil all over the kitchen and my clothes.

            1. re: C. Hamster

              I can vouch for this salad container! I usually don't crank the dressing wheel, just open it up from the bottom and pour.
              But it's very big and has its own utensils and even an ice pack if you don't have access to refrigeration.

              I would recommend putting the "stuff" besides the lettuce on the bottom, then adding the lettuce to the top so the lettuce doesn't get 'squished'.

          2. One of my absolute faves is Spinach and Strawberry Salad. Here's a link to the recipe:

            1 Reply
            1. re: hatfiels

              Def add the dressing later. Wouldn't do that ahead of time.

            2. I bring salads often (will phase out soup and stick to salad as it gets warmer).
              I lime to pack things with a higher moisture content in little ziplocks bags within the salad container, such as frozen edamame, which thaws during the work day. I find it keeps my lettuce/greens more fresh tasting.

              while I tend to use whatever I have in my produce drawer for my salad, I like to keep a theme if I asian with the edamame, maybe some leftover tofu, pepper strips, strips of snow peas, green onions, and if i have some cilantro i toss it in too. I use a bottled ginger dressing.

              Or "latin" with some frozen roasted corn kernels, some peppers, red onion, black beans and i pack some whole wheat tortilla chips to sprinkle on top of a lime based dressing i pack in a container and take with me.

              Mixed greens, rinsed canellini beans, diced apples, grape tomatoes, and if i have some steamed veggies leftover i throw them in...and just us whatever dressing i have around or just balsamic and lemon juice.

              Do try to sneak protein in (i use beans and tofu) so you feel more full. Also, pack some whole grain bread/piece of a baguette to go with your salad. Panera's whole grain baguette is the only reason i go in there - it's yummy.

              1. This shredded carrot salad is very good - I usually make the full recipe, which makes enough for two days worth of lunches. It does keep for that long, even with the avocado. i have to say, I prefer it with the lemon juice (although I'd use less than the recipe says, or perhaps a combination of lemon juice and orange juice - ooh, maybe Meyer lemon juice would be perfect), since it's a bit tarter. The OJ was just a touch too sweet. With tofu (and a diced hard boiled egg, which I like to add), it makes a good light salad that's filling yet not heavy.