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Let's talk lunch salads at work

There are tidbits of info in salad threads and work lunch threads around the board, but I'd like to try and pull things together.

I'm looking for salad recipes with a protein component to satisfy at lunch. It's been a while since I've made a full meal salad aside from rudimentary chicken and tuna salads. The more interesting the better, but I'd also appreciate well executed takes on the classics (for some reasons I always screw up steak salad). What are your favorites?

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  1. Chinese chicken salad...I think it's a recipe from Cook's.com that I used, and you can google it. If you don't find satisfactory results, post again and I can paraphrase
    Antipasto - greens with gardiniere, and a variety of Italian cold cuts and cheeses, julienned

    Today I made a quinoa and kidney bean salad (from the most recent issue of Rachael Ray's magazine)
    Chef salads- greens and whatever vegggies you want, topped with whatever cold cuts and cheeses you want
    cobb salad

    1 Reply
    1. re: sunflwrsdh

      chef salad...i agree...
      if im in a hurry..any greens..
      sliced chicken,ham,turkey,bacon..
      any protein u like ..or whats on sale at the deli..
      a little shredded cheese...
      and i like a nice french dressing...
      nice texas toast croutons...

      and if im in a really big hurry...7-11 usually has fresh salads ..to go...

    2. Peanut butter noodle salad, with a spicy asian-style PB dressing and any veggies/meats you like. I usually make mine with Trader Joe's sesame noodles, but have made it with just normal whole wheat spaghetti and extra dressing too and was equally as good. Here's a link to a Chow thread on this very style of salad (I don't have my recipe written down and would have to make it again to remember exactly how I do it haha): http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/531715

      A great grain for lunch salads is wheatberries, usually with either some white beans and vegetables and a vinaigrette-style dressing or with dried fruit, nuts, scallions, and chicken (and blue cheese when I have it on hand, yum) with a mustard-based dressing.

      Lastly, chicken is a great addiion to a Waldorf-style salad.

      4 Replies
      1. re: GardenFresh

        Where are TJ's sesame noodles located ie fresh, or shelf packaged? Do you just add protein to them?

        1. re: lulou23

          They're fresh, in the chill case near the other sandwiches, fresh salads, etc. (at least at my store). I always add lots of veg, usually lightly blanched snow peas and carrots, scallions, and napa cabbage and protein if I have some leftover such as chicken breasts or pork tenderloin lying around. Since the noodles are flavored but not especially saucy, I make a peanut butter dressing with chunky PB, tamari, rice wine vinegar, siracha, sesame oil, and olive oil to dress the veg/protein.

        2. re: GardenFresh

          wait! help! I bought a huge bag of wheatberries and tried to use them to make pilaf and cold saldas...we were gas central at my house. it was awful! Does this not happen to everyone who eats 'em? Is there a way to avoid it? It was actually painful...and we eat a largely high-fiber diet with all whole-wheat breads and cereals and tons of fresh veg, beans, and fruit. Our guts are not wimpy!

          1. re: amyamelia

            Sorry to hear about that, doesn't sound fun. We've never had anything like that happen to us. I'm no expert so I won't even guess why that might have happened. One suggestion would be maybe to soak the berries for a few hours, changing the soaking water a couple times. They don't need to be soaked before being cooked, but maybe the soaking will help somehow?

        3. one way to jazz up your tuna salad is tuna in a tomato....delish!

          1 Reply
          1. re: LaLa

            Oooh, that sounds like inspiration of baked tomatoes with tuna in the stuffing.

          2. Can't wait for goodhealthgourmet to weigh in on this one!

            An interesting salad dressing always does it for me. One of my favorites is a lime/cumin vinaigrette I made up -- goes great on top of mixed greens with some chicken, black beans, cilantro, bell peppers, and whatever other veggies you like in your salad. Roasted peppers are great too.

            Lime Cumin Vinaigrette

            Juice of 3 large limes (about 1/3 C.)
            2 Tbsp. rice vinegar
            1/4 C. extra virgin olive oil
            1/4 C. canola or vegetable oil
            1 Tbsp. agave syrup
            1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
            1/4 tsp. ground cumin
            1/8 tsp. sea salt

            1. Combine ingredients in a glass jar or other reusable container. Cover and shake to combine.

            2 Replies
            1. re: operagirl

              that dressing looks delightful! thanks ;-)

            2. I CAN"T WAIT to eat my lunch today. Mesclun greens, grilled salmon w spicy glaze, roasted asparagus, carmelized onions and balsamic vinaigrette.

              1 Reply
              1. re: shaebones

                Red chile rubbed chicken is a good trade for the salmon. And maybe a few roasted pumpkin seeds for a little crunch.