Recipe: Make It Up Salad


As much as I enjoy meal planning a week in advance, I also enjoy planning to have leftovers and coming up with new meals on the fly! A few weeks ago, I created what I call a “make it up salad” – a salad that you make up on the spot with whatever you have on hand across four salad food groups. For this particular version, I used:


Cous cous, chickpeas, coriander, avocado, roast pork, assorted pickles.


  1. Start off with your ‘filling’ carb element. I find it hard to feel satisfied with a green leafy salad as I get hungry again within an hour, but a hearty salad with a carb component always hits the spot. In this case, I used a cup of cooked cous cous, and a can of chickpeas.  Other alternatives: lentils, vermicelli noodles, pasta, etc.
  2. For energy, add protein. I used some leftover roast pork that I had in the fridge, sliced into thin strips. Other alternatives: shredded BBQ chicken, ham, turkey, seared lamb strips, etc.
  3. For health, add fruit or vegetables. I used an avocado and half a jar of leftover pickled vegetables (again, using up what’s left). I also toyed with the idea of adding some fruit like a diced pear which can be great in salads, but ultimately chose not to. Other alternatives: roast pumpkin, capsicums, carrots, lettuce, etc.
  4. For a flavour kick, add herbs. I used coriander in this instance, as K’s mum has been growing coriander and had some to spare for us. Other alternatives: mint, basil, parsley, dill, etc.

The herbs and pickled veggies actually gave enough flavour to the salad without needing a dressing, but I did squeeze a wedge of lemon over the salad for an extra zing at the end!

Follow my four rules for creating a “make it up” salad (carb, protein, vegetables, herbs) and start using up the bits and pieces in your fridge. It will be a guaranteed flavour explosion!

3 thoughts on “Recipe: Make It Up Salad”

  1. I love your make it up salad Amanda, sounds yum with the roast pork added. I do this with soup, take whatever we have in the bottom of the vegetable crisper and make soup out of it with red lentils and barley. Quite often they turn out to be the best meals. :)

  2. Great recipe Amanda! I make these sorts of things all the time at home! One of my faves recently was some cooked quinoa with slow cooked lamb, currants, orange segments and coriander although ironically I never really have all the ingredients to put together to make it. As you say, you kind of throw everything together from what you have around in the fridge!

Leave a Reply to Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.