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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!