I have this issue at work. It has nothing to do with my coworker. It’s not the actual work or my bosses, although I could tell you a thing or two about both of those. It with our cafeteria. It’s amazing! Like fill up your plate till it’s embarrassingly overflowing with food.
It wasn’t always like this. They recently changed chefs and this new guy is not messing around. There’s a full salad bar and a salad of the day, grill, sandwich and wrap station, main entrée and vegetarian entrée tables, plus soup and fresh fruit. And did I mention it’s only three dollars!?!
I go in with good intentions. Just a salad and soup, maybe a half sandwich on a croissant. By the end I have so much food that I know there’s no way I’m going to eat it all. And an even worse feeling than knowing I got too much food is that you are going to throw away a good portion of it. That kills me!
My office is in a not-so-nice neighborhood of LA and I know there are tons of kids and families that would love this kind of spread every day and to throw any of it away breaks my heart.
The best way I can avoid overeating and, better yet, throwing away food is to bring my own lunch. I do really good some weeks and others I completely fail. If I don’t make up my lunch on Sunday for the whole week, it’s probably not going to happen. Unless we have leftovers from dinner. It’s too hard to come home, make dinner, blog, and try to make lunch for the next day. This week I wanted to make a hearty salad that would fill me up for the day but still be packed full of veggies and fruit and all kinds of good stuff. And I totally outdid myself. I am bonkers, crazy about this salad!
Love kale, quinoa and butternut squash all on their own, but throwing them all together creates such a crazy mix of flavors. I also added raspberries (love!), goat cheese, walnuts and dried apricots plus a little red onion for a kick. Seriously, I cannot get over it! The dressing is a simple mix of coarse-grain mustard, apricot preserved, EVOO, balsamic vinegar and garlic which completely compliment everything plus gives the quinoa a beautiful flavor.
I had it today and I’ll have it tomorrow (especially now since I had three chocolate chip cookies writing this post)!
- 1 small butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1" pieces
- 1 tablespoon honey
- ½ tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup quinoa
- 2 cups water
- 2 bunches kale, washed, stems removed and finely chopped
- 1 cup raspberries
- ½ cup crumbled goat cheese
- ½ cup walnuts
- 4-6 pitted and sliced dried apricots
- ¼ red onion, coarsely chopped
- 1 tablespoon course-grain Dijon mustard
- 2 small or 1 large clove of garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon apricot preserves
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and toss cubed squash with honey and olive oil.
- Spread onto a baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes.
- Remove squash from the oven and allow to cool.
- Prepare the quinoa by combining 2 cups water with 1 cup quinoa in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce head and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until the quinoa is cooked and the water is completely gone.
- While the quinoa and squash are cooking, prepare the dressing. In a large bowl whisk the mustard, garlic, apricot preserves, olive oil, and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper.
- Once the dressing is complete, add all your other ingredients to the bowl - kale, raspberries, cooled squash and quinoa, goat cheese, walnuts, apricots, and onion.
- Toss until evenly dressed.