So last week I entered on a self-imposed Instagram food-venture called #saladweek. I wanted to kick-start some healthier habits and with the warmer weather nearing, I figured I’d put it out there and commit to a salad a day for a week. I don’t like eating the same thing every day, especially salad, so I got creative. And I’m happy to report, a new salad habit was formed in just a week.
That week was off to an enthusiastic start with a fridge loaded up with a ton of veggies and lots of recipes in my head. But, by day two, about 3 p.m. in the afternoon, I got ‘hangry’. That’s Hungry + Angry. A deadly combo. That arugula salad with strawberries was just not doing the trick. Actually, I’m not going to lie, I was hangry after that Greek salad on day one too. I ended up supplementing my light and healthy lunches with late afternoon chips. My bad. I didn’t realize I had to also pack a zillion healthy snacks during #saladweek. Lesson learned. Day 3 I loaded up with some potatoes and tuna in the no-egg Nicoise and the afternoon ‘hanger’ didn’t really happen. Day 4 got some wakame seaweed salad with my sushi takeout. Let’s call it a #humpday hiccup.
By Day 5, something weird happened. I started craving salad. That’s when the two-a-day salad situation started. A salad at two meals was actually delicious and satisfying. I ended up doing 9 salads in 8 days, and there was only one day I didn’t have any salad. Not too shabby.
Haloumi is a semi-hard cheese, usually made from sheep’s milk (sometimes with goat and/or cow’s milk too) that can be grilled. Warm cheese in a salad is amazing. You must try. This was probably my favourite salad from #saladweek.
What have I learned from #saladweek? Let me share:
- Have a game plan before you go grocery shopping (a general idea of recipes, ingredients will keep you from running to the store every night)
- Pack snacks… LOTS of snacks
- Make sure to include some protein
- A mix of textures, colours, and flavours keeps it interesting (and probably more nutritious)
- Make enough for dinner and lunch for the next day if possible
- Be creative and have fun
So now that #saladweek is over, I’m no longer doing salad every day. But I am eating a lot better and healthier than I was before #saladweek. I have so many more new salad recipes to share with you, and hopefully it’s inspired you to try eating more salads too. Salad-spiration. And just to clarify, that’s sounds like Salad + Inspiration NOT Salad + Perspiration.
PS – For pictures of what I’m eating / cooking, follow me on Instagram here.
Grilled Haloumi and Fresh Herb Salad
(serves 4 as a side or 2 as a light starter salad)
- 8 ounces haloumi cheese, sliced 1/4″ thick
- 1 medium zucchini, cut in 1/4″ thick slices
- 2 cups arugula
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped
- 2 sprigs fresh mint, leaves rough chopped
- Canola oil
- Flaked sea salt and pepper to taste
- Sumac and sesame seeds for garnish (optional)
- 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/2 garlic clove minced
- 1 tsp white wine vinegar
- 1 tsp honey
- 1 tsp canola oil
Preheat grill pan to medium high heat. Lightly brush zucchini with oil and grill on each side for 1 to 2 minutes until lightly browned grill marks appear. Set aside. Lightly brush haloumi slices with oil and grill on each side for 1 to 2 minutes, until lightly browned grill marks appear.
Meanwhile, combine dressing ingredients in large mixing bowl. Add a small pinch of salt and pepper to taste. Add arugula and fresh herbs and toss to combine. Add grilled zucchini and haloumi and gently mix to combine. Divide the salad between plates, making sure to evenly distribute the cheese. Garnish with sesame seeds, and sumac if desired. Serve immediately.
Recipe Note: Sumac is a middle Eastern spice that tastes like lemon. Optional of course, but totally delicious if you can get it.