The Power Lunch Salad

The Power Lunch Salad | happy hearted kitchen

I was going to let this week slip by without a post. Honestly, I haven’t been feeling very inspired lately. It’s kind of a meh time of year isn’t it? There isn’t really any produce in season, my body is craving something fresh and spring-like, but outside its grey and there is nothing fresh and local at the market to feed my warmer weather cravings. Its all sorta – confused. Not long now before new fruits and veg start sneaking in, and I supposed I won’t mind making a few more soups and stews before the weather warms up, but all this in between-ness had me feeling a little, well, in between.

Turns out I didn’t need to look much further than down to my own tupperware for any sort of inspiration. My lunch! This lunch! I have been eating the same thing, or a variation of it, for lunch everyday for months now.

The Power Lunch Salad | happy hearted kitchen
Maple Tahini Dressing | happy hearted kitchen


I call this the Power Lunch Salad, not because I wear a tailored suit with pumps and talk on my blackberry while eating it, (far from it actually!) but because it is a power house meal in so many ways. One – all the vegetables can be found at my local organic market throughout the entire winter season (minus avocado, but we can’t all live in Mexico, can we?). Two – 30 minutes of prep and you can have your lunches sorted for the entire week. Three – its delicious. Four – its filling, yet doesn’t leave feeling heavy when you gotta get back to work. 5 – you can color block it to look like a rainbow. 6 – the dressing. 7 – your coworkers will be jealous. 8 – you have something healthy and delicious to look forward to after breakfast, helps me get through the day. You too? K, good. Seriously guys, the list goes on. Its so damn good.
So you can have your fancy shoes and important conference calls, I’ll just be sitting here, in my moccasins and baking apron, digging into a big ol’ bowl of hippie goodness. Today and every lunch to come.
The Power Lunch Salad | happy hearted kitchen


The Power Lunch Salad
If you can, use whatever vegetables are local and organic to where you are. The fresher the better and thats what makes this so ‘powerful.’ The grains are totally interchangeable, twice a week I’ll cook up a big batch; quinoa, millet, rice, spelt, wheat berries, lentils. Change it up so you don’t get bored.
Ingredients below make 2 salads + some extra dressing. Adapt, double, half as needed. Dressing adapted from over here.
Vegan & Gluten Free (grain dependent).
  • 3/4 cup cooked grains of choice (quinoa pictured here)
  • 1 tablespoon each sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds (pepitas) and sultana raisins
  • 1 large carrot, julienned, ribboned or shredded
  • 1 red beet, thinly sliced using a mandolin or shredded
  • 1 cup cabbage (red or green), thinly sliced
  • 1 cup spinach, roughly chopped
  • 1 avocado, halved and sliced
  • 1/4 cup tahini (if you can find tahini from unhulled sesame seeds, go for it, so much flava!)
  • 1/8 cup nutritional yeast flakes
  • 2-3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • Pinch of flaky sea salt
  • 2-4 tablespoons water, or more as needed
What to do
  1. Prep your ingredients; cook your grains, chop, slice or shred your vegetables
  2. Add seeds and sultanas to cook grains and mix together
  3. Make the dressing: combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth, adding water in tablespoons as you go until desired consistency. Taste and adjust as needed.
  4. Arrange ingredients in a bowl and top with dressing
*For really easy lunch prep, make a big batch of grains at the beginning if the week, and mix in the seeds and raisins. Chop/slice a bunch of veg and keep refrigerated in sealed containers. Make the dressing a keep in a jar in the fridge. Each morning, fill up your tupperware with rainbows! Add avo, always.

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  • What a great lunch. I eat something very similar myself and I love the way it keeps me from getting that bogged down feeling in the afternoons.

    • Thanks Cheri! Salads like this are so great for a little afternoon energy 🙂 J x

  • Beautiful salad and perfect for that “meh” feeling. Avocados are perfect for any power lunch salad. And to funny about phone/heels/eating lunch. Sometimes I feel like I need to be doing that I’m so busy.

  • Sounds awakening!

  • You write just what I’ve been thinking myself – there’s so llittle coming from the garden right now (mostly kale) and I find myself repeating the same dishes over and over. Thank you for the inspiration, I’m sure my daughter will love it too as she prefers salads for school lunches to sandwiches.

    • Thank you! I hope your daughter likes the salad! You could always throw some kale in there too 😉 J x

  • Beautiful salad, beautiful images!

    I’ve been eating a salad nearly identical to yours this week (I use the shred disk on my Cuisinart) because I’ve been feeling a bit run down. I shred my veggies and toss with dressing. I added celery and cucumber. I’m feeling great now! BTWm, I found your photo on Pinterest which drew me to your blog. Glad I did : )

    • Oh love the idea of using a shred disk, so efficient! Thank you! Celery would add some nice crunch too, glad you found me too 🙂 J x