I love a grated salad, a sort of avant-garde take on the old coleslaw. A few of my favourite vegetables to grate: carrots, beets, kohlrabi, cabbage, daikon radish. A food processor makes quick work of the whole business. Sunday afternoons I take the machine down from the top of the fridge, affix the right hole-y blade, peel the vegetables, cut them into large pieces and then press them down through the chute. I'm a lean mean wood cutter. After 10 minutes, I end up with a week's worth of grated vegetables ready to toss into salad. I squeeze the water out with my hands and package them in a tupperware.
Kohlrabi and carrot are especially good with either black sesame seeds or a sesame oil/lemon/soy dressing, or both.
Beets--colourful, sweet, earthy--are a nice contrast to bold salty white cheese (feta, goat); nuts (raw sunflower, pistachios, honeyed almonds); and peppery greens like watercress or arugula; or lots of fresh chopped herbs, mint and basil in particular.
Here, I tossed the grated beets and carrots with some diced celery, a bit of chopped red onion, lots of fresh mint, some currants and a handful of sunflower seeds. I added ground himalayan sea salt, a bit of white balsamic (the sweetness of balsamic is dynamite with the beets and a bit of course salt), olive oil and then tossed to coat. Avocado chunks would be pretty tasty here too. Then I tore up a handful of washed* red leaf lettuce, buttery and tender, and folded everything into itself. Amazing. Delicous. Lunch in 5 minutes.
I exclusively make my own salad dressings but I also, for the most part, when eating lunch at home just drizzle a vinegar (rice, balsalmic, white wine) and then an oil (canola/olive mixed, light olive, extra virgin olive) and then add ground pepper and course sea salt and that's it. It's delightful and fresh and perfect.
People tend to complain that salad doesn't fill them up but if you eat it like I do, in olympic sized bowls, and you add elements of goodness in addition to base of leafy greens: cooked legumes, edamame, corn, chopped tomatoes, cheese, nuts/seeds, chopped dried seaweed, dried fruit (cherries, apricots, raisins, currants), crumbled cheese, roasted leftover vegetables, steamed cauliflower, you can be surprised at how much you eat and how great you feel. The servings of salad I take to work are seriously downright embarrassing. People are like you eat all that? in one sitting?
*Wasted produce drives me crazy. I don't know how people just don't get to the vegetables in their fridge before they go bad. If that's a problem for you, especially with salad, try this: when you get home from the supermarket toss all of your produce into the sink, take the ends off of things, unravel elastic bands, chop off weedy bits, and soak everything for 10 minutes, even your fruit. Then rinse it off and package it up. Dry the fruit and put it in a bowl for easy eating. Spin lettuce leaves and then throw them in a large freezer ziplock or a large plastic bag and seal. They'll keep perfectly all week. I do this for things like swiss chard, kale, rapini, herbs, celery and it makes for super easy eating.