Almonds and a Diet Coke. That was my sad lunch today.
As someone who feels that lunch is one of the highlights of the day (sandwiched between chocolate snacks and bedtime), having a bad lunch is more than just a little depressing.
To all you out there who can just “forget” to eat lunch, I can’t sympathize. To forget to eat lunch would be like forgetting about that big pile of miscellaneous garage sale stuff sitting in our living room. AS IF.
One of the most glamorous things about a teacher’s job is eating in a teacher’s lounge. Imagine a rainbow of educational goodies on every wall, the sweet music of lunchroom chaos every time the door opens, and the overabundance of smallish plastic sporks, which, by the way, are really good at making you look like you don’t know how to eat.
This is why lunch – the actual lunch – better be seriously good.
When I saw Sara’s yummy salad a few weeks ago, I knew it was the ultimate epitome of lunch. So I made it, and made it again, and made it yet again using a tiny bit more grains for my big lunch appetite. I love it. Love love love.
It’s portable, it’s healthy, it’s pretty, and it’s loaded with texture and flavor. The bulgur and edamame anchor the whole deal; the grapes, walnuts, caramelized onions, honey, and blue cheese are the crowning glory that makes it all come together. The fresh handful of spinach at the end keeps things feeling fresh and green. I like to feel fresh and green.
Don’t eat almonds and Diet Coke for lunch.
A sweet, nutty, power salad is calling.
This honey walnut power salad is completely loaded with good stuff: edamame, grapes, blue cheese, bulgur, walnuts, spinach, and honey.
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
- 2 cups seedless red grapes, washed and cut in half
- 2 cups edamame (I did a quick steam-in-the-bag variety)
- 1 cup uncooked bulgur or other grain
- 3/4 cup walnuts
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/4 cup water
- fresh baby spinach
- crumbled blue cheese
- salt to taste
- Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over low heat. Add onions and saute on low for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onions are soft, golden brown, and almost sweet tasting.
- While onions are still cooking, pour bulgur and 2 cups water into a saucepan; bring to a boil and cook for 15 minutes, until most of the moisture has absorbed and the grains are soft enough to eat. Let cool for 15 minutes.
- When onions are done, stir into the bulgur so the butter is absorbed by the grains. Season with salt.
- Combine grapes and edamame in a large mixing bowl. Add cooled bulgur and walnuts. Whisk water and honey; pour over mixture and stir well. Add fresh baby spinach and crumbled blue cheese just before serving.
Makes about 8 cups, so each serving is 1 heaping cup.
I am going to be taking some time off from ye ole Pinch of Yum next week. Don’t worry – everything’s fine. I just need a few days to do things like put my feet up and eat cookies.
Have a great week you crazy food lovers!