Cookin’ in the Kitchen: Gadgets and a Salad How-to

I got a GREAT question on my WIAW this past week and I thought I’d address it as I know a lot of you have been wondering the same thing….what goes into my EPIC lunch salads! :) At least they’re epic to me!

It’s no secret that everyday for lunch I have a huge salad, a bowl of soup, and some sort of sandwich/wrap/cracker combo! But I never really shared exactly how I make those delicious salads! I always make some sort of saute to go on top of mixed greens or romaine and although the process isn’t an exact formula, it always results in a delicious meal! So here is the method to my madness!

healthsalad

1. Grab a saute/frying pan and spray it with some non- stick cooking spray: This is the easy part, no explaination really needed! I would use a medium to large saute pan as a opposed to a smaller one. For me personally I like big salads, so I always need a lot of room to saute up my veggies!

2.Pick your veggies: I usually have two different combinations I choose from, cabbage/onion/celery/peas/tomatoes or zucchini/mushrooms/celery/onion/tomato. But depending on what I have on hand it can vary from day-to-day. I also may add some greens like spinach or kale!

3. Add your flavorings and spices: I love using a mix of balsamic vinegar and tomato puree. My favorite spices to add are Garlic & Herb Mrs. Dash, dried basil, and dried chili flakes! Sometimes I add a few spoonfuls of humus or bean dip as well!

4. Pump up the protein: Canned tuna, canned salmon, chopped turkey burger, or shredded deli turkey are what I usually go for in terms of meat. For non-meat options I love adding beans, homemade baked beans, TVP, sprouted lentils, or tofu.

5. Finish with eggs: Here’s the ‘secret’ to my saute salads! Once everything is almost cooked through and combined I add a beaten whole egg or some liquid egg whites to finish everything off. It makes everything stick together better and of course, adds great texture! I love eggs, so incorporating them into my lunch everyday is a given!

6. Plate and put on your final toppings: Once your eggs are fully cooked through in the veggie mixture, remove your pan from the heat, and place your mixture on a bed of mixed greens, romaine, or raw kale! Top with any other toppings or flavorings you like! I love topping a hot salad with cold salsa….great mix of tastes and textures!

So there ya have it! The secrets behind my legendary lunch salads!

And while I’m on the subject of cooking…I thought I’d share some of the kitchen gadgets I’ve recently acquired that I’ve absolutely been loving!

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Taylor Digital Food Scale: I don’t measure or weigh my food, but I use my digital food scale ALL THE TIME for baking! When you bake with protein a lot and work with small batches, like I often do, it is so important to make sure you’re getting the right proportions of your ingredients. Also, when writing recipes and testing new combinations out for the blog I want to make sure I am coming up with quality recipes that actually work and turn out well for you all! So, the food scale definitely helps with that! I will admit I weighed my normal serving of kabocha out once, just for kicks, and it turns out I usually eat over 500g of the stuff at a time! Clearly I’m obsessed.

Cookina Reusable Cooking Sheets and Oven Protectors:  I received these from Cookina to test out and as someone who uses the oven a lot for baking and roasting, these are AWESOME! The oven guard is perfect for when I’m testing out new recipes and don’t know if they’re going to work out. It protects the bottom of your oven from messy spills or cooking mishaps and makes clean up SO easy. The cooking sheets are amazingly high quality in their non-stick capabilities and they are such a great, eco-friendly alternative to using parchment paper or other disposable cooking sheet options. I love that they’re reusable and clean up is so minimal! Just a quick rinse and you’re good to go for your next cooking endeavor. I’ve tried them with baked goods as well as roasted veggies and have had great results each time. Baked goods cook evenly and don’t stick to the pan and roasted veggies crisp up very nicely! I also like that they come in a big size and can be cut and sized to fit your pans and cooking sheets more appropriately.

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Milk Frother: For some reason I can’t remember what brand this one is, but I picked it up from Target! It’s great for making tea-lattes with nicely frothed almond milk and is also handy for mixing small batches of dips or sauces (like my thai peanut dip or healthy chocolate sauce!). You can make Starbucks quality drinks at home!

So tell me…

What are your favorite kitchen gadgets as of late?

Is there a type of food or food combo you eat on a regular basis?

What’s your go-to salad topper?

Kaila
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Comments

  1. says

    Yeee! I’ve always wondered about those salads- thank you for sharing! I had no idea that you added eggs to the mix every day. I’m definitely going to have to try that!
    I wish I had a milk-frother. So jealous. My most-used kitchen appliances are my toaster, keurig coffee pot, tea pot, and blender! I desperately need a new blender though…mine barely works anymore!
    Emily recently posted…1-21-2014My Profile

  2. says

    I’ve recently jumped on the salads for lunch wagon and I also saute up lots of veggies and protein to top it with. What I never in a million years would have thought to do is add the egg! Mind blown seriously. I’m so trying this out on Monday!

  3. says

    It was cool to learn the method to your madness!! I love big salads and I think it’s cool that you have a general recipe that you can tweak and play with to suit the mood your in or the flavors you’re craving!
    Allie recently posted…Wedding PlanningMy Profile

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