My favorite summertime lunch is a fresh salad and sparkling water.  This is a pretty big salad so I was really interested in how it stacks up nutritionally.  I eat this, or a variation of it, almost every single day.  

Salad Bowl

3 cups chopped Romaine
1/2 cup Garbanzo Beans
1 cup Cherry Tomatoes
1/2 cup sliced Cucumber
1/2 cup shredded Carrots
1/4 of an Avocado diced
2 T salad dressing

I was again surprised at just how healthy this meal is.  This salad has about 400 calories and 14 grams of protein in it.  It has over 16 grams of fiber and 500% of my vitamin A requirements are met.  If you would like to see how nutritious your favorite foods are, you can go here and enter the food you are looking at and it will give you the nutritional breakdown. 

On my last post, my dear friend  Terri from Windlost, commented that she thought 30 grams of protein was way short of the 80 grams she was recommended.  Terri is a chemist in Canada so I know she is very smart, way smarter than me!  I went back to my research and could not find anything that said a woman of my age, activity level, etc. should be eating that much protein.  My husband is an avid outdoors man who does a lot of climbing and we use this website for a lot of information.  You can plug in your info and get your protein requirements.  I suppose you have to do what works best for you.  I would use my own general health as a guideline.  Do you get sick often?  Are you overweight?  How are you sleeping and how is your energy level?  How's the condition of your skin and hair?  I think the answers to these questions are far more important than anything we can read.  I guess my best advice would be to use common sense and trust yourself.

 *no animals were harmed making this recipe.


  1. I eat a salad everyday too! It's even better in the summer when I can go right out to my garden and pick everything for it - fresh water, no chemicals, no sprays...but sometimes an occasional bug! :)

  2. Wow, this is a wakeup call for me as far as portion control goes, this would be a sidesalad for me! Well, least not a whole meal. Thx!

  3. Oh yum. wish I could join you for lunch today....

    I would be happy and healthy.

    Xo jane

  4. Yum, your lunch looks delish! I could eat that every day and love chick peas. I think the higher protein thing was an alternate view of protein. I looked on the internet too after I wrote that and was surprised to see much lower numbers. I emailed my friend but did not hear back - I was always feeling guilty for not getting enough. I had remembered her telling me how important it was when you are going to the gym and for good aging to get lots of protein to keep good muscle development, etc. but saw little evidence online. It does seem there are two camps - the high protein camp seems to be the numbers I mentioned and the "regular" camp is the data you mentioned!

    Anyway, as long as you are getting that much as a vegatarian I think you are off to an excellent start. Will let you know if I get any more info on this. xo Terri

  5. I love a salad with many things added....I particularly enjoy it when someone else makes it!
    Kind of like a cup of seems to be better when someone else brews it.
    I add black olives, tomatoes, pea pods, cucumber, red onions, and pumpkin seeds...a simple oil and vinegar dressing and yum.
    I am not get sick too skin is OK, could be better, and my hair grows an inch a energy level could be improved and sleep is better on the boat than at home.
    I could use more wise posts like these from you...keep them coming!

  6. OMG - I would eat a whole avocado with that salad! This is obviously why I am 20lbs overweight.

  7. this is a big salad bowl, not a small cereal bowl. this salad contains 6 servings of vegetables in it. i think the picture is deceiving.

  8. Janet,
    I'm starting to think you're perfect too. What a healthy lunch! It does look like a small bowl in the picture but when you add everything up, it's almost 6 cups of veggies. My salad would be 2 tablespoons of veggies and 6 cups of dressing.

  9. Love salads, and this one looks delish! I assume you make your own salad dressing/vinaigrette? Also, what do you do with the remaining 3/4 (or I guess 1/2 if Larry is home;)- how do you save it and keep it from turning brown. Is Larry a vegan too? No, wait I remember you said he ordered the steak you had a bite of on the anniversary;)... so do you cook meat for him? I know... too many questions!!
    If that's a "big" salad bowl, then that must be one HUGE glass of sparkling water;)!

  10. steve - who told you i wasn't perfect?

    joan - i make my own dressing but occassionaly buy bottled. i keep a vegetable plate in my fridge. it has sliced tomatoes, cucumbers, whatever we are eating that week. it makes assembling salads and sandwiches easy. also, larry calls himself a megan. that's a meat eating vegan if you didn't know. no meat enters my kitchen. but when we go out he will order a cheeseburger. but that is rare. and it is a big salad bowl, not huge but big.

  11. I'm still here! Was blog-hopping around your blog list! Thanks for the quick reply, but... what about those avocado do you keep those from turning brown?? I'm holding out that as a chef you have a secret (other than the lemon juice)?? Hoping so anyway!

  12. I've heard if you keep the pit it in, it won't turn brown. But I've never had one last longer than a few minutes.

  13. joan - if i cut an avocado, it will get used in a day but if not and i only use half, i leave the pit in the other side and place the empty skin back on and wrap it tightly in saran. it will remain green for another day and then slowly start turning.

  14. :-*

    (that's a smooch off to the side, so I don't mess my lipstick and get it on your cheek;)

  15. Can you share your dressing recipe....please?

  16. betty - the dressing on this salad is a little vegenaise mixed with a small amount of ketchup and some chopped herbs. it's a quick version of thousand island.

  17. Thanks for the links Janet, very informative sites.
    Laughed when I read 'megan'. Suppose one could be a degan if still consuming dairy?

  18. Oh, that looks just delicious! I'm so exciting you're sharing your recipes. They are an inspiration! I think I'll go make myself a salad:)

  19. I thought the bowl was smaller than it is, should have read the quantities more closely, phew, don't feel quite so badly! I like my dressings thin, thin, thin: extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, a touch of wholegrain mustard, pinch of salt and sugar and lots of black pepper. MMMM!

  20. yummy, now i am craving for salad! have a great sunday, janet! verbena cottage

  21. Using common sense and trusting oneself are the best words of advice you can give. When you get a chance, please stop by and see me. I have a little something for you:)

  22. Your salad looks so refreshing. The idea of a salad plate containing ready prepped veges is a good idea. Some days I really have to drag myself over to the bench to start washing and chopping.

  23. Dear Janet,

    Your salad looks sooooo good! Would love to fix myself one today as I've had cravings for crunchy lettuce like Romaine. And thanks for the link - can't wait to plug in a few things to see the breakdown!


  24. I was looking through your blog for about 1/2 hour... such gorgeous cottage and gardens you have! ;) You should participate in our "Show Off Your Cottage Monday", every Monday, at my blog, and bring our readers here! ;)

    Nice meeting you!



kindness is never out of style.

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