As we’ve said before, we’re not huge fans of salad. We prefer carbs & cheese, but when we find a salad we do genuinely like, we get obsessed. This first happened with the Pablo Picasso salad at Oregano’s Pizza Bistro in Arizona. Sometimes we’d order it instead of pizza…& if you know us, you know how crazy that statement is.After feeling sluggish on work days after eating microwaved frozen food for lunch countless days in a row, we decided we needed a change. That’s when I created this Mediterranean salad with all of my favorite ingredients, including glorious feta cheese. I realized good cheese can make anything delicious.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4 good-size lunches
1 box of Trader Joe’s Rice Medley (brown rice, red rice & black barley)
2 bags of Trader Joe’s Organic Baby Spinach
1/2 red onion
1 can of artichoke hearts
1 jar of Trader Joe’s Organic Pitted Kalamon Olives
1 8oz. block of light feta cheeseSalad Dressing
Olive oil & balsamic vinegar mixture – taste as you go to ensure the perfect flavor!
Trader Joe’s Greek Style Feta Dressing
– Heat 1 pack of rice in the microwave for 3-minutes as indicated (each box comes with 3 packs of rice, so you can keep the others in the freezer until next time!).
– Once heated, put the rice in the freezer while prepping the other ingredients so the heat doesn’t wilt the spinach.
– Dice half of a red onion and set aside.
– Remove liquid from artichoke hearts can and begin chopping into small pieces.
P.S. I get freaked out by the leaves, so I chop the artichoke heart until the leaves start feeling stiff.
– Remove 16 olives from the jar (I use 4 olives per salad, but you can use more if you’d like!).
– Quarter each olive and set aside with space between each set of 4 olives to differentiate.- Remove the cooled rice packet from the freezer and evenly spoon into 4 Tupperware/Ziploc/Gladware containers that you’ll take to school or work.
– Add half a bag of spinach to each container.
– Evenly spoon the red onions and artichoke hearts on the top of each bed of spinach.
– Last but not least, cut the block of feta into 4 equal rectangles. This will give you 2oz. of feta per salad if you want to be “bad” like me, but nutritionists recommend 1oz. of feta per serving. Save half of the block for later if you want to be healthier!
Pro Tip: We learned this from watching What’s Gaby Cooking‘s snapchats: ALWAYS buy blocks of feta cheese rather than pre-crumbled feta. It ends up being cheaper, plus the difference in flavor is insane! You’ll wonder why you ever bought pre-crumbled feta in the first place.
Day of Instructions
– Dish the salad out of the Tupperware/Ziploc/Gladware container and into a bowl.
It will taste better since it feels fancier that way!
– Drizzle the Greek Style Feta Dressing or a balsamic vinegar & olive oil combo atop your salad.
I like to switch off between those dressings to mix-up the flavor while remaining fairly healthy.
I encourage you to try the recipe out and let me know what you think in the comments! Feel free to add falafel (I’ve personally tried this & it’s amazing!) or chicken to the salad if your heart or stomach desires it. Can’t wait to see what you guys think!