10 Minute Leftover Lunch Salad Recipe Idea

What do I serve for lunch at the end of the week here in our corner of the world?  I clean out our refrigerator’s vegetable drawers and raid the pantry to toss together a leftover lunch salad that serves triple duty:  it uses up odds and ends of fresh veggies so that they don’t go to waste, it lets my girls build their own, unique, lunchtime salad creations from random leftovers and it is healthy!  Let me share my tips and a few ideas for a 10 minute leftover lunch salad recipe.

random leftovers on a plate as a balanced, healthy lunch salad

Ingredients for a quick salad from leftovers:

Salad Greens
2 c. Salad Greens
I mix up all of my leftover greens for this!  Fresh spinach, head lettuce, spring mix, romaine leaves--anything green and leafy finds itself trimmed chopped and tossed together!

Fruit and Fresh Veggie Add-Ins   

This is where I clean out the veggie crisper!  
Anything goes unless it’s been marked for another meal!

Chopped onions (Green, red, yellow, or white)
Chopped Bell Peppers (Any color)
Celery or Bok Choy
Tomatoes (any size, color, type)
Veggie Randomness (Chopped asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, snow peas, corn, etc.)
Dried Fruit (Raisins, Dried Apricots, Craisins, etc.)
Fresh Fruit Randomness (Grapes, Pomegranate seeds, Mango, Appleetc.)
Remember--two to three large mushrooms, one stalk of bok choy, 2 Tablespoons of Pomegranate seeds, or one radish work well in 4-5 lunch salads as add-ins!  Chop it up, set it out and see what the family opts to toss into their personalized salads!

A Protein

Try to find about 4 oz. of protein to add to the salad!
Leftover Meat (Grilled chicken, grilled fish, deli sliced turkey or ham, etc.)
Shredded Cheese
Garbanzo Beans, Black Beans
Boiled Eggs (I actually boil a couple of eggs during the week just for this purpose!)
Avocado slices
Pantry Add-Ins

I always have jarred peppers, salsa and a few different salad dressings on hand. 
Banana Peppers
Black Olives
Croutons (either homemade from old bread or packaged)
Salad Dressing
Pinnable image for turning random leftovers into a balanced, healthy lunch salad
Instructions for a 10 Minute Leftover Lunch Salad:

Chop the ingredients to bite sized pieces.  Chop up leftover ingredients so that everyone can toss them into an individual salad--or chop up enough to add into one large salad bowl.

Build the lunch salads from leftovers.  I typically build a salad base of leftover greens--and put out bowls and cutting boards of add-ins so that everyone can build an individual salad.  As always, my younger daughters are more likely to eat a veggie based lunch if they are able to pick and choose their own ingredients for the lunch.  If your family is easier to please--you may choose to build the salads yourself in one large salad bowl.

Serve.  We serve with breadsticks or garlic bread and a selection of both store bought and homemade salad dressings.

Sometimes this is the perfect mom-lunch as well--and these salads frequently find their way into school and work lunches as a fresh side dish or a main course!  I can pick and choose my ingredients and use up "stray" veggies throughout the week--and eat healthier without a lot of time and effort. This also makes a great Meatless Monday lunch too since you can choose the protein from non-meat items on hand!

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  1. Thanks for being so awesome. And because your are so awesome, I have nominated you for a Liebster award! Check out the link for more details!! xoxo

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  3. What a great idea. i love having salads at work because they're light & they don't make me want to pass out at my desk on a pile of files. I'm a new follower through Twitter & Pinterest. Have a great weekend!




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