The Healthy Man Salad is designed to break away from the leafy salad, providing protein, complex carbs, flavour and a filling meal designed to satisfy any man.
It is well known that salads and men often do not mix, with a healthy salad often being low on the wish list for the typical Aussie man. The Simpsons once upon a time coined the old saying “you don’t win friends with salad” which lives on to this day.
It is true, and since its creation, has been sung by men around the globe ever since. As an example, I was recently at a friendly BBQ get together, gathering a plate of slow-smoked brisket and the accompanying salad (a colourful homemade slaw). Offering the silver slaw serving spoon to my male companion, he quickly responded with, “you can’t make friends with salad,” whilst gathering another slice of the smokey sliced brisket. Let’s face it, it’s not often when at the pub with your male mates that you hear the words, “I’ll just have the salad.”
Salads are just one of those things; they are just not going to be a staple for the man. Next to the old saying “real men don’t eat quiche” (no seriously, a book has been published about it), the salad is often left to be consumed by the female attendants of the gatherings.
Maybe that is all about to change, and let’s face it with less than 10% of Australians meeting their daily vegetable intake, it wouldn’t hurt if Australian men lead the way and tucked into a salad a little more often. This healthy man salad packs carbs, proteins, some healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals and most importantly a whole heap of flavour. It will leave you feeling full, satisfied and is packed with all the good stuff without having to eat a kilo of greens. It’s a meal on its own and is perfect for the bachelor.
Make it up, leave it in the fridge and eat it throughout the week, or make it to impress that all important date. A man that can cook and a beautiful healthy salad. A winning combination.
So let’s go get it!!
The Healthy Man Salad
Serves – 4 people
Prep time: ~ 20min
Cooking time: ~ 30min
2 roast chicken breasts – Homemade or bought (sliced or pulled into pieces)
3 Eggs – Boiled
4 tbsp basil pesto – homemade or bought
1 bunch fresh basil – leaves picked
2 tsp garlic
½ cup (100g) shredded parmesan
5 tablespoons olive oil
2 tbsp water
5 tbsp Greek yoghurt
1 Lemon juiced and zested
200g green beans – blanched
1 bunch broccolini – blanched
½ punnet cherry toms – halved
100g fetta cheese – crumbled
250g brown rice cooked (about 125g raw) – can also use white
100g sun-dried tomatoes
Roast Vegetables – Use your favourite, here are some suggestions
2 Sweet potato
4 Peeled carrots
2 Spanish onion (Red)
2 Red capsicum
2 Green capsicum
1 TBLS Dried mixed herbs
2 tsp garlic
Some added flavour
100g Pine nuts – Toasted
A quick video of the making of the man salad but remember you can substitute ingredients, use your favourite vegetables and meats, or change out the carbohydrate.
This dish needs several components to be prepared. You can make them in advance, cool them and put them to make a salad in under 5 min. To save time, we will start with the components that take the longest and work backwards so all the ingredients come together. The following may look like a lot of steps but you can either buy or make most components to save time if needed.
1. Roast and break down the chicken – cook a roast chicken, cool, remove the skin, separate meat from bone – wrap and refrigerate
2. Roast the vegetables
b. Cut pumpkin, sweet potato and carrots into chunks
c. Cut roast capsicum into ¼’s and remove stalk and seeds
d. Peel and half onions, slice each half into 4 wedges
e. Coat all vegetables with a large drizzle of olive oil, rub in garlic and mixed herbs
f. Bake for about 25 min until all vegetables are cooked (test with point of a knife)
g. Once cooked, cool, slice larger chunks of vegetables into smaller pieces, keep refrigerated until ready to use.
3. The dressing – Mix the basil pesto, Greek yogurt, lemon juice and zest together, add a small amount of water to create a smooth, pouring consistency
b. Place everything except oil into a food processor and blitz until ground, gradually add oil to make paste whilst machine is running, is slightly thick add some water to thin down slightly – Pesto done!
c. Place Yoghurt, lemon juice and lime into the bowl, mix in a spoon full of pesto, mix and taste, add more pesto and mix until you reach a flavour you like (some people like it weak, some people like it stronger)
d. Thin down with some more water if required, wrap and refrigerate
4. Hard-Boiled eggs
b. Once to boil cover with a lid and remove from heat.
c. Rest for 15min (Set a timer) – covered
d. Cool with running cold water or iced water
e. Peel eggs, slice in half
5. Blanch beans and broccolini
b. Cut off ends of beans, half broccolini and trim stems (the stems are still great to use)
c. Place vegetables into boiling water for 2min
d. Remove and cool down QUICKLY under cold running water or place into an iced water bath
e. Strain away from water, cover and refrigerate
6. Brown rice – Cook or use a pre-cooked product
b. Rain in rice and cook for about 20min or until the grains are cooked
c. Strain and cool quickly by running under cold running water
d. Cover and refrigerate
To save time you can use a pre-cooked product found in most supermarkets
7. Now all the prep it is one its basically add them all components together, dress and serve
b. Dress lightly
c. Place dressed salad onto plate, place eggs, half and place cherry tomatoes, top with crumbled feta, sliced sundried tomatoes and fresh herbs
d. Drizzle with a small amount of olive oil to finish