Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Salad Love

I'm in love. In love with a salad, from the most unlikely of places. This weekend we scoped out a new spot in Studio City called Take a Bao. It's a casual Asian spot to grab a quick steamed bun, rice bowl, salad or stir fry with a cold beer on the side. We only had time for a quick bite so we thought we'd be in and out, but I was surprised to find such a gorgeous and welcoming interior awaiting us.

I learned that Take a Bao has an impressive selection of draft beer, bottled beer, wine, sake and house cocktails. On my next visit I will definitely be sampling some booze. But back to that salad...

Justin ordered bao while something on the salad menu caught my eye. Something called the Eight Veggie Salad. You know I love me some vegetables, so cue the chorus.

I was anticipating something light and healthy, but what I got was a salad so beautiful I had to snap a picture on my iPhone. You can't picture the scale from the photo, but I assure you, this bowl was grandiose. The fresh salad included roasted corn, edamame, sugar snap peas, avocado, cucumbers, tomatoes, sprouts and romaine hearts, topped with sesame seeds and an Asian vinaigrette. The tangy flavors and crunch instantly won me over and I immediately wanted to share the salad with other salad-loving friends. Can you think of the last time you got excited about a salad? Exactly. It's that good. Even Justin, who isn't a salad guy, gladly ate half.

Inspired by my meal at Take a Bao, I tried to recreate my beloved salad at home for a healthy and portable lunch for the work week.

I included many of the essentials in a tupperware- corn, edamame, cucumber, tomatoes, shredded lettuce, sesame seeds - but added sliced red bell pepper, shredded carrot and green onions. Then I packed a separate container with a Cashew Tamari dressing my bestie gifted me from Mother's Cafe and Garden in Austin. It has just the right amount of Asian influence to go perfectly here.

A minimal amount of work in the evening, just chopping and slicing really, amounts to a feast you can enjoy the next day right at your desk if you wish.

I'm always looking for new ideas for healthy, packable lunches so I'm so glad this salad inspiration came my way. What are some of your favorite portable lunches?


  1. that salad looks yummo. The edemame is a great source of protein too! I've been so lame this year with my lunches. A mixed salad, some yogurt, and fruit are pretty typical. But sometimes I like to roast a ton of veggies on Sunday and use them throughout the week in cold pastas, over salads, or wrapped up in a tortilla.

    1. Ooo, Justin will like that about the protein. He's trying to bulk up for the wedding. Don't you hate it when guys are like "Ugh, I just can't gain weight!"