Greens to get through the day

This green goddess salad is full of fiber, protein and nutrition

At this point, I know myself very well, and I have reached my limit.

The school year is winding down and we’re all anxious for the freedom of mostly unscheduled days and the relief of summer sunshine. The lunchroom is louder day by day, the kids are distracted and ready to sleep until their bodies wake them instead of a tired parent or alarm, and the teachers are just holding it together — and holding them together — for the last couple weeks of instruction.

But our work isn’t done yet, and some of the most important events of the year are ahead of us, so I must buckle down and push aside the allure of senioritis to end the year as strong as I started.

Every morning all year long I have made myself a fresh lunch to take to work with me, and it has been mostly the same for many months: a salad with kale, green leaf lettuce, shredded red cabbage and shredded carrot with whatever protein I have leftover in the fridge, a side of sweet peppers or cherry tomatoes, plain Greek yogurt with chia and pumpkin seeds and berries, and some of my homemade radish kimchi.

This meal is best when chopped fresh each morning, and it hasn’t been much of a chore … until now. I shuffle downstairs and sigh in front of my coffee machine wishing my work was already done and I could just sit in the blessed quiet for a while before my day starts. Well, future Tressa, your wish is granted.

This green goddess salad (left undressed) can be made in large batches, long in advance, and will cut your morning workload down to the barest minimal effort without sacrificing flavor or nutrition and will certainly dissuade you from the temptation of fast food and all its ill-effects. This green goddess salad is full of fiber, protein, and nutrition, and when paired with some pita crackers or tortilla chips makes a complete and satisfying meal.

Green Goddess Salad

Ingredients for meal prep — 5 days of lunches:

For the salad

½ large head green cabbage

1 large cucumber

2 cans chickpeas

¼ cup chives

1 bunch green onion

For the dressing

1 cup fresh basil

1 cup spinach

¼ cup chives

1 shallot

2 large garlic cloves

The juice of 1 lemon

¼ cup nutritional yeast

¼ cup hemp heart seeds

2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar

¼ cup high quality olive oil

Salt to taste


Chop your cabbage into very small pieces and put in a large mixing bowl. The trick with this salad is to have all the ingredients finely chopped so the texture is homogeneous and the flavors meld easily.

Wash and chop the cucumber into tiny pieces, peel on, and add to the bowl. The cucumber peel provides texture and nutrition that is important to the final dish, so resist the urge to remove it.

Finely chop the chives and green onion and add to the bowl.

Drain and rinse the chickpeas and add to the bowl.

In the bowl of your blender or food processor combine the basil, spinach, chives, shallot, garlic, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, hemp seeds, vinegar and olive oil, and blend until very smooth. At least 1 minute.

Store the salad and the dressing separately and combine in the morning as you pack your lunch. Taste the dressed salad and add salt to taste. Serve with crackers or chips … and don’t forget your sweet treat.