I've kind of debated about doing a "recipe" with this, since it's more of a set of ideas than a real recipe. But since about 50% of my lunches for probably the last 5 years consist of this salad (which I recently saw a variation of in a cookbook - they called it the "Hugh Jass" salad ... say it out loud!), I figured it was probably worth sharing...
As a working mom for several years I was always rushing to get myself ready and out the door, and did not have much time to prep a decently nutritious lunch. I didn't like to rely on eating out for lunch (both for cost and nutrition reasons), nor could I bring myself to eat uber-processed frozen meals. I discovered that I could quickly prep this salad either the night before or in the morning by putting everything but the dressing in a medium-sized (about 1 quart) ziploc container. Then I'd tote it and a bottle of dressing in my lunch bag to work, and at lunchtime all I had to do was pour a little dressing on, give the container a good shake, and I had a nutritious and filling lunch salad in less time than it took my coworkers to peel the cellophane off the top of their frozen entree!
Now that I'm a stay-at-home mom, my lunch salad has not fallen by the wayside. I find that I am still turning to it frequently for those days that I'm packing lunch for an outing with the kids or just need to fit something in quick so that I can get the kids down for nap time. Now the alternative I'm avoiding is daily repetitions of peanut butter and jelly, but the idea is the same. This gives me a quick, easy, and portable lunch that I can feel good about!
This "recipe" is constantly changing, with new combinations on a daily basis. I'm always looking for good ideas to liven things up ... Let me know what your favorite salad toppings are by leaving a comment!