Happy meal.....salad

With so many food options available to consumers, there's really no reason why meal time should be an unhappy time. 

If we ever eat together, you'll notice that I yum a lot. Food makes me happy, especially when it is real food.
I love the taste when ingredients come together and I love exciting my taste buds with new or recently introduced ingredients end up on my plate. 

Almost every day, I make myself a salad for lunch.

Occasionally it is a warm salad (stir-fry) but I typically make a raw salad loaded with vitamins and minerals combined with a grain and vegetarian protein. I find that lunch is the best time for me to load up on veggies as I typically work out in the morning and evening and I don't prefer a lot of roughage after an evening workout and I recover best with a nice mix of carbohydrates (fresh bread, oats, homemade granola, raisins, fruits) and protein (eggs, yogurt or whey protein and milk) for my post workout morning meal.
(I always eat before a workout, no matter the length of the workout - always!). 

 Plus, I find myself enjoying a veggie-filled meal at lunch more so than in the early morning or late evening. I am a firm believer that you have to get to know your appetite and food preferences as knowing when I you will most enjoy and eat your veggies is an important component of meal planning.

 As you can tell from most of my Facebook  pics, I do a lot of stir-fry's for dinner with a mix of grains/starch/potato, veggies, oil/cheese and plant-based protein. There is no shortage of plants (fruits and veggies) in my diet but my lunch meal is often my most plant-dense meal of the day.

I made this salad yesterday and it made me smile. I think it was the starfruit. If you haven't had a starfruit before, it's like a very tart and sour kiwi.

Maybe it's just me but I can't help but smile when seeing stars on my plate...and I get to eat them too!

Here are the ingredients to my happy meal salad:
Thanks to batch cooking on Sunday, most of these ingredients were ready for me so all I had to do was assemble the salad in my bowl. 

Roasted chickpeas with cumin - about 1/4 cup
Tri-colored quinoa (about 1/2 cup)
Park skim mozzarella (more of it went into my mouth while making the salad than on the salad) - about an ounce
Starfruit - about 1/2
Hardboiled egg - 1
Sweet peppers - 3 (1 each; red, orange, yellow)
Onions - chopped to my liking
Avocado - about 1/3
Arugula - big handful
Mixed greens - big handful, then chopped
Lemon juice and olive oil - quirt of lemon juice, drizzle of olive oil