Its Jethro bowl salad season…

Baby romaine, grilled chicken, green olives, marinated artichoke hearts, cherry tomatoes, pepitas, balsamic vinaigrette, crushed exotic veggie chips...in a big mixing bowl!

Baby romaine, grilled chicken, green olives, marinated artichoke hearts, cherry tomatoes, pepitas, balsamic vinaigrette, crushed exotic veggie chips…in a big mixing bowl!

A little backstory on the concept of a “Jethro” bowl in case you are unfamiliar with the term. I first heard this from my ex-husband one day when I filled a mixing bowl with Fruity Pebbles cereal. He said, ‘woah, you gonna eat that whole Jethro bowl?’ and proceeded to explain it as an inspiration from the character Jethro on the old television series The Beverly Hillbillies. While certainly Jethro is a bit of a stereotype, he has an insatiable appetite for adventure and trying new things which is what I believe makes him appealing.  Also, this was one of my favorite shows as a kid so immediately the term stuck hard.

Although we didn’t call it a Jethro bowl when I was a kid, we did have a family tradition of eating huge bowls of cereal as a comfort act. Changing this behavior and attitude towards food has been a recent success as I realized I had adapted my versatile chicken bowl concept to salads.

Similar to the chicken bowl, the Jethro salad bowl is a platform for greens + veggies + protein. Although you can portion and freeze some of the ingredients, with a salad it is easier to just keep ready to go elements in the fridge or pantry and toss them together in your giganto bowl.

My typical recipe consists of:

  • 2 or more big handfuls of your favorite greens (baby arugula, baby kale, spinach, romaine, mixed greens, chard…)
  • 3 to 5 ounces of lean protein (chicken, steak, tofu, tuna…)
  • Another type of veggie (tomatoes, carrots, cucumber, avocado, broccoli, cauliflower…) or fruit depending on the type of salad you are making (mandarins, banana, strawberries, blueberries…)
  • Small amount of nuts (pumpkin seeds, walnuts, pecans, peanuts, almonds, pistachios…)
  • 1 or 2 small amount fun things for taste/texture (artichoke heart quartered, olives cut in half, dried cranberries, diced avocado, a bit o’ cheese, chia or hemp seeds, wheat berries, quinoa or freekeh…)
  • Spices! Get to crackin’ with pepper, sprinkle that turmeric or cumin (or toasted cumin seeds)…
  • Drizzle a reasonable amount of dressing (try to make your own) favoring vinegar + oil based combos. If you are usually a dressing fiend, try doing the trick where you have some on the side and dip your fork in it and then grab some salad.

While you will definitely get more enjoyment and satiation from a salad with some added fats, remember the focus needs to be on the greens, veggies/fruit, and protein. The rest is the gravy to add variety and fun to that big ol’ bowl of food adventure.

In order to make this a no excuses meal, have a variety of parts ready to go, especially the greens and protein. The veggies/fruit and fun bits could be whatever is in season or on hand. Sometimes you don’t know what combos you’ll like until they duke it out in your salad bowl! What combos have you tried that were successful?

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