After over a year of religious trips to the Pret a Manger across the road from work, I came to the realisation that I was just as capable at making an exciting salad. Not only that, it would definitely save me money. It was one of those things that seemed like too much effort to do initially. But looking back now, it seems ridiculous that I was having such an internal squabble about it. Fun fact about me, I can eat a lot. So if I am going to go healthy and have a salad it needs to be super filling or its a no go. Also, I am a sucker for melted cheese, so anything that doesn't include that has to be pretty darn tasty. Brief done, I bring to you my salad that fills you up:

THE BASE

I like to make up a big batch of quinoa on the weekend and use it for meals throughout the week. This stuff is super filling and kind of just tastes of what ever you plop on top of it, so you can make a real variety of dishes with it. It also means that your salad isn't quite so leafy, so you feel like you're having more of a hearty meal. I also tend to add some spinach (cooked or raw) and an egg (hard boiled or scrambled). That's all stuff you can make before hand and keep in the fridge to use as and when you need it.

THE TOPPINGS

The base is the filling bit, so the toppings is where the flavour comes in. I tend to quickly chop up whatever vegetables I have laying around, usually tomato and avocado. Here I've also got cucumber, because you know... I was feeling crazy. If you're feeling extra fancy you can also grill/roast some vegetables to keep on hand throughout the week as well... sweet potato is a personal favourite. Or courgette....that's good too. Or peppers... the possibilities are endless- go crazy.

THE EXTRAS

That makes a pretty good salad on its own, but for all the carnivores out there I highly recommend adding some cold meats or a small tin of tuna. Drizzle some balsamic over the top and jobs a goodun. Seeing it all written out, it seems like a lot, but if everything is prepped I promise it will take you under 5 minutes. Under 3 if you're a speedy chopper.

* Marmite crisps are optional, but I seriously suggest you try them. Even the marmite haters. They are divine.