We had a family picnic last week, and I made this salad out of our end-of-week fridge:

For your own salad brain, these are things that dance well together: good dressing (many possibilities in the pantry), greens, some crunchy things, a protein (beans, meat, egg, etc), other textures (starches, soft things like avocado, sweet potato, goat cheese).

Here’s how this one worked out.


  • Dressing: lemon zest and juice, Dijon mustard, salt, maple syrup
  • kale
  • bell pepper
  • leftover chicken breast, brown rice, mushrooms
  • cherry tomatoes
  • sweet potato
  • Everything but the Bagel Seasoning

Start the dressing in the bottom of your bowl. You need an acid, an emulsifier, salt, and something sweet if you want that.

This is lemon zest, juice, Dijon mustard, salt, and a little maple syrup;

Then see what kind of greens you have. We had a big ole bag of untouched kale, so that’s what I grabbed. Put it in your dressing and squeeze those greens. Kale needs encouragement.

We had leftover chicken breast, brown rice, and shrooms, so I threw that on there. Leftover starches and proteins are great in sallets.

I added cherry tomato, an orange bell pepper, a leftover sweet potato, and Everything but the Bagel Seasoning from TJ’s.

And there you have picnic deliciousness. Don’t forget the forks.