The latest episode of Garner's “#PretendCookingShow" teaches us to make salads that are actually satisfying.  

Zee Krstic
November 06, 2018

Sure, in the beginning of the week, it sounds great to take a big-batch salad to work for lunch—but salad fatigue is totally real, and I've tried so many different things to keep lunch interesting. I was just thinking about meal prepping yet another bowl of tahini- and lemon-dressed greens when I stumbled upon the salad guru I never thought I'd find—Jennifer Garner.

Jennifer Garner knows a thing or two about keeping meals interesting. When she's not busy running her new baby food brand, the actress and mother of four shares cooking tips as part of her "#PretendCookingShow" series on Instagram. Blessing all those who regularly munch on a bowl of greens for lunch, Garner shared her go-to salad formula that not only tastes delicious, but also keeps remarkably well for weekday work lunches.

Jennifer proves, yet again, she's just like us in sharing that her salads were once "limp carrot shavings and too-cold tomatoes." But she's come up with a foolproof method for making salads that are filling, full of texture, and long-lasting (bye, wilted iceberg).

Garner tends to favor seasonal ingredients, but her formula always stays the same: fresh greens, raw vegetables, a mix of grains or a hearty protein, a generous dose of satisfying fats, and just a splash of dressing.

The only thing we can can find wrong here is her form—Jen, sweetie, watching you slice that avocado in your palm is making me sweat. Haven't you heard what happened to Joy Behar?!

More of Jennifer Garner's easy tips and tricks on Instagram:

Jennifer Garner/Instagram

But I'd like to thank our new favorite cooking show host (seriously, when is someone going to get her off Instagram and onto a real network?!) for showing me how easy it is to make salad fun again. Like me, Garner is a big fan of chopped salads (so “you aren’t battling a dinner plate-sized hunk of lettuce every other bite") which makes following her directions truly easy: simply toss your choices into a bowl and go to town!

Here's Jennifer Garner's recipe formula for the ultimate salad:

1) Start with a blend of greens: Kale, peppery arugula, a sweet butter lettuce mix, or Swiss chard all work here.

Tara Donne

2) Chop or julienne a mix of raw or roasted vegetables to add texture (you can skip the croutons!): Green beans, broccoli, bell peppers, butternut squash, or Brussels sprouts would all be great for adding crunch.

3) Add a generous serving of healthy fats: Roasted almonds (or any nuts), some cheese, or creamy avocado all add satiety, so you won’t be starving at 3 p.m.

Caitlin Bensel

4) Pick a protein: Try a scoop of quinoa, tofu, sliced chicken, or as Jennifer says, "whatever else sounds good."

5) Keep your dressing simple: Either straight olive oil (a great choice if you buy these high-quality, flavorful options) with a squeeze of lemon, or a straightforward vinaigrette. Make a big batch to portion out over the week and you'll avoid soggy lettuce.