Perfect Protein Salad

I've been sick all week. I haven't been this bed ridden from sickness for a long, long time. Many, many years. Anyway, in the course of 3 days I got super sick with a high fever, got a cold sore, and had a panic attack. I'm guessing there are some stressors in my life? I was lying here for like the third day this week, thinking what would be really perfect for me, and this salad came to mind.
I love this salad. The inspiration came from that salad from (insert your grocery store's name here). All delis make a version of this. But, my version was far superior:) It's fresh, crunchy, tasty, and makes me feel wonderful. My body loves protein. My body loves LOTS and LOTS of protein. In fact, I really don't function without LOTS and LOTS of protein. And we all know I love vegetables... so this salad is perfect for me.
It's very versatile. It's awesome because you can really use any vegetables you have on hand. I could really go for some broccoli up in here. I wouldn't leave out peppers or celery for their crunch, or onion for it's flavor (obviously). You can mix up the amounts to suit your tastes, but this suits mine. Also awesome is the fact that it makes a huge batch, and it lasts forever, so you can eat it alllll week, and possibly a few days into the next. You can eat it as a side dish with a lovely turkey sandwich on whole grain bread with whole grain mustard, for lunch tucked into a piece of pita bread, over some fresh lettuce or cabbage, or just in spoonfuls straight from the fridge for a protein boost mid-afternoon.

Perfect Protein Salad
So many servings.

2-3 cups cooked wheat berries
2 cups drained garbanzo beans
1-2 cups cottage cheese 
(1 cup cottage cheese, 1 cup feta cheese is great, too)
1 red onion, diced
3 stalks celery, diced
2-3 medium carrots, shredded
1 cucumber, diced
1 pepper, diced
 3-6 green onions, sliced
3 or so cloves of garlic
3 tablespoons raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar with the mother
3-5 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, to taste
fresh parsley, chopped, to taste
1-2 teaspoons dried dill, to taste
1-2 teaspoons of your favorite mixed herb seasoning
2 teaspoons sea salt
1/2-1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Ok, I could add "to taste" after all of the ingredients. You get the picture.

While you cooked those wheat berries was a great time to prep all those vegetables ;) When you've magically done all of that, throw it all in a bowl.


Errr... I can't leave it like that. I like to add the wheat berries to the vegetables, 'banzos, and cheese, then mix. Then I grate the garlic over the bowl with my microplane (this is really important). Then I add the vinegar, lemon juice, herbs, and seasonings. I taste it, and then I re-season accordingly. Don't OVER-season; keep in mind more flavor will develop after it has had time to hang out a bit. You can always re-season after the resting period.

It's best if you let all those lovely flavors meld together in the fridge for a few hours before consuming, or overnight if you can. Just put it in a huge tupperware, or several smaller ones, or better yet use your awesome pyrex mixing bowls to make it in, then pop the lid on.

Enjoy all week:)

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