Cheap Eats

Healthy Lunch Under $10 - Leaf

Healthy Lunch Under $10 - Leaf

I’m usually the first to start screaming “WHATABURGER!” the moment the bar lights come on. The only reason I eat salads is so I can occassionaly get away with that kind of overindulgence. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate salad. It’s just that I would always rather be eating something else – preferably smothered in queso.

Enter Abbi’s Asian Chicken Salad from Leaf. I don’t know who this Abbi is, or to what degree her awesomeness inspired this salad, but I like her. The outrageous deliciousness of this salad has rocked my world, and I can now join the ranks of those annoying people who (claim to) crave salad.

A crisp blend of shredded cabbage forms the base for this beauty. Bright carrot slices add some serious crunch and bulk, and juicy mandarin oranges sweeten the bowl. Grilled chicken and edamame provide the protein punch that will keep you full through dinner time, and toasted almonds and chow mein noodles come together for a satisfying crunch that will let you forget all about the potato chips you aren’t eating. Tossed in organic sesame ginger vinaigrette, and garnished with black and white sesame seeds, every bite of this salad is a mouth-party of texture and flavor.

At $9.59 this salad is at the high end of the $10 lunch budget, but its freshness, organic (and sometimes locally sourced) fixin’s, and sheer size make it is worth every penny. If you’ve eaten breakfast, this salad is so massive that there’s a good chance it will get you through more than one sitting.

Austin Photo Set: News_Caroline Fabacher_salad under 10_August 2011