The Subtle Art of Rejuvenating Your Sad Desk Salad

By Emily Metzger – April 1, 2021

With spring in the air, change is upon us. Switching up routines or products is something to encourage and even celebrate because it keeps your routine exciting. Keep this mantra in mind as I explain, and hopefully convince you, that vast changes are not necessary for growth. A subtle tweak to any aspect of your life can keep you mentally or physically out of the shelter that is your comfort zone. 

One of the biggest ways individuals can get stuck in routines is with their diet. However, now, due to COVID-19, there are more reasons why individuals are limited to experimenting with new foods and prefer adhering to certain grocery stores, food products or restaurants. Yet for those this does not account for, attempting to refresh your at-home meals can be a fun and exciting way to stimulate subtle change. 

A versatile meal that everyone can enjoy due to its range and customizable ingredients is a salad. Often, people are daunted by the fact that their kitchen does not house all the ingredients that a restaurant has accessible. Others feel the prep and creation can be time-consuming, messy and a pain to clean up. So, instead of trying simple salad recipes and ingredients, you nix the meal idea all together. As we ring in the new season of spring, getting out of your comfort zone starts with trying new ways to get in those greens. Here are three DIY salad recipes that will teach you the subtle art of rejuvenating your sad desk salad.

Chinese Cucumber Salad

For those who love Asian cuisine, this simple Chinese Cucumber Salad is a must. Its minimal ingredients and prep time make it perfect for workers on the go.


– 5 small cucumbers

– ¼ cup minced garlic

– 1 tablespoon sushi vinegar

– ½ tablespoon mirin 

– lemon juice 

– ½ tablespoon sugar

–  sea salt

-1 teaspoon sesame oil

 – 1 teaspoon chili oil

– fresh chilis

– sesame seeds

 To begin, cut the five small cucumbers and smash them down into bite-size portions. Next, in a bowl, mix the minced garlic, sushi vinegar, mirin, lemon juice, sugar, sea salt, sesame oil and chili oil. The lemon juice and sea salt can be added for taste, so add however much you prefer. Finally, top it off with fresh chilis and sesame seeds, and you have yourself a refreshing, light salad. To make it more hearty, you can opt-in a protein or carb such as chicken or noodles. 

Barley Chickpea & Pear Salad

Grain-based salads are a fun take on typical salads, and this Barley Chickpea and Pear Salad is no exception. Although not as fast as the cucumber salad, the flavorful taste makes it worth the prep. 


– 1 cup pearl barley

– 1 ½ pears

– 1 cup chickpeas

– ⅓ cup tomatoes

– ⅓ cup walnuts

– ¾ cup feta

– ¼ cup parsley

– arugula

 Start off by adding the uncooked pearl barley to water and bring to a boil. Then let it simmer — this should take around 20 minutes or when the barley is soft. Simultaneously, you’ll want to cook the chickpeas. You can do this by draining and adding the chickpeas to water and also bringing to a boil and simmer. This can take up to 40 minutes, and a good tip is to simply take one out and check if they are tender. Next, cut up the pears. If you have extra pear, this can be a good topping to save for later. Then, in a bowl, start off with a handful of baby arugula. Add in your cooked barley, pears and cooked chickpeas. Next, add in your tomatoes, chopped parsley, walnuts and feta. For dressing, to keep it effortless, add in however much olive oil you prefer with a pinch of salt and pepper. Finally, you have yourself a delicious Mediterranean salad with some crunch and sweetness!

Mango Salad

Last, but certainly not least, is one of the quickest yet mouth-watering recipes. If you’re craving a tropical salad, this Mango Salad will definitely satisfy your summer sweet tooth. 


– baby spinach

– 2 mangos

– 2 avocados

– 1 tomato

– 1 package of mozzarella pearls

– 2 limes

– ⅓ cup olive oil

– 1 teaspoon salt

– 2 tablespoons of sugar.

To begin, add two handfuls of baby spinach into a bowl. Cut the two mangoes, two avocados and tomato into bite-size pieces and add to the bowl. Then, add the package of mozzarella. For the dressing, start off by squeezing the two limes into a small bowl. Next, add your olive oil, salt and sugar. Stir the dressing until it has a creamy consistency. Finally, top the salad with the dressing, mix and enjoy! 


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