Fondue. Chili in a bread bowl. Grilled cheese and tomato soup. These are just a few of the mouthwatering, warming foods that come to mind when I think of a ski lunch. Anything cheesy, gooey, and bready is the ultimate indulgence after a hard morning of shredding on the slopes. One meal almost never comes to mind when its 1 p.m. and I’ve been skiing for four hours: salad.
In the spirit of New Year’s resolutions, I started wondering if there were any healthy substitutes for my favorite lunches. Rendezvous Lodge, the restaurant at the top of the gondola, has a huge salad bar that could tempt even the most vegetable-phobic individual.
I know what you’re thinking…between shivering in the cold and all that physical exertion, skiing can leave you seriously hungry. Are a few pieces of romaine and some carrots going to do the trick? Enter: the protein packed loaded salad.
At about $16, the salad bar option doesn’t run cheap, so don’t be afraid to pile it high. One of my favorite combinations is baby kale, broccoli, chickpeas, green peas, and beets. Kale and broccoli are both excellent sources of Vitamin K, which aids with responding to injuries and bone health. Chickpeas and green peas serve as good sources of vegetarian protein, and beets offer a huge dose of iron. For an extra helping of protein, I like to add crumbled hard boiled egg. With a power lunch like this, you’ll be feeling even stronger on your next ski day.
Grain bowls are another delicious option. Here, I like to go Waldorf-inspired and add dried cranberries, blue cheese, and onions to a base of quinoa and mixed baby greens. For those days when greens aren’t calling out to you, quinoa is an excellent alternate base.
Let’s talk dressing — the salad bar always has olive oil and balsamic vinegar, which works well on almost any combination. They also have a thick balsamic vinaigrette which I love on my cranberry grain bowl.
After a few days on my salad bar kick, I discovered that I didn’t get the same sugar cravings in the afternoon that I tend to get when I have my bready, cheesy lunches. While I’m certainly not ready to go gluten or dairy free, I’m thrilled to have found a tasty and filling alternative.
Pro tip: head to the grill station to get a warm piece of chicken or veggie burger to add on top.