Salad making for dummies

What you need for a good salad

  • 1. Pick a kind of lettuce as a base, I prefer organic. Romaine, watercress or mix different lettuces up.
  • 2. Pick 1, 2 or more vegetables that you add raw or grilled. Like cucumber, tomatoes, grilled mushrooms, red peppers, onions.
  • 3. Add a protein. If you go vegetarian you can choose nuts. If you eat meat you can add grilled organic chicken, beef, bacon or other options. And fish: tuna, salmon, grilled shrimp or scallops as a few examples. Avocado is a nice topping as it is filling
  • 4. Add extra toppings like dried fruits to make the salad get a sweet flavor (raisins, cranberries, grapes, strawberries or other fruits)
  • Add cheese to make it more hearty (goat cheese, blue cheese, parmesan, gouda or other cheeses)
  • Add finishing toppings. Seeds, sprouts or anything else you can think of too add.
  • 5. And last: add your dressing! *Simple salt, pepper and olive oil tastes great with good ingredients in a salad.
  • If you want to go to an asian twist: add soy sauce based sauces to the dressing.
  • If you want to go light, add yoghurt in the dressing.
  • When you want to go sweet & spicy, add a bit of spicy red pepper flakes in dressing with honey

Ingredients which taste great together and in combination are great:

  •  Goat cheese, cranberries & pistachios
  •  Romaine, parmesan, croutons
  • Tomatoes, cucumbers, salt, pepper
  • Goat cheese, roasted pumpkin, sunflower seeds
  • Walnuts & blue cheese.
  • Avocado is always great to add to every salad. Tomatoes and cucumbers almost always are good ingredients too!

Just add some lettuce and olive oil!

Try your own combinations of dressing, salad & ingredients to find your favorite salad!

Love, Lonneke

First published in 2012, updated in 2020. Picture by Abigal O'Neill


Asian raw food salad

I recently bought a Gefu Spirelli spiral slicer and I am obsessed with it. I use it to slice vegetables in long pasta-like ribbons.

This is a simple recipe for an Asian raw food salad is made in minutes; it's delicious and crispy.


Love, Lonneke

Asian raw food salad

Cuisine: rawfood
Recipe type: starter/lunch
Serves: 2

Prep time: 
Total time: 

  • 2 large carrots
  • ¼ of cabbage
  • 1 large zucchini
  • pine nuts
  • tamari sauce
  • toasted sesame oil

  1. Slice the cabbage in thin slices.
  2. Slice the zucchini and carrots in a spiral slicer
  3. Add the pine nuts.
  4. Add a bit of tamari sauce and sesame oil.
  5. Mix it together well.
  6. Serve on a plate.

I use the Gefu Spirelli spiral slicer.


Bare Burger NYC review

In NYC we can find a lot of restaurants. A lot of fast-food restaurants, as well as high-end cuisine. Any kind of cuisine you can find here as well. And organic versions of these fast food & high end restaurants are here too. I really like Bare Burger NYC.

Bare Burger NYC started with I believe just one place downtown NYC close to the NYU area, and quickly expanded, maybe also because of their franchise system. Loved by students and locals who appreciate good, simple comfort food with a low price tag, this place becomes such a success fast that new Bare Burger NYC restaurants are opening all over town. There are over 15 restaurants also outside of NYC.

We go quite a lot as it is easy and very close to where we live. And the choices of salads and burgers give you plenty of different choices to choose from each time! Their menu includes big healthy salads, healthier versions of burgers with organic ingredients, organic fries, organic milkshakes & beer: Check their MENU.

I have been going here from the beginning. Their restaurant has a nice vibe and the terrace as well. Bare Burger NYC now has made 50% of the menu all vegan and even offer gluten-free options!

George & DavidBareburger La Guardia place Terrace ( usually the terrace is full of tables) with my best friends George & David

Lonneke eating Portabella mushroom burger

Love a burger? Bare Burger has a great system for you to choose your ideal burger! Pick your bun, patty, toppings, sauces and sides. Ever heard of an elk or bison burger? or a black bean burger? They got them here! And all organic of course.

Veggie quinoa burger

Love fries? I love the sweet potato fries! And they fry them in peanut oil (they say it is healthier) And they come with 4 Bare Burger original dips.. still deciding which one is my favorite....

Love a milkshake? They got a milkshake made for you from scratch! Fresh ice cream, organic fruits, a bit of organic cane sugar and shake it baby!

Oh, and if you really want to eat healthy: they have a few nice salads and you can add just a patty without the bun to it. Problem solved.

Mexican SaladThe Mexican Salad at Bare Burger

Bare Burger LogoEven the interior is from reclaimed materials, and the ambiance is relaxed, cosy and a great place to bring your friends, or go to with people who are difficult eaters. (hey, everyone likes fries and burgers right?)

Click the Button for all Bare Burger locations in NYC  and enjoy the food!

Love, Lonneke

How food affects your daily work

Eating good food and drinking water is important to get through the day, and feel enough energy. -Lonneke Engel

I have said this before!

When I do a photo shoot, I am always excited if I see they have a nutritious lunch, it makes me very happy!

Just like when I worked for a Dutch lingerie company a few months ago. The crew was great and we all had lunch together.

We all agreed the lunch was very tasty, and healthy, and everyone felt energized right after.

I think it showed in the pictures, because when everyone feels their best, they can create the best!

What did we have for lunch?

Unfortunately I only thought of taking pictures of the food when we were almost finished.

But you still see what it was like.

We had fresh sandwiches with a lot of veggies, cheese and meat for the meat- eaters,

A big italian salad with juicy tomatoes, pesto and mozzarella,

Healthy italian salad with pesto, tomatoes and mozzarella

We had different kinds of fresh pastas with tomato sauce or pesto,

There was a plate with all vegetables, including filled grilled peppers with a mix of orzo and black beans (yummy!), light pink beets (the best!) and other vegetables that were maybe a little bit cooked, but still crunchy. In the picture you see a bit of the grilled peppers and some black beans all over the plate, and a part of a sandwich that was left over:

other veggies

It is obvious that simplicity is the key, and that it is not too difficult to eat healthy.

I always encourage clients I work for to order catering with healthy foods, mostly veggies and fruits, for breakfast and lunch, and for snacks, as it will be of influence at the shoot, and makes the shoot go smoother. ( I believe that strongly!)

When I eat croissants in the morning, or heavy foods for lunch, an hour after I ate, I will crash. Seriously, I have fallen asleep ON the set more than on 1 occasion! What I do then is I take a cappuccino to pick me up. But really, I know that the reason I suddenly feel so tired, is the food I just ate. And If I would eat better, I don't have this crash.. And I don't have to drink a drug like coffee to make me feel awake... It made me think...

If you eat heavy foods, that are processed or not fresh, your body needs all its energy to digest it. So that means you will have less energy to do the other things you need to do in a day.

So always make sure you eat a good nutritious lunch and drink plenty of water!

Love, Lonneke

Easy veggie salad recipe with oil-free dressing

I love salads! The are delicious, hydrating and satisfying meals!

You can be creative too. It's virtually impossible to go wrong with a salad: chop up a bunch of veggies, squeeze lemon juice on top and its ready to eat.

Here is another recipe for salad. I made this today for lunch and it was yummy!  What's different about this recipe is the dressing! It is a 2 ingredient, oil-free dressing that everyone will enjoy!


published in 2012 by Valentina Zelyeava updated in 2019

Easy veggie salad recipe with oil-free dressing

Serves: 2

Prep time: 
Total time: 

  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 tomato
  • romain lettuce
  • 2 clove of garlic
  • 1 orange
  • 1 red bell pepper

  1. Chop up salad ingredients in tiny chunks.
  2. Place it in a large serving bowl.
  3. Put orange and red bell pepper in a blender (Blendtec or VitaMix is the best choice of a blender) and blend well till its smooth.
  4. Pour on top of the salad.
  5. Mix well.
  6. Sprinkle Hemp Seeds on top for an extra protein.
  7. Bom Appetite!

1 orange and 1 red bell pepper are used for dressing.




Quinoa Salad


I made Quinoa salad for dinner, and it was so easy and simple yet delicious, so I thought I  had to chare it with my dear  OYL readers:) 

Quinoa is an excellent grain alternative. It is gluten-free and considered easy to digest. Quinoa (like oats) contains a balanced set of essential amino acids, making it a complete protein source.

If you suffering from migraines, add quiona into your diet . "Quinoa is a good source of magnesium, a mineral that helps relax blood vessels, preventing the constriction and rebound dilation characteristic of migraines".


  • 1 cup freshly cooked quinoa
  • 2 small tomatoes
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 2TS hemp oil ( or Olive oil)
  • handful basil
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • sea salt & pepper
  • raw sheep feta cheese (it is optional. I bought it at my local farmers market today, so I added it to my salad. You can substitute to Olives)


Finely chop tomatoes, peppers and basil. Place it in a large bowl. Add lemon juice, oil, salt, pepper . Add quinoa and feta cheese. Ready!