What’s For Lunch? Return of the Hot & Cold Salad!


UPC’s Hot & Cold Salad: Can a winter favorite become a summer favorite too?

Yesterday was a long day for me. I got up early and went to the local track for a hard workout with a bunch of my friends. And as if that workout wasn’t challenging enough on it’s own, I was low on resources because I had been up late the night before drinking wine and having a good time with my in-laws, and to top it off, I had done a hard speed workout the day before! Despite the challenges, the workout was great. But the rest of the day was mired with fatigue – no surprise there, right?
At some point during the day, my wife came over to me and said: “I love the salads you’ve been sending to work with me, but I need something different.” We talked about it for a short while, and determined that because I had sent virtually the same lunch salad all week, she just wanted some variety. Well, tomorrow is shopping night, so I won’t have any new ingredients in the house. So I will have to bring about some change without changing the ingredients! Enter: the Hot & Cold Salad. Raw food ingredients taste one way, while cooked ingredients taste sometimes entirely different. So it was time to bring back a winter standby to spice up our lunch life a little bit.

UPC’s Hot & Cold Salad; What you’ll need:

  • Hot:
  • 6-8 oz Ham, chopped (I am using cooked ham cold-cuts)
  • 1/2 Yellow Squash, chopped (Zucchini will work well too)
  • 4-6 Crimini Mushrooms, chopped
  • 2 Carrots, chopped
  • 2 inches Ginger, diced
  • 2 tablespoons Coconut Oil
  • Cold:
  • Mixed Salad Greens (I am using a “Spring Mix”)
  • 1 cup Green Onions, chopped
  • 1 cup Celery, chopped
  • 1 small Avocado, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon Olive Oil

Serves: 2
Cook and Prep Time: 25 minutes

1. In a pan add 1 tablespoon coconut oil to the mushrooms and carrots on a medium heat (4-5 out of 10). Cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

2. Add the ham, yellow squash, and ginger after about 3-5 minutes of cooking; cook for another 3-5 minutes, stirring regularly.

3. After 10 minutes total cook-time turn the pan down to medium-low, and cover. Let this cook for another 7-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

4. Once the “Hot” portion is done, put it in your lunch container and put it in the refrigerator to cool.
Don’t forget to pack this when you leave for work!!

5. While the “Hot” portion of your salad is cooking, prepare the cold portion, putting it in it’s own travel container.

6. When it’s time for lunch, heat up your “Hot” salad and combine it with the “Cold” salad. Mix thoroughly before eating; they combine quite well. Enjoy a nice, refreshing change to the traditional lunch salad: UPC’s Hot & Cold Salad!


  • Do you eat Hot & Cold salads at work?
  • If so, do you make them fresh in your work kitchenette? Or are you, like I do, limited to cooking your food at home, and heating it up in the microwave?
  • What kinds of ingredients and flavorings would you like to see in your Hot & Cold salads?

If this is the first you’ve seen my Hot & Cold Salads, please try them and enjoy! I’ve done many variations, and they’ve all been quite excellent successes! I’ve found that I really prefer leafy green vegetables in their raw state. Maybe it’s taste, maybe texture, but I just prefer my spinach, kale, and lettuce as salad greens. So I found a way this past winter to have my greens and eat them too! Wait, that doesn’t work quite right…
Anyway, long-story short: I decided one afternoon that I wanted a salad meal, but I really didn’t want to cook the greens. So I cooked up some meat, and the vegetables that I wanted cooked. Then I combined them with a bunch of greens. Unlike the dish that I’ve seen so many times on the internet, I chose not to add in copious amounts of broth, making the final product more like a soup than a salad. The resulting salad was delicious! And thus was born the UPC’s Hot & Cold salad! It’s been a huge hit in my house all winter and spring. I “put it away” for the summer, thinking that I would prefer the completely cold salad in the summer heat. But when my wife asked me for “Something different” – I knew just what I could dust off and take out of my bag-o-tricks!

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