How to Reinvent Your Lunch (Plus a Recipe!)

MIX Salad Concept, which recently launched, will deliver good food to your workplace twice a week.



Chatham graduates Lia Vaccaro and Rachael Bane want to change the way you eat at work. They want you to know that your options for delivery go beyond pizza and hoagies. You can have salads! Not just your typical “side salad” — but salads that actually are substantial, artfully made and GOOD. Think homemade lemongrass dressing, figs, seasonal vegetables. I know I sound like a broken record to some BK readers — but although I eat pretty well on the healthy side, I am not a salad maker. So I was happy to hear about MIX Salad Concept. It’s going to change the way we eat lunch.

MIX Salad Concept is a subscription service that your boss should be buying for you. That is, Lia and Rachael are targeting employers to provide salad as a perk for their employees. If your company doesn’t pay for lunch for employees, you can get 24 other mates to get in on the game with you; then you’ll have salads delivered every Tuesday and Thursday.

Each salad is 34 ounces (that’s more than 2 pounds of veggies!) and designed to be a full meal. MIX Salad sources local and organic ingredients as much as possible, and the menu rotates monthly, incorporating seasonal goods. For now, the pair delivers to downtown Pittsburgh, Shadyside/East Liberty and the Strip District. And if you want to try their salads first, they also sell at the Pittsburgh Public Market in the Strip District every Saturday.

Lia and Rachael share the recipe for their Black Rice Pasta & Spinach Salad below — if you want to give it a spin in your kitchen. It is fantastic. I wouldn’t mind eating it every week!



Black-Rice Pasta & Spinach Pasta Salad

Serves 1

Salad ingredients:
·      3 ounces black rice pasta
·      3 ounces sugarsnap peas
·      1 ½ cups spinach
·      2 basil leaves
·      2 teaspoons chopped raw cashews
·      ½ teaspoon sesame seeds
·      1 teaspoon shredded coconut
·      1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
·      1/4 teaspoon salt


  1. Sauté sugarsnap peas in ½ teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil.
  2. Cook on medium heat 7 minutes until lightly tender. 
  3. Add sesame seeds and toss in pan for 1 minute.
  4. Thoroughly rinse spinach. Once dry, place in a bowl and finely chop 1 large basil leaf and mix with spinach.
  5. Place sugar snap peas on top of the spinach.
  6. Boil black rice pasta for 4 minutes then drain well. Add 1/2 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil and mix. Twist pasta into 3 small “nests” and lay on top of bed of spinach.
  7. Sprinkle salt all over salad.
  8. Top with cashews and coconut.


Dressing ingredients:

·      1/4 teaspoon chopped fresh ginger
·      1 garlic clove finely chopped
·      1 teaspoon olive oil
·      1 basil leaf finely chopped
·      1/4 teaspoon salt


  1. Sauté basil and garlic in olive oil for 2 minutes on low heat.
  2. Remove from heat and add ginger and salt.
  3. Drizzle over salad and enjoy!


Categories: Brazen Kitchen