We all know we need to increase our vegetable servings each day. A salad can provide you with lots of vegetables. In order to be satisfied with that salad you also need to add protein. This will balance out satiety as well as nutrition. Protein comes in many forms, so today I'll show you how to mix up your salad game.
ROASTED CHICKPEA AVOCADO SALAD
Add a nice crunch to this salad with the roasted chickpeas. Chickpeas are a good plant based protein with 6 g per 1/2 cup.
5 oz mixed greens
1 large cucumber, diced
10 oz cherry tomato, halved
1 avocado, diced
30 oz chickpeas, 2 cans, drained and rinsed
2 tablespoons avocado oil
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 ½ teaspoons garlic salt
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C).
In a large bowl, mix together the chickpeas, olive oil, paprika, and garlic salt.
Spread the chickpeas onto a baking sheet in one layer. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the chickpeas are crisp.
Dice the cucumber and add to a large bowl.
Toss in the mixed greens, cucumber, tomatoes, avocado, roasted chickpeas, extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper, and mix until well combined.
Divide between individual bowls and serve.
GARLICKY KALE SALAD
This salad goes with a heavier kale leaf. It's good to get a variety of greens in your week. You can top with chickpeas or chicken or turkey.
10 ounces kale (loosely chopped or torn or 6 cups
1 15-ounce can chickpeas (rinsed, drained and thoroughly dried)
1 1/2 T avocado oil
1 head garlic
1/4 cup tahini
2 Tbsp olive oil + more for roasting garlic
2 medium lemons* (juiced)
1-2 Tbsp maple syrup (or honey if not vegan)
1 pinch each salt + pepper
Hot water (to thin)
Peel apart garlic cloves but leave the skin on. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 C).
Add drained chickpeas to a mixing bowl and toss with oil and seasonings.
Add garlic cloves and chickpeas to a baking sheet. Drizzle garlic with oil. Bake for 20-23 minutes avocado or until the chickpeas are slightly crispy and golden brown and the garlic is fragrant and slightly browned. Remove from oven and set aside.
Squeeze garlic out of skins and peel away skins and add to a mixing bowl. Add all remaining dressing ingredients and whisk vigorously to combine, smashing the garlic with the whisk. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired, adding more lemon for brightness and maple syrup for sweetness. Set aside.
Add kale to a large mixing bowl. Before adding dressing, add 1 Tbsp each lemon juice and avocado oil to the kale and massage with hands to soften the texture and lessen bitterness. Then add as much dressing as desired and mix with a spoon.
CHICKEN BACON STRAWBERRY SALAD WITH ORANGE VINAIGRETTE
This salad is bursting with fresh flavors. A 4 oz chicken breast has 35 g of protein.
for the dressing:
1.5 tbsp raw honey OR 1/4 cup dates (soaked in hot water to soften, and drained), plus 1 tbsp water*
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
2 tsp grated orange zest about 1 small orange
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 cloves garlic
Scant 3/4 tsp fine grain sea salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
Scant 3/4 cup light flavored olive oil or avocado oil if preferred
for the salad:
1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast pounded to 1/2" thickness
generous pinch fine grain sea salt
dash of onion powder and black pepper for chicken
5 slices paleo bacon nitrate free, sugar free cut into one inch pieces
1 and 1/2 cups sliced strawberries
1 cup shelled raw walnuts
In a food processor or blender (you'll need a high speed blender if using dates) combine all dressing ingredients except for the olive oil and pulse/blend until smooth.
With blender or processor running on low speed, slowly pour in oil in a steady, narrow stream until used up and the mixture is smooth and combined
Transfer to a lidded jar and refrigerate until ready to use
In a large deep skillet over medium high heat, cook the bacon, stirring, until crisp, then remove with slotted spoon and drain on paper towels
Sprinkle the chicken breasts with a bit of salt, pepper and onion powder on both sides. Using 1-2 tbsp of the rendered bacon fat, sauté the chicken breasts over medium heat about 2-4 minutes on each side depending on the thickness of the breasts. Remove from pan to plate and set aside to rest. Once ready to serve, slice or chop into bite size pieces
In the skillet where the bacon was cooked, discard all but a thin layer of bacon fat and heat over medium heat. Add the walnuts and cook, stirring, about 2-3 minutes or until lightly toasted. Sprinkle with a bit of salt if desired.
To assemble the salad, in a large serving bowl layer the greens with the sliced chicken, bacon, toasted walnuts and sliced strawberries. Shake the dressing to combine well, then lightly drizzle or serve dressing on the side (you'll likely have some leftover which you can store covered in the fridge for up to one week)
Serve tossed with the dressing and enjoy!
CUCUMBER RADISH CHICKEN SALAD
If you planted early, your radishes should be ready for picking. Combine those with fresh cucumber for this unique salad.
for the citrus basil vinaigrette:
1 and 1/4 cups packed basil leaves
5 kumquats* top cut off and seeds removed
2 kumquats* juice only (about 1 tsp)
1/3 cup organic bertolli extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp sea salt or to taste
*reserve 3 tbsp for chicken marinade
for the remaining salad:
1 lb chicken tenderloins or boneless skinless breasts if using breasts, pound to 1/2 inch thickness
2 small/medium cucumbers
1/2 lb radishes trimmed washed, and thinly sliced
citrus basil vinaigrette to toss
Place the kumquats, juice, and basil in a food processor or blender and pulse until blended well, then blend in the olive oil and sea salt until well blended (not pureed, but smooth)
Place 3 tbsp of the basil dressing in a large shallow bowl with the chicken and marinate chicken at least 1-2 hours (or as many as 12) covered in the refrigerator. Store the remaining dressing covered in the refrigerator until ready to use.
To assemble the salad, cut off the ends of the cucumbers and use a veggie peeler to create ribbons, place in a serving bowl
Toss with the radishes, then, once ready to serve toss with about 1/2 of the basil dressing.
Shake off excess marinade from the chicken and discard the rest. Sprinkle with a bit of sea salt if desired.
Grill the chicken on both sides until juices run clear, remove to a plate. Slice into bite size pieces and serve over the salad with extra dressing (use as much as desired, there will be leftovers) Serves 4. Store leftover vinaigrette covered tightly in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
*Recipe Note: Kumquats are small (the size of a large grape) and can typically be found in international grocery stores as well as many chains. They have a sweet, thin, edible peel and tart juice, making them great for adding sweet & tart flavors to salads and other dishes.
BROCCOLI EGG SALAD
You can't go wrong with this simple salad. 1 egg has 6 g of protein. You probably have all of these ingredients in your fridge today.
1 broccoli head, cut into small florets
6 to 8 bacon slices, cooked and chopped
4 eggs, hard-boiled and chopped
2 green onions, sliced
1/4 cup almond slices
1/2 tsp. paprika
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Bring water to a boil in a saucepan.
Add the broccoli and cook for 5 to 6 minutes, just until broccoli is tender-crisp.
Drain broccoli and place in a salad bowl.
In a small bowl whisk together the mayonnaise, olive oil, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, paprika, and season to taste.
Add the green onions, bacon slices and eggs into the salad bowl with the broccoli.
Pour the mayonnaise mixture over the salad and gently toss everything until well coated.
Serve topped with sliced almonds.
It's important to eat balanced meals with good fats, carbs, and proteins. That's easy to accomplish in a salad. Your protein source is what will satisfy your hunger, so no matter if it is plant or animal based, you need to get your daily allowance. At the very least men should get 56 g and women should get 46 g per day. You'll need more if you are active. Use this formula to figure your own - .4-.6 per pound of body weight.
These salads will provide lots of flavor along with satisfying protein. Try them today.
Here's to your health! Happy Cooking!