Warmer weather has me craving big, healthy salads loaded with greens, protein and the perfect amount of crunch. A salad is a wonderful healthy lunch option, but eating the same boring salad day after day gets OLD. Keep it fresh by switching out ingredients and toppings so you’re never bored! Feel free to get creative!
Here is my basic formula for making an awesome salad.
- 1-2 cups of lettuce (iceberg, romaine, spinach, kale, spring mix–whatever suits your fancy!)
- 4 ounces of protein (taco meat, turkey pepperoni, deli meat, chicken)
- 1/4-1/2 cup other vegetables or fruit (blueberries, strawberries, green pepper, mushrooms, tomatoes, cucumbers)
- 1-2 Tablespoon extra goodies (shredded cheese, dried cranberries, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, walnuts)
- Salad dressing of choice (there are so many great light options!) or lowfat cottage cheese.
You can also prep all your salads ahead of time each week and layer them in a mason jar. Layer the dressing in the bottom and the greens on the top—you don’t want them touching—in between place the meat, fruit and veggies, and extra goodies. Seal tightly. Most keep in the fridge for up to a week and make a convenient lunch option.
Mandarin Orange Chicken Salad
This salad is so easy and is one of my absolute favorites! It is inspired by the Wendy’s mandarin chicken salad, but this one you can make at home with your own fresh ingredients! When you grill up chicken, just save an extra breast or two to add to your weekly salads. Or you could also use a rotisserie chicken to keep things easy. I love fresh mandarin orange (we always have them on hand for easy snacking!), but you can use canned just as easily.
- 1 cup romaine lettuce
- ½ cup spring mix or spinach
- 3 ounces cooked chicken breast, sliced
- 1 Tablespoon slivered almonds
- 1 mandarin orange, divided
- Poppyseed dressing
- Wash and tear lettuce. Add chicken breast, almonds, and orange. Top with dressing. Enjoy!
Enjoy this delicious salad this week! I love it as a main dish for lunch or healthy side option to round out dinner! Here are some other great salad options as well! Harvest Apple Salad and Healthy Chicken Caesar Salad–both are awesome!
How often do you eat salad? What is your favorite salad topping?