5 Salads in 5 Minutes!

by Nikky Manausa on March 11, 2014

Sliced AvocadoI AM The Salad Queen

Poor salad! It gets tagged as being “rabbit food,” “unsatisfying,” and “what you eat before you really eat.” Almost every day I eat a HUGE salad for either lunch or dinner (sometimes both!), and I promise I never go hungry. With confidence I call myself “The Salad Queen.” I can whip up a delicious bowl of rodent food that will cause any carnivore’s palate to plea for more. AND I can make many salads in less time than it takes to make a sandwich! All you non-believers, watch out, I am about to bring out the salad-lover within you!

Sabotaging Salads

Sorry Caesar, your salad just isn’t that heart-healthy. Ranch, blue cheese, and all those other really creamy white salad dressings need to stay out of your bowl, too. Adding fat to your salad is not necessarily a bad thing, but adding bad fats should be avoided. Registered Dietician, Elizabeth M. Ward, wrote an easy-to-understand article for WebMD called Fat Facts: Good Fats vs. Bad Fats where she identifies and defines essential fatty acids, saturated fats, and unsaturated fats.

I know this may seem alarming, but I promise that you do not always need salad dressing. Consider using homemade guacamole, plain Greek yogurt mixed with lemon juice and salt and pepper, extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar, or cottage cheese as your “dressing.”

Be wary of adding gobs of cheese. I like using fresh Parmesan, feta, and goat cheese because a little can go a long way. Croutons also have very little nutritious value and should be left out. For added crunch, consider topping your salad with nuts or seeds.

The Basics to a Delicious Salad

First rule, there aren’t any rules! Get creative! You might just surprise yourself when you start experimenting with what different tastes and textures work well together in a salad. But for you recipe-followers out there, include the following in your salad:

  • Iceberg is out, DARK green is in. You are not just limited to romaine lettuce anymore! Choose leafy greens like spicy arugula, sweet butter lettuce, or fresh spinach. I buy a lot of pre-packaged salad greens because they are already washed and are ready to eat.
  • Choose a protein for your salad. Tuna, salmon, turkey, chicken, shrimp, chick peas, eggs, and cottage cheese are all good sources of protein.
  • Choose something “sweet.” A little something sweet in your salads adds a nice flavor change. I like to use a variety of berries, chopped apples, raisins, mandarin oranges (in their own juice), or grape tomatoes.
  • Make sure you have a healthy fat in your salad to help keep you satiated longer. Walnuts, pecans, cashews, avocados, sunflower seeds, and pumpkin seeds all make good options.
  • I like to add fresh cracked pepper on all my salads for a touch of spice.

Here they are, Five Salads in Five Minutes!

You will notice that I did not include the measurements for each of these salads. I did that on purpose to allow you the freedom to adjust the salads to your preference. These are merely suggestions on how different foods can work well together as a salad ensemble.

Raspberry Salmon Avocado Salad 

Raspberry Avocado Salmon Salad

Greens: 50/50 Mix
Protein: Wild Salmon Package
Something Sweet: Raspberries
Healthy Fat: Chopped walnuts and avocados
Dressing: Light Raspberry Walnut

Raspberry Avocado Salmon Salad
Blackberry Almond Balsamic Chicken Salad
Blackberry Almond Balsamic Turkey Salad
Greens: Baby Spinach
Protein: Reduced Sodium Boar’s Head Turkey Breast
Something Sweet: Blackberries
Healthy Fat: Sliced almonds and reduced-fat feta
Dressing: Light Balsamic
Blackberry Turkey Salad
Apple Chicken Avocado Salad
Apple Chicken Salad
Greens: 50/50 Mix
Protein: Reduced Sodium Boar’s Head Chicken Breast
Something Sweet: Chopped apple
Healthy Fat: Avocado and one egg
Dressing: Balsamic Vinegar
Apple Chicken Avocado Salad
Lemon Dill Tuna Salad with Hummus
Tuna Dill Lemon Salad
Greens: Spring Mix and Fresh Dill
Protein: Packaged Albacore Tuna
Something Sweet: Cherry Tomatoes
Healthy Fat: Hummus
Dressing: Fresh squeezed lemon juice (just squeeze it right on top of the greens and tuna)
Lemon Dill Tuna Salad
Strawberry Arugula Chicken Salad
Strawberry Walnut Chicken Salad
Greens: Green Leaf and Arugula
Protein: Rotisserie chicken breast, chopped
Something Sweet: Sliced strawberries
Healthy Fat: Avocado and walnuts
Dressing: Light Raspberry Walnut
Strawberry Arugula Chicken Salad
Grab a fork and dig in! Feel free to leave a comment with your own creative salad combinations!
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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Cookie Zimmer March 12, 2014 at 12:15 pm

Nikky, you are AMAZING! The only thing that I could add to these delicious and healthy salads that I would enjoy is…having you bring it to me and share eating with me. XOXOXO Miss you, but am loving your “good for my body, mind, and soul” blogs.

Morgan Mims March 15, 2014 at 9:45 pm

Compared to my ice burg lettuce salad that I make once in a blue moon, this stuff looks like I would have to walk into my yard and grab a handful of grass and pine needles to put in my bowl!

How would one ease into eating something with such texture and mixed variety!?

:)

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