I’m taking a break from COVID-specific content this week, only to give a little sense of normalcy and breath of fresh air. If you’re looking for that content, though, check out my Pandemic Tool Kit, tips to prevent mindless eating, 7 habits I’m sticking to right now, 40 things you can do at home during social distancing, or tips to get creative in the kitchen.
Now that spring is in the air (if you’re in Dallas, how about this GORGEOUS weather?!), I’m finding myself craving more fresh, raw vegetables. And it’s likely not just me – spring is naturally a time of cleansing, and fresh vegetables can help us do that. Our bodies start craving more cooling, cleansing vegetables like leafy greens, asparagus, artichokes, and cabbage. Want to learn what’s technically in season right now? Download my free seasonal produce guide here!
I’m sure it’s not a surprise to hear that one of my favorite ways to get in more spring veggies is a big, delicious, filling, and healthy salad. But there’s a problem … most salads are either super boring (hello, homemade iceberg lettuce “salad” with a few cherry tomatoes popped on top and a glug of ranch for flavor) or are quite unhealthy (did you know that the California Pizza Kitchen Waldorf Chicken Salad with Dijon Balsamic Vinaigrette, which sounds super healthy, clocks in at 1,320 calories and 94g fat? And the Applebee’s Oriental Chicken Salad has 1,410 calories and 97g fat?). And neither of those make me happy. Remember – I said delicious (not boring!), filling (this is a meal, not a side!), and healthy (no calorie bombs here!). If you want more guidelines on how to make a salad healthy, check out this post.
Ready to get inspired? Here are 10 of my favorite healthy, filling, and delicious salad recipes:
- Spring Salad Nicoise by A Beautiful Mess. We have veggies from greens, asparagus, and potatoes, protein from fish and egg whites, healthy fat from olives and egg yolks, a healthy lemon dijon dressing, and an extra pop of flavor from the strawberries. Perfection!
- Pad Thai Salad from Running to the Kitchen. Allll the veggies, with the flavor of pad Thai and an almond butter-based dressing? Sign me up! I’d add some chicken for a bit more protein.
- Cabbage and Bok Choy Slaw. If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll see that I make some version of this salad for lunch at least once a month. If I don’t have bok choy, I’ll add green cabbage in with the red cabbage. And I always add a dash of fish sauce to the dressing for some extra umami and saltiness. I prefer serving mine with grilled or baked chicken.
- Ultimate Chicken Taco Salad from The Defined Dish. Because everything with the word “taco” in it is better, am I right? And Tessemae’s makes the best dressings!
- Chopped Asian Chicken Salad from The Defined Dish. If I just bummed you out about Applebee’s above, try this as a substitute. It’s tasty and the dressing is delicious (I go ahead and just use peanut butter since I’m not worried about being paleo, but you can use any nut butter you like!)
- Chicken Club Salad with Kale, Avocado, and Dijon-Buttermilk Dressing. This has a few extra healthy fat sources, but chalk it up to extra staying power, as healthy fat is key to keeping us full.
- Roasted Vegetable Salad with Basil Pesto from Texas Granola Girl. I’d toss this over greens and add some grilled salmon, but it’s great just as is as well.
- Mexican Salad from Well Plated. The perfect way to get in plenty of complex carbohydrates from beans, sweet potatoes, and veggies with a tasty Greek yogurt-based dressing!
- Detox Super Salad from The View from Great Island. If you’re a fruit-in-the-salad type person, you’ll love the combination of flavors here! Again, I’d be sure to add some protein to stay full and
- Kale Chicken Waldorf Salad. If you’ve ever had the Newporter Salad from R+D Kitchen, this copycat will make you smile! The flavors come together so well, and the protein from chicken and egg whites, plus fat from bacon, walnuts, and egg yolks, will keep you full for quite a while. For extra veggie power, I like to chop up some broccoli with the greens.
Now it’s your turn … What’s your favorite healthy, filling, and delicious salad? Which one of these would you like to try first?