Forget about piles of limp lettuce leaves, plain grilled chicken and lemon juice, salads can actually be a delicious, healthy and satisfying meal!
Yes a meal.
About a week ago my husband and I grabbed lunch, he wanted to go to a burger joint and I reluctantly agreed:
a] I don’t really like burgers
b] I didn’t want something heavy and fried
As I read the menu feeling kinda inconvenienced and frustrated, I noticed the menu had changed and they had a Chicken Goujon salad – breaded chicken on a bed of crisp lettuce, with bacon and honey dijon dressing…I’ve been craving this salad ever since!
This weekend I was finally able to recreate it!
You see I find shop bought salads overpriced, and restaurant salads seem to either be boooooring or has unhealthy as fried chicken and fries.
But this salad was perfection!
So I spent some time adding salad ingredients to the grocery list, I wanted it to be even more satisfying, I wanted texture, strong flavors and most importantly I wanted it to be satisfying.
Here is what I added to my shopping list…
- Iceberg lettuce
- Cabbage Medley
- Red Onion
- Black Beans
- Feta cheese
- Honey Roasted Cashews
- Frenches Fried Onions
- Chili & Lime salad dressing
- Southern Fried Chicken Breasts
- Chipotle marinade
- Plain Chicken Breasts
It looks like a lot of ingredients, but it has made about six servings.
This is how my salad looked last night…
Let me tell you this salad was freaking tasty!
Satisfying – CHECK
Stress-Free – CHECK
Energizing – CHECK
It was healthy, delicious and ticked all my boxes!
This is one of the biggest flaws with the dieting mindset, we think that food must be as basic as possible, because we are only thinking about calories, and not thinking about what could make us feel great.
Is fried chicken a fat loss food? Hell no. Did I eat a bag of reeses pieces after this meal? No, the meal was enough.
So how can you style your salad to satisfaction?
Add as many veggies as possible! I love using a mixture of leaves and adding raw vegetables to my salads, you don’t have to just stick with iceberg lettuce. Cabbage, shredded carrot, beetroot, radish, cucumber, peas, broccoli add what you love it adds great texture and variety. At this point we are all adults and if you are ‘dieting’ we know vegetables are healthy adding a few more is not going to cause you to gain weight.
Always, always, ALWAYS add a protein. This is a no brainer, if you want your salad to be satisfying there is going to have to be some protein involved. It doesn’t always have to be plain chicken, I like to add a chipotle salsa and grill mine or once a week I’ll add breaded chicken to my salad – thank you to Jill Coleman & Neghar Fonooni for pointing out “this is like french fries but protein”. Yes this could be a little scary to start adding fried or breaded chicken to a salad but if it keeps you from eating 10000 calories over a weekend isn’t it totally worth it?
Add CRUNCH! I love to have some crunch in my salad, again it adds texture and takes a salad from boring to appetizing in seconds. Nuts, dried fruits, crispy onions or homemade tortilla croutons are amazing.
Cheese is not your enemy (unless you are lactose intolerant). Okay so I am not a cheese lover, but feta is a must on my salads, it is always in my fridge ready to throw on a salad. I use Apetina, and they come in little cubes so they are ready to drain and throw in the bowl! #Stress-Free
Plain salad is for diets and boring as hell! I like salad dressing, I think it completes a salad. There are a ton of choices available in the grocery stores so you can always find something that works for you and your salad. I am currently obsessed with Newman Owns Chili and Lime dressing, just enough kick! Again we can be smart, we should know how much is too much, the salad should not be swimming!
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