Healthy

15 Healthy & Easy Salad Recipes

When I was meal prepping like a boss when I worked in corporate, I had a mason jar salad pretty much every day for lunch - but it was always the same. 

If I would have found these easy and healthy salad recipes (well, most of them are healthy, hehe) from Damn Delicious, I would have been way more inspired to mix it up!

I found it was just easier to make a salad I knew - and loved - but now I can have 15 more salads I know and love! From kale to quinoa to pasta, and toppings like avocado, bacon or mandarin oranges, you'll definitely be able to find a few new faves for yourself.

Here's to mason jar salads, if you're on the go, or making them at home when you've created the freedom and flexibility for yourself to be a #BossLady and fulfill your entrepreneurial dream working from home!

15 Healthy & Easy Salad Recipes

BBQ Chicken Salad – This healthy, flavourful salad comes together so quickly, and it is guaranteed to be a hit with your entire family. [GET THE RECIPE.]

BBQ Chicken Salad.jpg

Harvest Cobb Salad – The perfect fall salad with the creamiest poppy seed salad dressing. So good, you’ll want to make this all year long. [GET THE RECIPE.]

Harvest Cobb Salad.jpg

Bacon and Avocado Macaroni Salad – Loaded with fresh avocado and applewood smoked bacon tossed in a lemon-thyme dressing. [GET THE RECIPE.]

Bacon and Avocado Macaroni Salad.jpg

Whole Food’s California Quinoa Salad – A healthy, nutritious copycat recipe that tastes 1000x better than the store-bought version. [GET THE RECIPE.]

Whole Food’s California Quinoa Salad.jpg

Asian-style Cobb Salad – This salad serves as the perfect light meal, full of protein and veggies with a simple sesame vinaigrette. [GET THE RECIPE.]

Asian-style Cobb Salad.jpg

Greek Salad – This healthy Greek salad is absolutely amazing when tossed in a light and refreshing lemon vinaigrette. [GET THE RECIPE.]

Greek Salad.jpg

Quinoa Fruit Salad – This protein-packed quinoa salad is balanced with a tart vinaigrette and refreshing mint. [GET THE RECIPE.]

Quinoa Fruit Salad.jpg

Taco Salad – All the flavours of a taco in a healthy salad with a refreshing, tangy lime vinaigrette. [GET THE RECIPE.]

Taco Salad.jpg

Chinese Chicken Salad – Restaurant quality that you can easily make right at home, except it’s healthier and a million times tastier. [GET THE RECIPE.]

Chinese Chicken Salad.jpg

Kale Salad with Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette – Perfect as a light lunch or even a meatless Monday dinner option. [GET THE RECIPE.]

Kale Salad with Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette.jpg

Asian Quinoa Salad – A quick and easy healthy quinoa salad dressed in sweet and tangy Asian flavours, loaded with tons of veggies. [GET THE RECIPE.]

Asian Quinoa Salad.jpg

Shrimp Cobb Salad – A light, filling salad loaded with roasted shrimp, bacon bits, and avocado in a tangy, refreshing vinaigrette. [GET THE RECIPE.]

Shrimp Cobb Salad.jpg

Caprese Avocado Salad – A refreshing salad loaded with mozzarella, tomatoes, basil and avocado with a sweet balsamic reduction. [GET THE RECIPE.]

Caprese Avocado Salad.jpg

BLT Chopped Salad – All the goodness of a BLT in a healthy salad form with a refreshing lime vinaigrette. [GET THE RECIPE.]

BLT Chopped Salad.jpg

Southwestern Chopped Salad with Cilantro Lime Dressing – A tex-mex style salad with an incredibly creamy Greek yogurt cilantro dressing. [GET THE RECIPE.]

Southwestern Chopped Salad with Cilantro Lime Dressing.jpg

All photo credit to: Damn Delicious

 

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Asian Sesame Zucchini Noodles

If you're looking for a healthy lunch idea with a super quick prep time, then you're going to love this Asian Sesame Zucchini Noodle recipe, compliments of Good Housekeeping.

I'm a pasta lover - spaghetti is one of my favourite meals. But it's nice to switch out the carbs with something a lot lighter on the tummy, especially when it's lunch time.

When I was in corporate, 2pm was when the afternoon hot a brick wall. I'd get sleepy and my brain would slow down - and I can only imagine how much worse it would have been if I had eaten a heavy lunch of pasta!

That's why my lunches tend to be lighter, with lots of vegetables. In fact, both my breakfast AND lunch are typically vegetarian.

Which makes this easy 7-ingredient Asian Sesame Zucchini Noodle recipe a great healthy lunch choice for you!

Photo by:  Good Housekeeping

Asian Sesame Zucchini Noodle

Ingredients

  • 1/4 c. packed fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp. seasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. toasted sesame oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed with press
  • 2 tsp. crushed red pepper
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • 3 medium zucchini, spiralized

 

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, whisk cilantro, vinegar, oil, garlic, red pepper, sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
  2. Add zucchini; toss until well-combined. Serve immediately.

Easy peasy!

 

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Grilled Chicken Bruschetta

Bruschetta is one of my favourite appetizers, and it's one of the few things I can actually contribute to our home-cooked meals (even though my husband typically makes it himself anyway - but hey, at least I know HOW to make it, right?! Hehe...).

So when I found this delicious Grilled Chicken Bruschetta recipe from Skinny Taste, I was excited - it takes all the flavourful elements we love about bruschetta bread, and instead has them as toppings on grilled chicken - switching the carbs to protein, and the portion from appetizer to actual meal-sized.

All while showcasing fresh tomatoes, garlic, onion, and basil! 

Photo source:  skinnytaste.com

Photo source: skinnytaste.com

Grilled Chicken Bruschetta

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 medium vine ripe tomatoes
  • 2 small cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 2 tbsp fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin oil
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
  • 3 oz part skim mozzarella, diced (omit for whole30, paleo)
  • 1.25 lbs (8 thin sliced) chicken cutlets

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Combine onion, olive oil, balsamic, 1/4 tsp kosher salt and pepper. Set aside a few minutes.
  2. Chop tomatoes and place in a large bowl. Combine with garlic, basil, onion-balsamic combo and additional 1/8 tsp salt and pepper to taste. Set aside and let it sit at least 10 minutes or as long as overnight.
  3. Toss in the cheese when ready to serve. 
  4. Season chicken with salt and fresh pepper.
  5. Preheat the grill to medium-high, clean and oil the grates to prevent sticking.
  6. Grill the chicken 2 minutes on each side, set aside on a platter and top with bruschetta and serve.


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Arugula Pesto Spaghetti Squash

Want the fun of spaghetti, without all the carbs? Then you're going to love this Arugula Pesto Spaghetti Squash recipe, compliments of The Canadian Health Food Association. The inside of spaghetti squash kind of reminds me of when we carve pumpkins, haha - but the stringy stuff inside is what you actually eat! 

Or, if you decide spaghetti squash isn't for you, and you'd rather just stick to pasta, then you're still going to enjoy the arugula pesto part of this recipe - just add it to your favourite noodles, and you're good to go!

Arugula Pesto Spaghetti Squash

Ingredients

  • 2 spaghetti squash, approx. 1.5 lbs (750 g) each
  • 2 tbsp (30 ml) olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp (1 ml) salt and pepper
  • 3 cups (750 ml) cremini mushrooms, quartered
  • 2 cups (500 ml) cherry tomatoes on the vine
  • 1/2 tsp (2ml) red pepper flakes (optional)
  • Grated parmesan for topping (optional)

Arugula Pesto

  • 2 tbsp (30 ml) olive oil
  • 4 cups (1 L) packed baby arugula
  • 1/2 cup (125ml) grated parmesan or extra old cheddar
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) pine nuts or cashews
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) chopped sundried tomatoes
  • 1 clove garlic

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F (200 C). Split spaghetti squash lengthwise into four halves. Remove and discard seeds. Drizzle halves with 1 tbsp (15 ml) olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Arrange cut side up on a baking sheet and roast for 45 minutes. Toss mushrooms and tomatoes with 1 tbsp (15 ml) oil and arrange on baking sheet around squash. Return to oven and roast for another 45 minutes until spaghetti strands pull away easily with a fork.
  2. Carefully scrape spaghetti strands from halves with a fork into a bowl, toss with pesto, mushrooms and tomatoes and divide into two squash halves. Replace into oven to heat through. Serve sprinkled with red pepper flakes and grated parmesan if desired.
  3. For pesto, combine olive oil, arugula, parmesan, pine nuts, lemon juice, sundried tomatoes and garlic in a food processor and pulse into a coarse paste, occasionally scraping down sides.

 

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Turkey Meatloaf with Feta & Sun-Dried Tomatoes

I never used to eat meatloaf. I always just assumed it would be bland and flavourless - basically like a hamburger patty without the bun and toppings. But then my husband made meatloaf one night, and I decided to try it (otherwise, I'd have to make my own damn dinner, hehe). And WOW - he had packed so much flavour into one little slice of meatloaf on my plate; I was sold!

For some reason it never occurred to me that you can essentially put anything you want into a meatloaf, to heighten the flavour. Like this awesome concoction from Giada at Home. It's a turkey meatloaf (healthier than regular beef) and features two of my favourites - feta cheese and sun-dried tomatoes. You could even dice up some black olives and throw them in the mix too!

Turkey Meatloaf with Feta & Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Photo Source:  The Food Network

Photo Source: The Food Network

INGREDIENTS

  • Vegetable cooking spray
  • 1/2 cup plain bread crumbs
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/4 cup chopped garlic and herb-marinated sun-dried tomatoes
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced,
  • 2 eggs (optional), at room temperature, lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons whole milk
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound ground turkey, preferably dark meat

DIRECTIONS

  1. Place an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Spray a 9 by 5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray. In a large bowl, stir together the bread crumbs, parsley, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, if using, eggs, milk, feta, salt, and pepper.
  3. Add the turkey and gently stir to combine, being careful not to overwork the meat.
  4. Carefully pack the meat mixture into the prepared pan and bake until the internal temperature registers 165 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer, about 45 minutes.
  5. Remove from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and slice. Put on a serving platter and serve.

 

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Honey Sesame Chicken Lunch Bowl

I'm not a huge meat eater. When I lived on my own, I pretty much only made chicken once a week, if that. I didn't eat any pork and I didn't eat red meat either. Even to this day (now that my carnivore husband cooks the majority of our dinners), I only eat half a portion of meat. While I'm a lover of animals, my lack of meat eating doesn't really stem from animal rights - it more comes from a place of not enjoying the texture of meat... and then it makes me think about how it used to be a cute little animal, and then I lose my appetite for it, haha! But when I did make myself chicken, I always had it with rice, broccoli and a sesame sauce - just like this recipe from The Everygirl. And the best part - this recipe will give you four lunches, so you can basically consider your lunch meal prep done for the week - enjoy!

Honey Sesame Chicken Lunch Bowl

Honey Sesame Chicken Lunch Bowls.jpg

INGREDIENTS: Honey Sesame Sauce

    • 1/4 cup chicken stock or water
    • 1/4 cup soy sauce (reduced sodium)
    • 1/4 cup honey
    • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
    • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
    • 1 teaspoon cornstarch

    INGREDIENTS: Chicken Bowl

    • 3/4 cup uncooked rice
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 3 cups broccoli, chopped into small pieces
    • 3 cups snap peas, cut into small pieces
    • 2 large chicken breasts, cut into small pieces
    • salt & pepper
    • red pepper flakes (optional)
    • sesame seeds (garnish)

    DIRECTIONS

    1. Shake together all honey sesame sauce ingredients and set aside.
    2. Cook rice according to package instructions. Divide between 4 storage containers.
    3. Heat olive oil in a large pan. Add broccoli and snap peas. Cook for 5 or so minutes, until bright green and tender. Add to the rice in the storage containers.
    4. Add additional olive oil if necessary. Add the chicken to the pan. Season with salt and pepper, and red pepper flakes (if desired). Cook for 7 or so minutes, until cooked through.
    5. Add the sauce to the pan and simmer for 2 minutes, until thickened.
    6. Add the chicken to the lunch containers and drizzle with sauce. Garnish with sesame seeds if desired.
    7. Store in the fridge for up to 4 days. Reheat to serve.

     

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    Mexican Chicken Chili

    Mmmm... I do love me a good chili! But since I'm a baby when it comes to heat, I appreciate that homemade chili really gives you the flexibility to make it as spicy (or in my case, as mild) as you'd like. This Mexican Chicken Chili recipe from Jamie Oliver has all the delicious traditional flavours - as well as an easy tomato salsa to top off the stuffed tortillas. Huh? Stuffed tortillas?! Yes, that's right - you stuff the chicken chili right inside some grilled tortillas for a more authentic Mexican experience. You're going to love it!

    Mexican Chicken Chili

    WITH A SUPER-FRESH TOMATO SALSA

    Photo Source: jamieoliver.com

    Photo Source: jamieoliver.com

    Chili Ingredients

    • 2 onions
    • 4 cloves of garlic
    • ½ a bunch of fresh coriander
    • 2 free-range chicken breasts
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
    • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
    • 1 whole dried chipotle chili
    • 1 pinch of dried chili flakes
    • 2 x 400 g cans of diced tomatoes
    • 1 x 410 g tin of black beans
    • 4-6 flour tortillas
    • 2 gem lettuces
    • 0% fat Greek–style yoghurt
    • 1 lime

    Tomato Salsa Ingredients

    • 1 red pepper
    • 1 red chili
    • 4 ripe tomatoes
    • 3-4 spring onions
    • ½ a bunch of fresh coriander
    • 1 lime

    Directions

    1. Peel and slice the onions, peel and finely chop the garlic. Pick the coriander leaves and finely chop the stalks. Slice the chicken into 1 cm strips.
    2. Heat the oil in a pan over a medium heat and, when hot, sauté the onions, garlic, coriander stalks, spices, and whole and flaked chili for 5 minutes, until the onion is soft, but not coloured.
    3. Add the chicken strips and cook for a couple of minutes, then add the canned tomatoes. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, partly covered, for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the chicken breaks apart when pressed with the back of a spoon. Add a splash of water if it looks too dry at any stage.
    4. Next, make the salsa. Blister the pepper and chilli skins by placing them under a hot grill or holding them with tongs over a gas flame. Once blackened all over, place in a bowl, cover with cling wrap and set aside to cool.
    5. Roughly chop the tomatoes, put them in a colander with a pinch of sea salt and place it in the sink for 15 minutes to allow the salt to draw out some of the tomatoes’ water, then give the colander a good shake.
    6. Peel the skins from the pepper and chili and discard along with the seeds, then place them on a board with the spring onions and chop.
    7. Add the tomatoes, pick over the coriander leaves and continue chopping until you have a fine salsa. Transfer to a bowl, and season with black pepper and a good squeeze of lime juice.
    8. Shred the chicken using two forks, then drain and stir the black beans into the chili. Continue cooking for a couple of minutes until the beans are heated through, then remove from the heat and stir in the coriander leaves.
    9. Chop the lettuce, then serve the chili in the tortillas with the lettuce, a good spoonful of salsa and a drizzle of yogurt, with lime wedges on the side.

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