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Grape & Walnut Quinoa Salad

We have a winner! I loved the mixture of sweet, crunchy and slight heat in this salad. The prep is really easy too, so make this on Sunday and enjoy for lunches throughout the week. This recipe is a great way to get protein, fiber and healthy fats into your meal. So, enjoy!

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Grape & Walnut Quinoa Salad
Serves: 6

1.5 cups water
1 cup quinoa, well-rinsed (buy fair-trade!)
1/2 tsp. salt
2 cups red seedless grapes, halved
2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
1/3 cup un-salted walnuts, chopped
4 medium radishes, sliced
3 scallions, white & green parts, thinly sliced
1 jalapeño, seeded and minced

Ginger-Apple Vinaigrette
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. ground ginger
3 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
5 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

Instructions:
1) Cook quinoa according to package directions.
2) Mix vinaigrette ingredients in a small bowl, whisk until blended.
2) Once quinoa is cooled, mix with above ingredients. Pour vinaigrette over top of salad and mix well. Serve or chill in refrigerator to serve later.

Nutrition Facts (per serving): 289 calories, 17g fat(2g saturated), 30g carbohydrate(3.5g fiber), 7g protein

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Chicken Waldorf Salad

Traditionally I don’t incorporate fruit into dinner.  You may disagree, but for me fruit is more of a breakfast, lunch, or snack food.  While this recipe works best as a lunch, I think it made for a delicious and filling dinner as well.  The best part of this is that it’s loaded with lean protein, fiber, and plenty of fruits and vegetables.  Another major plus, if you slow cook the chicken while you’re at work, this will take 10-15 minutes to prep when you get home, with very limited dishes.  Healthy AND quick, that is a huge win for me!

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Chicken Waldorf Salad adapted from EatingWell

Serves: 4

3 cups [about 1 lb] chicken breast, cooked & shredded (*see step 1)

1 cup 0% fat plain Greek yogurt

2 tsp. lemon juice

1/4 tsp. salt

1 medium gala apple, diced

1 cup red grapes, halved

1 cup celery, diced

2 tbsp. chopped walnuts, unsalted

2 tbsp. reduced fat crumbled feta cheese

6 oz fresh mixed greens

salt and pepper to taste

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Ingredients:

  1. Slow cook chicken on LOW for 8 hours.  Like I said, set this up while you’re working and you’ll be ready to go when you get home!  Don’t have a slow cooker? Simply bake in a 350 F oven for 30 minutes.  Once cooked, shred chicken.
  2. Combine yogurt, lemon juice and salt in a large bowl.  Mix until combined.
  3. Add chicken, apple, grapes, celery, walnuts and cheese to bowl.  Mix until combined and add a little salt and pepper to taste. Divide into 4 equal portions and serve over equal portions of mixed greens.

Nutrition Facts (per serving): 349 calories, 10g fat, 17g carbohydrate (3g fiber), 48g protein

Kale, Mushrooms & Cranberries Salad

Alright so we’re going to do a 180 from Monday’s post with a kale dish today. Kale is literally one of the most nutritious and healthiest vegetables on the planet.  I’d say, it is the king.  It is an excellent source of antioxidants A, C & K and is widely recognized as cancer protective.  The fiber content in the kale also helps to bind with bile acids in your blood stream which helps you to lower your blood cholesterol.  This vegetable is truly a no-brainer to put in your grocery cart. It is worth every penny to your health, and it’s pretty cheap too!

If this is your first stint with kale, you may want to start with a mixed dish such as my Baked Pasta with Kale & Chickpeas first to get used to the texture.  It is a rather “healthy” tasting veggie, so I don’t want to scare you away from it with this recipe too soon.  If kale is your thing, definitely give this salad a try.  I think you’ll be able to feel your body smiling when you eat it!

Kale, Mushrooms & Cranberries Salad– adapted from Giada De Laurentiis

Serves: 4 as a side, 2 as a main dish

2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

2 small shallots, thinly sliced

2-3 green onions, thinly sliced

8 ounces cremini or button mushrooms, roughly chopped

salt and pepper to taste

1 medium bunch kale, chopped (about 5 cups)

1/4 cup low sodium chicken broth

1/3 cup dried cranberries

Instructions:

  1. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat.  Add the shallots, green onion, mushrooms, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper.  Cook, stirring often, about 8 minutes or until the vegetables are soft.
  2. Add the kale and cook until wilted, about 6 minutes.  Add the broth and cranberries.  Bring to a boil and scrape any brown bits that clung to the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon.
  3. Season to taste with a little salt and pepper and serve.  I would suggest you serve it with a seasoned chicken breast or your favorite cut of fish which will add the needed protein to fill you up.

Nutrition Facts (serving as a side): 175 calories, 8.1g fat, 1.1g sat. fat, 25g carbohydrate (6.7g dietary fiber), 6.1g protein.  ** Also to notice: 852mg Potassium, 446% of the DV of Vitamin A & 123% of the DV of Vitamin C!

Nutrition Facts (serving as a main dish): 350 calories, 16.2g fat, 2.2g sat. fat, 50g carbohydrate (13.4g dietary fiber), 12.1g protein.  **Also to notice: 1,705mg Potassium, 891% of the DV of Vitamin A & 246% of the DV of Vitamin C!

Tropical Summer Salad

This salad was just a little creation one night and I wanted to share it because it was so fresh and summer-y.  Personally, I could live off of avocados, and the one in this salad was perfectly green.  I couldn’t have been more excited to see no brown spots after a string of bad ones the last few times I’ve purchased them!  If you don’t know how to prepare an avocado it’s very simple, here’s a very helpful step-by-step description that I found…

Avocados are a great source of the healthier unsaturated fats.  Don’t let that be an excuse to eat the whole thing though, (although it will be hard to resist!) a healthy portion of an avocado is only 1/4 of it.  So enjoy the healthy fat, but watch your portion.

Tropical Summer Salad

Serves: 4-6

1 mango, chopped

1 avocado, chopped

1/4 cup sliced almonds

2 tbsp. green olives, sliced

1/4 red onion, thinly sliced

6 oz. spinach & mixed greens

Dressing: I made a simple red wine vinaigrette with olive oil, red wine vinegar and a little salt and pepper.  The amount will depend on how much salad you plan to eat.  For 3 servings I used about 1/3 cup red wine vinegar and 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil.  Prepare it to taste and to the amount of salad you will eat in that sitting.

Instructions:

  1. Mix all ingredients and top with dressing given or dressing of choice.