It’s time to set those resolutions and typically, salad becomes a big part of that. If eating healthier is one of your top new year priorities, that’s great. But “I’m going to eat healthier this year” is one of those well intentioned, but too-hard-to-define goals that isn’t nearly as easy done as said. You’ll have better success if you break it down in to bite-sized mini-goals. For instance, eat 3 salads/week for lunch is an easy and doable goal…..until around week 3 when you run out of good salad recipes and your taste buds are screaming at you for some variety. The truth is, when you set one big giant goal, it can be hard to know where to start and easy to lose your momentum. ESPECIALLY if your goal is food-related and your food is boring, yucky, or not varied enough. We have compiled our top 2 salad recipes to make sure you don’t ruin your resolution before it even gets started. Both recipes can easily be changed with the substitution of one ingredient. The list of variations is endless! Click here for the full list of healthy salad recipes. Keep reading!
1. Cucumber/Tomato/Avocado Salad
Salt & Pepper
Probably the easiest salad you’ll ever make and if you take one look at the ingredients, you’ll know why it’s delicious and healthy. How can anything taste bad with that combination? Put the chopped tomatoes, cucumber, avocado, red onion, and fresh basil in a bowl. Drizzle with a little bit of olive oil and white balsamic vinegar. Season with salt and pepper and serve! So easy and beautiful and also goes great as a side with any meal. This salad chills well and also transports well, so it’s super easy to bring to work. You can mix it up and vary the taste by using different flavor oils (coconut, avocado, olive, almond) or by using different herbs (rosemary, tyme, cilantro) or by adding different cheeses (feta, goat, cottage).
2. Sweet Potato Quinoa Salad
2 medium sweet potatoes
1 and 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
Coarse sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
1 cup quinoa uncooked
2 cups water (or chicken or vegetable broth/stock)
4-5 ounces fresh spinach, stems removed and coarsely chopped
1 large avocado, chopped
1/3 cup dried cranberries
Optional: fresh basil, to taste
4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 and 1/2 tablespoons dijon mustard, do not use regular mustard
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup olive oil
1 large lemon (3 tablespoons juice)
This sweet potato quinoa salad has it all – perfect textures, delicious flavors, and it’s so simple to make! Not to mention how healthy quinoa salad is! It’s packed with good for you ingredients that will keep you fuller for longer. The lemon vinaigrette is light, fresh, healthy, and tangy. There’s dijon mustard, lemon juice, dried herbs, vinegar, and olive oil. All great ingredients and together, they pack a punch! Make this dressing weekly and it will be gone within 3-4 days!
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Peel and coarsely (but evenly) chop your sweet potatoes. Place on a large sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil and salt + pepper (to taste). Toss everything to coat and place in the preheated oven. Let roast for 15 minutes and then flip the potatoes and roast for an additional 10-20 minutes or until desired tenderness.
Meanwhile, prepare the quinoa. Rinse the quinoa in a fine mesh sieve to remove the bitter coating. In a small saucepan, combine quinoa with water (or broth/stock). Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and cover the pan with a lid.
Turn heat all the way to the lowest setting and cook covered for 15 minutes or until the water has completely absorbed in the quinoa.
Turn off the heat and let stand covered for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, remove the lid and fluff the quinoa gently with a fork. Set aside.
Toss the cooked quinoa and sweet potato in a large bowl. Allow to cool.
Meanwhile, prep the dressing. Whisk the red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, dried oregano, dried basil, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste), and 1/4 teaspoon pepper (or to taste) together in a small bowl. Slowly add in the olive oil into the vinegar mixture while whisking briskly. Whisk in the lemon juice. Pour into a jar and store in the fridge while you finish the salad.
Remove the stems and coarsely chop the spinach. Add to the salad along with the chopped avocado and cranberries. Toss everything together. If desired, ribbon some basil and top the salad with the fresh basil.
Toss the salad with desired amount of dressing (you might have some leftover depending on how dressed you liked your salads!) Enjoy immediately.
Do not dress anything you don’t intend to eat that day. This salad is best eaten immediately after being dressed, so if you want leftovers, only toss what you will eat with the dressing.
For more recipes, click here.