Feb 032018
Four Warming Salads for Winter

Happy February! January was supposed to be all about healthy eating and I tried to eat healthy, sort of. I was mainly focused on getting through the month… recovering from Christmas and jet lag, getting back into a routine, job hunting, and surviving work.

You’ll be please to know that one of my New Year’s resolutions has been achieved quite quickly. Can’t say much at the moment, but I’ve handed in my notice at work and I’m moving on to a very exciting position in March! ๐Ÿ™‚

So, January ended on a high, but throughout the month Lucy and I focused on trying to eat healthier. She’s been doing great and working out at the gym and me, well, I focused on one resolution at a time (i.e. new job). But, I did experiment with a few salad recipes!

I love salads, but in winter most of us want something a bit more substantial and warming. These four salad recipes can be made any time of year, but because they can be served warm, they make dinner/lunch a bit more comforting, while still being healthy. If you’re looking for some new salad recipes, give these a try!

P.S. I did quantities enough for two people

Winter Salads

 

Caprese Chicken Salad with Balsamic Dressing

This first recipe was modified from a Pinterest pin from Coorec.com. This was Lucy’s favourite and I love anything with chicken, so it was a win!20180107_183837

Ingredients:

  • 2 cooked chicken breasts, sliced (I cook in a glass dish with a lid in the oven on 200ยฐC with some oil and seasoning for 50 min).
  • asparagus spears, gently sautรฉed in the balsamic dressing
  • 1 avocado, chopped
  • mozzarella pearls, whole or shredded
  • cherry tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 bag spinach leaves
  • fresh basil chopped

Balsamic dressing: equal parts balsamic vinegar and olive oil with a tsp. of maple syrup and salt and pepper added to taste.

Serve with the chicken and asparagus still warm.

20180107_183849

Asian Vermicelli Salad

This one could be served warm, but I took it for lunch cold. Inspired by a pin on Pinterest from Lazy Cat Kitchen.

DSCN2653

Ingredients:

  • 1 nest per person/serving vermicelli noodles. Cook 2 min in boiling water then drain
  • 1/4 cucumber chopped
  • 1 yellow pepper, chopped
  • cilantro
  • 1/4 Chinese lettuce chopped (or cabbage)
  • handful of cashews
  • 1 tbsp neutral oil
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1-2 tbsp. maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp. rice vinegar

If using cabbage, this can be served warm, but Chinese lettuce wilts easily and therefore I waited until the noodles had cooled before mixing the salad.

Mediterranean Buddha Bowl

Sort of a salad, sort of not. Buddha bowls are easy, healthy, and adaptable meals that are perfect for weeknight dinners. We like to have them with quinoa because of the protein, but they also work with brown rice and couscous. This Mediterranean one is a staple in our house! It comes from Pinch of Yum (a great source for recipes). DSCN2661

Ingredients:

  • chopped parsley or cilantro
  • 1/2 bag spinach leaves
  • cooked quinoa (I use 1/3 cup dry per person, rinse, and do a 2:1 ratio water to quinoa. Bring to a boil then cover and turn to low for 20 min)
  • black or kalamata olives
  • chopped cucumber
  • crumbled feta
  • chopped avocado (I didn’t have one for this time)
  • optional: hummus
  • red pepper sauce

Red pepper sauce:

  • 2 red peppers roasted with oil for 30 min- leave to cool
  • The juice of 1 lemon (or lime)
  • salt and pepper
  • olive oil
  • 1/4-1/2 cup almonds. I find it’s best to use half ground and half chopped for a chunkier sauce

DSCN2660

To make the sauce add the cool red peppers to a NutriBullet or food processer, then add the almonds and other ingredients and whiz until incorporated and still a bit chunky. Adjust the oil, lemon, and seasoning according to taste.

Serve either in a bowl warm, or go big on the spinach and make a salad platter!

Pesto Tuna Noiรงoise Salad

Often done with a balsamic dressing, I took a risk and made this salad with pesto, which was inspired by a BBC Good Food recipe. This was one of those “throw together” Saturday night dinners that used up what we had in the house. I didn’t have enough spinach, so I added some chopped romaine lettuce.20180127_190218

Ingredients:

  • Boiled new potatoes, halved
  • 1/2 bag spinach leaves
  • 1 tin tuna, drained
  • 1 jar pesto (2 tbsp needed)
  • green beans
  • 1 avocado chopped
  • 2 eggs, hard-boiled and sliced in quarters
  • salt and pepper

Boil the potatoes for 15 min in a large saucepan. After 5 min of boiling gently introduce the eggs (to avoid cracking) and then 2 minutes before the end, toss in your chopped beans to cook them slightly.

Let the potatoes cool while you peel and cut the eggs. Mix the pesto with the tuna, salad, and avocado, and then add the potatoes before serving. Garnish with the egg.

Four easy, protein-packed warming winter salads for you to try! I’m off to bake some cookies (I know, not healthy), and relax a bit by watching Groundhog Day. Bill Murray is just the best. ๐Ÿ™‚

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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