We have finally come to the last recipe as part of my How to Cook Meals in Bulk series: Spinach Salad with Protein.
This is an easy and fast spinach salad to prepare. It doesn’t require any cooking — just washing and chopping of vegetables.
You can add any meat you choose and a variety of ingredients. Use different vegetables like red or yellow peppers, grated carrots, grated beets. celery, tomato, Savoy cabbage, red cabbage, green onion, chopped broccoli, kale, etc. The more fresh vegetables you have on hand, the better.
Toppings can range from any type of nut (almonds, filberts, walnuts, pecans, macadamia) or seed (sesame, sunflower, pumpkin).
Add a touch of natural sweetness to bring out more flavour. You can use dried fruit like a small handful (¼ cup for two people) of cranberries, raisins, or currents. Or use fresh fruit instead, e.g. grate a fresh apple, add sliced strawberries or a large handful of fresh blueberries.
To make a fat-healthy salad dressing use extra virgin olive oil, flax oil, or a dash of sesame oil. Add to that some quality balsamic vinegar, a wine vinegar, an organic apple cider vinegar, or juice a half or a full lemon or lime.
To make your dressing creamy, add one tablespoon (per person) of Tzatziki, real mayonnaise (made from olive oil), or a full-fat plain yogurt (instead of a store-bought Caesar dressing or similar).
Freshly ground pepper and a sea salt will bring out the flavours of all the ingredients. Don’t be afraid to add fresh herbs like chives, basil, rosemary, etc.
If you have a well stocked kitchen it will be easy and fun to make something different every time based on what you have available.
For the protein add whatever you want. If you have cooked meals in your fridge you can use one of the meats, like chicken or steak. Slice it up and serve it cold, or warm it up (but not hot as it will wilt the salad) if you prefer.
Look for more big-bowl salad meal recipes coming some. I need to take pictures of my salad preparation and the final product before I can post more of these yummy recipes.
Spinach Salad with Protein
- 4 cups Organic spinach or two huge handfuls per person
- 1 cup Cherry Tomatoes sliced in half
- 2 small cucumbers I like the mini cucumbers
- 3-4 stalks Celery preferably the inner tender parts
- 1/2 cup Almonds (or walnuts, hazelnuts, etc.)
- 1/4 cup Dried Cranberries
- 1 tsp Balsamic Vinegar
- 1 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 tbsp White wine vinegar or rice wine vinegar or balsamic
- 1 tsp Freshly ground pepper or to taste
- 1/2 tsp Celtic Sea Salt or similar quality sea salt
- 1 medium Chicken Breast cooked
Wash all of the salad ingredients.
Slice the tomatoes in half, chop or slice the cucumbers, and finely chop the celery stalks.
Put all of the ingredients into a large mixing bowl, adding the liquids on top, and toss gently with a large salad spoon or two spoons. You're effectively making the salad dressing while tossing the salad at the same time.
Pour everything into a large salad bowl or onto a plate. What's nice about pouring from the mixing bowl into a serving bowl is that the heavier ingredients will now rest on the top of the salad and will look like the picture above.
Add whatever protein you wish. For this recipe I sliced a breast of chicken and added it cold to the salad. You could add canned or fresh salmon, tuna, sliced steak, pork loin, chopped firm tofu, etc.
In case you were wondering that salad was not 'fluffed'! I took that picture right after I poured it into the bowl! That's how good it looks, and that's how good it will taste!
Meal Planning and preparation doesn't get much easier than this!