The Basic Warm Salad
*I think that social media (#godblessit) has stirred unrealistic expectations for healthy and clean eating. Sure it's wonderful if you love to cook or have the time to spend hours on dinners during the week--but you don't HAVE to in order to be healthy or consistently “well.”
Before you proceed, drop any and all bad connotations you have with the word "salad" and realize that the only reason you may consider them boring or bland is because
1) the media/tv shows/movies make them out to be a food for "dieters" and
2) you had a bad experience with a "sad-salad" once upon a time.
I honestly love salads...like genuinely and truly love them because they are incredibly versatile, are the perfect way to get in a crazy amount of nutrients, and they are an incredible way to get and keep a lean body year round.
I would say that since the start of thislifestyle I eat at least one salad a day...90% of the time. Not even because I feel like I have to to maintain my shape (because I could very well eat something else with a similar calorie profile) but more so because they are easy, cheap and honestly, so darn good if you can appreciate the taste of real food. Part of my obsession with salads this is due to the fact that I was physically unable to eat salads for like 2 years of my life and girl, let me tell you--that saying "you always want what you can't have" yeah its real. So when I gained the ability to digest food again, nourishing my body with healthy foods never tasted so good.
Anywho, this is my basic warm salad recipe that serves as my go to meal on my busiest days of the week--I can throw together its pre-prepped components that I already have made in the fridge and have a really filling, satisfying meal ready in 5 minutes. But why warm? Simply put, cooked foods digest better than cold foods--especially tough, fibrous foods like veggies! This is important to note not only for the purpose of nutrient absobstion but for gut health! Cooked veggies will break down easier and will be less likely to lead to bloating (AKA that terrible feeling we all deal with no matter how healthy our diet is!)
So BalancednFit babes, decide to stop hating salads and make things easy on yourself--here you go!
Serves 1| Calories per serving: 400*
2 Cups baby kale or spinach (Trader Joe's = super cheap!)
2-4 Tbsp salsa of choice
1/2 Avocado * Optional (add 100 calories to total)
1/4 Cup hummus of choice (I prefer Trader Joe's garlic or Cedar's roasted Red Pepper)
2 oz quinoa
3-4 oz chopped skinless chicken breast
1/2 cup sautéed bell peppers
1)In a largish microwave-safe bowl, throw in the baby kale/spinach after tearing it apart into smaller pieces with your hands.
2) Add hummus and salsa to greens and mix well with a fork and spoon (I use the same ones I then eat my finished salad with--#effortless?! yes).*
3)Then in a separate bowl, warm quinoa, chicken and bell peppers in the microwave until hot, then place on top of greens.
4) Lastly, slice avocado and lay on top of salad and ZAMMMN! It's that easy...!! Obvisouly I am not claiming to be Martha Stewart here, but in all honesty, this kind of simple eating is what is sustainable for me. So grab yourself a bowl and enjoy that salad girl--like one of those commercials with the woman laughing as she eats her greens…
*Hummus and salsa is my dressing replacement and DONT knock it until ya try it!