A lot of people look to salads for a quick and easy way to get their vegetables in at lunchtime. However, if you’re not careful, they can also be incredibly unhealthy. All too often, salads are loaded down with fatty dressings and high-calorie toppings, making them far less nutritious than they may seem. Fortunately, it is possible to make healthy salads without compromising on flavour. In this blog post, we will share 5 recipes for healthy salads that are perfect for easy lunches - just be sure to make these ahead of time!
1) Mediterranean Chickpea Salad
Ingredients: Chickpeas, cucumber, red bell pepper, cherry tomatoes, red onion, feta cheese, parsley, lemon vinaigrette
If you like a little plant-based protein with your veggies, then you’ll love this Mediterranean Chickpea Salad. Chickpeas are not only high in protein, but they’re also full of soluble fibre as well as other vitamins and minerals, making them an excellent choice for a nutritional boost at lunchtime.
Top the whole thing with this lemon vinaigrette. Not only is it easy to make, but it’s so much better than store-bought options!
2) Best Broccoli Salad
Ingredients: Broccoli, extra-virgin olive oil, mayo, apple cider vinegar, Dijon mustard, maple syrup/honey, garlic, sea salt, red onions cranberries, smoky tamari almonds
Who doesn’t love a broccoli salad at a cookout? If you’re looking for a healthier version, say hello to this recipe for the Best Broccoli Salad. This does away with the usual meat, cheese, and sugar, and replaces them with some truly tasty options. Now, the smoky tamari almonds may take a little longer to prepare, but if you can make them ahead of time they are so worth it!
3) Creamy Pesto Chicken Salad with Greens
Ingredients: chicken breast, red onion, mixed salad greens, grape/cherry tomatoes, pesto, low-fat mayonnaise, extra-virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt and pepper
Creamy chicken salads can be great for lunch, but they’re not necessarily the healthiest option out there. For a more nutritious alternative, try this Creamy Pesto Chicken Salad with Greens. This recipe cuts the usual amount of mayo in half and replaces it with basil pesto, adding an extra boost of flavour that pairs well with the rest of the ingredients. You may never go back to the full-mayo option!
4) Strawberry Spinach Salad
Ingredients: Spinach, strawberries, red onion, pecans, goat cheese, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, soy sauce
Like a little fruit in your salad? Try this vibrant Strawberry Spinach Salad. This light and sweet option featuring strawberries is also packed with fibre, protein, and other nutrients thanks to its spinach base. This recipe even includes instructions for an incredibly easy and delicious salad dressing, so you can leave the ones that are loaded with fat and sugar at the store!
5) 10-minute Couscous Salad
Ingredients: Couscous, vegetable stock, spring onions, red pepper, cucumber, feta cheese, pesto, pine nuts
Forget to prep your lunch the night before? No problem! You can easily throw together this 10-minute Couscous Salad. Couscous can be a great, healthier alternative to salads with white pasta or rice, as it’s a good source of fibre. Be sure to get the whole-grain variety, though!