With a smart ratio of protein, carbs, and fat, salads can be so much more a boring bed of greens. Make these recipes for a filling dinner any night of the week.
Big, Healthy Salads
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Salads deserve to be more than just a grab-and-go workday lunch. With the right ingredients and protein-carbs-fats ratio, a bed of greens can turn into a delicious, healthy, and satisfying entree. Allot some of the chopped veggies from meal prep to create these recipes for #SaladSunday (or #SaladMonday, #SaladTuesday—you get the idea) and you'll get a healthy head start on the week. (Another way to instantly turn a salad into a meal is to add grains. These Grain-Based Salads That Seriously Satisfy will get you started.)
Photo: Cafe Delites/Edible Perspective/The View from Great Island/Cotter Crunch
Shrimp, Strawberry, Avocado Salad with No-Mayo Green Goddess Dressing
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You'll find healthy fats in every bite you take of this rich-tasting Shrimp, Strawberry, Avocado Salad. Creamy avocado, flavorful olive oil, and salty Parmesan cheese are mixed in a bed of peppery, savory arugula. The shrimp and strawberries bring the whole meal together with a dose of protein and smart carbs.
Photo: Fix Feast Flair
Skinny Chicken and Avocado Caesar Salad
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Caesar salads are typically off limits if you're eating healthy or cutting back on calories—darn you, dressing—but this version is renamed "Skinny" Chicken and Avocado Caesar Salad for good reason. The homemade dressing has less than half the fat of typical Caesar dressings, and you get a double dose of protein from the grilled chicken and hard-boiled eggs.
Photo: Cafe Delites
Salmon Salad Power Bowl
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The name alone tells you this is not your average #saddesksalad: Salmon Salad Power Bowl. Wild Alaskan salmon offers up a hefty amount of omega-3 fatty acids and heart-healthy fats; you'll even sneak in a serving of fruit with your dinner. Raspberries are tossed in to add some fiber, antioxidants, and you know, pretty color doesn't hurt either. (Check out these other ways to Spice Up Your Lunchtime Salad.)
Photo: Cotter Crunch
Chickpea Shwarma Salad
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You'll get the flavor of your go-to Indian dish without any of the heavy sauces and oil thanks to a slew of shwarma spices—think, cumin, smoked paprika, ginger, and turmeric—baked into crispy chickpeas. These tiny, flavorful pulses help turn this Chickpea Shwarma Salad into a real-deal meal as you'll get 20 grams of protein per serving. Pita chips and loads of veggies round out the dish.
Photo: Minimalist Baker
Everything Spring Green Salad with Basil Lemon Vinaigrette
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Don't you just love when you can see the ingredients in your meal? You'll know exactly what you're eating and exactly the nutrients that are nourishing your body with this Everything Spring Green Salad with Basil-Lemon Vinaigrette. This recipe is perfect for Sunday nights when you're already meal-prepping, chopping, and slicing tons of veggies for the week anyway. Just through those bell peppers, cucumbers, red onion, peas, and tomatoes into a bowl and call it a meal.
Photo: Ambitious Kitchen
Grilled Veggie Fajita Salad
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This Grilled Veggie Fajita Salad recipe defies the basic boring bed of greens in the best way possible—it's warm. Well the grilled veggies (portabella, peppers, onion, corn) are warm, and they take your salad game up a bunch of notches. All those veggies offer filing fiber, protein, and carbs (how about that for a trifecta?), and the marinade and creamy avocado make dressing totally unnecessary.
Photo: Edible Perspective
Shrimp, Asparagus, and Zucchini Orzo Salad
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This Shrimp, Asparagus, and Zucchini Orzo Salad has enough good stuff going for it that it can certainly be the star on your dinner plate, but it's also the best picnic food idea you've had in a while. Orzo, which looks like rice but is really teeny pasta, and sautéed asparagus and zucchini make for a smart mix of carbs. You'll get some satisfying protein with the shrimp and a delicious kick from the DIY dressing made from Dijon and apple cider vinegar.
Photo: Damn Delicious
Chopped Salad with Spicy Tomato Vinaigrette
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It doesn't get much easier than this. Toss in all the fresh produce you chopped this week into a bowl with leafy greens, cheese (if you're not doing the dairy-free thing), and the protein of your choice (chicken, egg, and chickpeas were used here) and voila—Chopped Salad with Spicy Tomato Vinaigrette. Well, you still have to make the dressing, but it's surprisingly easy. P.S. You'll love the kick it gives this dish. (Homemade dressings allow you to control the ingredients and calorie count. Try these 10 Salad Dressing Recipes That Are Way Better Than Store-Bought.)
Photo: The View from Great Island