You know that full feeling you get after lunch? The one where you fight to keep your eyes open and dream about crawling under your desk for a quick snooze? I used to feel like that all the time after lunch!
I’ve found that whatever I eat for lunch plays a huge role in how I feel for the rest of the day. Obviously, a big cheeseburger and fries will most likely make you feel lousy, no-brainer, right? But what I’ve found surprising is that I was making healthy choices for lunch, preparing for the week, and would often still feel overly full and sometimes bloated.
For the past couple of weeks, I have switched up my lunch meal planning a little. In the past, I never made salads for lunch. For some reason, they didn’t seem to fill me up, and I hated the idea of using store bought dressings that were full of junk. Quite honestly, a good salad just seemed like a lot of work, and I could never make them like they do in the restaurants!
A leafy green, strawberry, goat cheese, almond, love affair
Recently while shopping, I was drawn to all of the fresh organic leafy greens that filled the produce isle (the beauty of summertime). I couldn’t resist buying a huge container of it, and decided to give salads another chance. I also picked up some fresh organic strawberries. Another reason that summer is fantastic, the berry selection is great and organic options are so much more affordable! Side note, when there’s a great deal on organic berries, I stock up all summer, freezing them for my smoothies in the winter!
As I passed by the cheese aisle, my favorite goat cheese was calling my name. I thought it would go perfectly with the other ingredients in the salad. I decided on chicken for the protein as it easy to prepare for the week. One last thing I decided to pick up for the salad were some slivered almonds. They’re super healthy, add a great crunch, and help to keep you full.
What’s in your dressing?
Now came the hard part (at least I thought), the dressing! This was actually the easiest part of the whole salad. I refused to buy any of the dressings in the store. I hate not knowing what all of those ingredients are, not to mention the added sugar.
Olive oil and balsamic vinegar, that’s it! And it’s delicious! No need to make it complicated. The general rule of thumb for a vinaigrette dressing is a 3 to 1 ratio of oil to vinegar. Three tablespoons of oil for every one tablespoon of vinegar. However, I actually like the tartness from the vinegar and prefer an extra tablespoon. Some people add, honey, and Dijon mustard as well. But for this salad, all I used was balsamic and olive oil, and it was perfect!
Strawberry, almost, goat cheese, grilled chicken salad with balsamic dressing
- 2 pounds of chicken for grilling, or baking. (This depends on how much you like to add to your salad).
- 1 container of strawberries
- 1 large container of leafy greens
- Slivered almost (add based on your preference)
- 1 log of goat cheese
- balsamic vinegar
- Olive Oil
1.) Wash all of the greens with a salad spinner. I know it says “washed and ready to eat” but I still wash mine at home. One time I saw the water that they “wash” the produce in and it looked SO gross. So now I just give mine a little extra washing in case ;).
2.) Wash all of the strawberries and lay them out to dry
3.) Prepare chicken to grill. I season mine with salt, pepper, McCormick Montreal Chicken Chicken Seasoning, and olive oil.
4.) Grill all of the chicken at once, about 7-8 minutes on each side until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. When finished let rest for 10 minutes.
5.) While chicken is cooking, mix greens and almonds together. I add about a cup of almonds; this part depends on your preference. Portion out greens into containers as desired.
***Side note, I don’t put all ingredients together until I’m ready to eat the salad.
6.) Cut up chicken and store in a separate container. I personally like to heat my chicken up right before I put it on the salad, which is why I store it separately in glass containers.
7.) Assemble salad when ready to eat. Put mixed greens and almonds on a plate. Heat up chicken (optional) and place on top. slice strawberries (3) right before eating and crumble some goat cheese on top. Finish with the ridiculously easy homemade salad dressing, and ta-dah!
**You could also assemble salad the morning of and pack together for lunch. However, I wouldn’t put the dressing on until you are ready to eat!
A beautiful, healthy salad that will keep your body nourished and full for hours!
I love this salad for so many reasons! Number one being, I feel great after. I’m satisfied but not overly full, and I don’t get hungry an hour later. It causes zero bloating. I also love it because it’s super affordable.
I’m a firm believer in preparing your lunches for the week for the nutritional benefit, as well as the financial benefit. It’s kind of crazy. I see people spend $12-$15 a day at lunch. For a week that’s over $70, and for the month it comes to around $280, that’s so much money for lunch!
This salad cost around $30.00 (I already had olive oil on hand). That comes to $6 a day for lunch. I’m telling you, you just can’t beat that! Fresh, delicious, healthy, satisfying, and affordable. Your in control of what you’re putting in your body and also what comes out of your wallet.
What are some of your favorite salad for lunch?
Take one small step today,