5 Healthy Protein-Packed Spring Salad Recipes
These 5 salad recipes are healthy, full of protein, and are super easy! What more could you ask for?
Spring is one of my favorite times of year. The flowers are blooming, everything is green and, best of all, the farmer's market is in full swing—and that means fresh veggies galore! I have always had a serious weakness for fresh produce. Luckily for me, it's a craving I can freely enjoy.
Although I could probably live on fresh fruits and vegetables alone, I know a fit diet isn't complete without protein. (And a girl can only have so many protein shakes.) So I got creative and put together the veggies I love with the protein my body needs. The result was fantastic: five delicious, high-protein spring salads. Each of them can be eaten as a meal or used as a side-dish.
Whether you're prepping for a show, bulking, or just want to keep health at the forefront of your nutrition, these salads will fit in your diet! Here are the quick and easy recipes:
Arugula Chicken Salad
Arugula isn't just fancy lettuce—it's a flavorful, nutritious vegetable that has a long list of health benefits. It's low in calories, high in folic acid, vitamins A, C, and K, and minerals like iron and copper. Its peppery flavor also provides a unique twist. Here's my favorite way to make arugula even yummier!
olive oil 1 tbsp
baby carrots 10 chopped
red cabbage 1/2 cup chopped
arugula 1 cup
chicken 8 oz cubed
sunflower seeds 2 tsp
- Pan fry cubed chicken in a non-stick pan with olive oil. Set aside and allow it to cool.
- Chop red cabbage and baby carrots.
- Add arugula, carrots, and cabbage to a large salad bowl.
- Top salad with sunflower seeds and cooled chicken.
- Add your favorite dressing and enjoy.
Tuna Apple Salad
Oh, I know what you're thinking: tuna and apple, you're crazy! I promise you, the texture and taste combo of apple and tuna is great. The best part about this salad is its versatility. Eat it as it is, on a sandwich, or make a lettuce wrap. Whichever option you go for, it'll be a good decision.
celery 2 tbsp chopped
tuna in water 2 cans of
sweet relish 1 tbsp
apple, diced 1/2
garlic powder Pinch
fat-free mayo 3 tbsp
- Drain water from cans and place tuna in a bowl.
- Finely chop celery and apple and add to tuna.
- Stir in sweet relish, garlic powder, and mayo.
Spinach Almond Salad
Spinach and almonds make a wonderful combination. It's a tasty treat, and a healthy one at that, but I wanted to up the ante a little. So, I added broccoli, a great source of vitamin A, protein-packed eggs, and basil leaves for some extra flavor.
baby spinach 1 1/2 cup
broccoli 1/2 cup chopped
Roma tomato, diced 1 small
hard-boiled eggs 3
almonds 1 tbsp slivered
basil leaves Fresh
- Add spinach to a large salad bowl.
- Chop broccoli, tomatoes, and hard-boiled eggs and add to salad bowl.
- Sprinkle with slivered almonds and fresh basil leaves.
- Top with your favorite dressing or try half a squeezed lemon and olive oil.
Lemon Quinoa Mint Salad
I love quinoa. It's full of protein, has an interesting taste, and it pretty much goes with everything. That's why I eat this recipe as a meal. It also works great as a side dish. Bring it to your next barbecue or potluck and I guarantee you won't have any leftovers!
quinoa 3 cups cooked
pine nuts 1/2 cup
mint leaves 10 chopped
Juice from one lemon
sea salt 1 tsp
basil oil (optional) 1 tbsp
- Mix mint leaves into cooled quinoa.
- Add lemon juice.
- Stir in pine nuts, salt, and oil.
- Devour by yourself or share with friends!
Recipe yields 3
Bean and Sweet Potato Salad
You don't have to be a vegan or vegetarian to understand and appreciate the power of beans. They're full of fiber, iron, and thiamin, and they're also a great protein source. That's why this recipe is an all-out win for your health and your taste buds!
kidney beans 1 can
black beans 1 can
whole kernel corn 1 can
cilantro Handful chopped
sweet potato, baked and cubed 1 large
garlic salt 1 tsp
olive oil 1 tbsp
- Pan fry sweet potato in olive oil and set aside to cool.
- Drain and rinse kidney beans, black beans, and corn and add to a large bowl.
- Add garlic salt, cilantro, and cooled sweet potato to the bowl of beans and stir.
- Enjoy as is or use as a side dish.
Recipe yields 3