Gina’s Spinach Salad
This salad is packed with super healthy veggies and good protein. I will give you the basic idea of how to put the salad together and then give you suggestions on how to make substitutions. It is very easy to substitute different veggies or proteins in this salad. Use what you like and/or what you have in the kitchen. I will give you basic amounts of how much of each ingredient that I use. Feel free to experiment! Remember everything is organic when I can find it.
- one cup of spinach
- one half cup of purple cabbage
- a little red onion
- a couple strawberries
- cut up chicken breast
- Parmesan cheese
- balsamic vinegar
- olive oil
I like to chop everything up pretty small so it is in nice bite size pieces. Combine everything on the plate. Sprinkle with the salt, pepper, balsamic vinegar and olive oil.
Veggies – Use a base for the salad that is full of vitamins. This is why I start with spinach. I rarely use just lettuce. If I have some romaine left over I will use it but I will always mix with something that is more nutrient dense. Try kale, broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, green beans, peas, avocados, etc. Any kind of veggie will work and taste great!
Meat – If you have left over chicken, turkey, steak etc. just slice or chop it and throw it in! I even use deli meats or meatballs when I have them in the house.
Nuts – I choose organic walnuts most of the time because they are very low on the glycemic index and they are high in omega 3s. I have also used sunflower seeds, peanuts, and almonds. Nuts add an extra punch the salad so it feels more hearty and more flavorful.
Fruits – Be sparing with these. Fruits do have extra sugar so if you are really trying to cut back on your sugar intake be mindful of that. Cut up apple is good. Dried fruits such as cranberries are great as well.
Cheese – Any cheese you have in the house will work. We always have Parmesan cheese (my kids call it sprinkle cheese!) in the house so that is what I use most often. I have also used swiss, feta, blue and gorgonzola cheese.
Dressing – I always use vinegar and olive oil on my salads. I stay away from bottled dressings because I can’t find one that doesn’t have ingredients that I don’t want to put in my body or if I feel it is healthy it costs a fortune! Dressings come with so many preservatives in them it is ridiculous. Olive oil is great for you anyway because it is high in omega 3s.
I have just given you a great salad recipe and so many substitutions that you could create a new salad every day for month! This formula will create lunches for you that are packed with healthy vitamins, fiber, protein and fats. Feel free to pack your plate as well. There is no limit to how many veggies you can eat!