Southwestern Salad

Spinach Salad with Black Beans, Grilled Chicken and Avocado

This simple salad is a must-try for summer. I am always trying to make my salads interesting by using different textures and flavors. Black beans and chicken add protein and flavor to this bed of veggies, while avocado adds satisfying texture. Also, this Southwestern-style salad has a kick to it – perfect for the summer heat!

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Ingredients (serves 1):

3 oz grilled chicken breast, grilled with spices (chili powder, ground black pepper, cayenne pepper) *This is a great use of leftovers. No leftovers and don’t feel like cooking a chicken breast for lunch? I like Applegate Farms Fully Cooked Southwestern Style Grilled Chicken Breast  strips

2 Tbsp cooked black beans (*If canned, look for Low-Sodium or No Salt Added varieties and rinse in a colander)

1/4 avocado, chopped

6 cherry tomatoes, halved

1/4 C cucumber slices

2 C spinach, raw

2 Tbsp sweet corn kernels (*I like to use frozen sweet corn kernels and simply microwave them or thaw them before use)

1/2 red bell pepper, diced

2 Tbsp roasted red pepper dressing (I like Greenway’s Organic Roasted Red Pepper Vinaigrette)

Directions:

1. Place spinach in medium-sized bowl. Add avocado, cherry tomatoes, cucumber slices, corn and red bell pepper.

2. Warm black beans in microwave (about 25 seconds). Add to salad.

3. Warm chicken in microwave (about 1 minute) and chop. Add to salad.

4. Drizzle dressing over salad and enjoy!

The Goods: What’s Inside?

Nutritional Analysis Per Serving:

Calories 342 calories, Total Fat 15 g, Saturated Fat 1 g, Cholesterol 56 mg, Carbohydrates 30 g, Fiber 11 g, Protein 29 g, Sodium 362 mg, Calcium 114 mg

Grill Up A Summer Steak Salad!

Steak Salad with Roasted Broccoli and Pine Nuts

Sorry I haven’t written in awhile. My computer was out of commission but now it’s working and I have a ton of amazing recipes and food and fitness tips to share with you – starting with this amazing summer steak salad. During the summer, I like to lighten things up – but that doesn’t mean I want to eat plain lettuce for dinner. This salad has all the taste of summer – grilled steak, fresh veggies, roasted broccoli, pine nuts and a citrus-y vinaigrette – for a satisfying way to eat your veggies and use your grill! Perfect for a warm summer night, this steak dish puts veggies center stage and offers up nutrients like vitamin B12, vitamin C, vitamin K, and beta-carotene.

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Ingredients (serves 2):

Salad:

8 oz lean cut of steak of your choice (I like New York Strip and I prefer to trim the fat around the edges once it’s cooked)

*Note: This salad is also an amazing use of leftover steak if you happen to have any from a previous barbeque!

4 C chopped romaine lettuce

1/2 C cherry tomatoes, halved

1/4 C cucumber, sliced

2 crowns (fresh) broccoli (about 2 C broccoli flowerets)

1/8 C pine nuts, raw, unsalted

3 Tbsp olive or canola oil

dash salt

dash ground black pepper

Dressing: (*Note: Dressing serves 8. Serving size is 2 Tbsp. Store the remaining dressing in the refrigerator for later use.)

1/4 C lemon juice (fresh squeezed is best)

1/4 C extra virgin olive oil

1 Tbsp plus 1 tsp dijon mustard

1/2 tsp salt

dash ground black pepper

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Roasted broccoli – good on its own or in a salad!

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Wash broccoli, pat dry and chop crowns into small pieces. Spread on baking sheet. Drizzle 1 Tbsp oil over broccoli and toss with a spoon to coat evenly.

2.Turn on grill to medium heat. Prepare steak with 2 Tbsp oil and salt and pepper. Transfer to grill. Cook steak as desired.

*Note: All grills cook differently, but I typically cook steak for about 5-7 minutes on each side in order to achieve medium doneness. Let steak sit covered (i.e.: do not cut into it) for about 5 minutes once you remove the steak from the grill, as the steak will continue to cook due to residual heat. The steak should reach an internal temperature of at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

3. Place broccoli in oven. Roast for approximately 7-10 minutes, until broccoli is slightly browned. You may need to mix broccoli occasionally to prevent sticking.

4. While broccoli is roasting, heat pine nuts (dry) in small skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Cook until browned, approximately 5-10 minutes.

5. Quarter each cucumber slice. Divide lettuce, tomatoes and cucumber among two plates.

6. Slice steak in half. Divide each half into slices and place on top of lettuce. Add roasted broccoli and pine nuts.

7. Drizzle with a lemon vinaigrette of your choice (or make your own from the recipe below – super easy and healthy!). Enjoy!

To Make The Lemon Dijon Salad Dressing: 

Now just pour into a container and store in the fridge!

Now just pour into a container and store in the fridge!

1. Add each ingredient into a large bowl or salad dressing container.

2. Whisk or shake well until all ingredients are well-combined.

3. Chill in refrigerator until cold (approximately 30 minutes or more). Shake well before using and store in refrigerator.

The Goods: What’s Inside?

Nutritional Analysis Per Serving:

Calories 497 calories, Total Fat 35 g, Saturated Fat 7 g, Cholesterol 58 mg, Carbohydrates 11 g, Fiber 4 g, Protein 38 g, Sodium 251 mg, Calcium 96 mg

*One serving is half of the salad ingredients listed above with 2 Tbsp of the lemon dijon dressing. This will vary based on dressing used (if substituted) and different steak cuts.

A Healthy Tuna Salad

Tuna Salad

This healthy take on a tuna salad replaces mayonnaise with olive oil and lemon juice, which cuts the fat content of this dish, adds healthy monounsaturated fat, and gives the tuna salad a lighter taste. Ideal for taking to work or eating right at home, this healthy lunch gives you protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals so you can be strong, focused and satiated!

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Ingredients (serves 1):

1 can (about 4 oz) solid white albacore tuna, packed in water (I like Trader Joe’s Half Salt tuna)

juice from 1/2 lemon (fresh squeezed is best!)

2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided

2 C spinach

6 cherry tomatoes, halved

1/2 red bell pepper, chopped

1/4 C sliced cucumber

2 Tbsp onion, chopped

1 Tbsp red wine vinegar

a lighter tuna salad! dressed with extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice - hold the mayo!

a lighter tuna salad! dressed with extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice – hold the mayo!

Directions:

1. Drain water from tuna and pat dry with paper towel. transfer tuna to small bowl.

2. Add 1 Tbsp olive oil and lemon juice to tuna and mix well with fork. Set aside.

3. Place spinach on plate (or in bowl). Add tomatoes, onion, cucumber slices and chopped bell pepper. Add tuna on top. Dress with remaining 1 Tbsp olive oil and red wine vinegar. Enjoy!

The Goods: What’s Inside?

Nutritional Analysis Per Serving:

Calories 436 calories, Total Fat 32 g, Saturated Fat 5 g, Cholesterol 51 mg, Carbohydrate 16 g, Fiber 5 g, Protein 28 g, Sodium 421 mg, Calcium 86 mg