As a Dietitian one of the main things I get asked is “what do you eat?” I can safely say “everything!” (because #foodfreedom). However, I seriously crave THIS salad. The textures, the fresh ingredients, and the taste profile… honey it’s got it all and it’s simply the best. So, I needed to share it with the world. Enjoy!
- Dietary Features: gluten-free, refined sugar-free, and can be made dairy-free and vegan/ vegetarian friendly.
- Crunchy texture with a creamy, savory, and subtly sweet taste.
- The perfect salad to make for lunch or bring on-the-go!
Why You Will Love This Recipe
Healthy eating can get boring and confusing, am I right?! Sometimes, you just need to bring it back to the basics. Whole foods, fresh ingredients, and the perfect flavor combinations. That’s what we are doing today.
I’m always getting asked in my Elizabeth G The RD Community and on Instagram “Elizabeth, what do you eat?” and “what are some healthy meal options?” The truth is, health, like many things in life, is relative. Defining what “health” and “healthy” looks like from person to person is different. However, there are some basics.
That’s what todays recipe is all about– bringing it back to the basics baby. In this post you’ll find my ALL TIME FAV salad recipe, expert tips and tricks to create a salad that taste like it from a restaurant, and fully answered FAQ’s. Enjoy love bugs!
Arugula: Fresh and a bit spicy, this is my favorite green to add to a salad or sandwich. Full of antioxidants and glucosinolates, which give arugula it’s bitter taste, these substances help fight free radical damage. Leaving us feeling energized and preventing against disease.
Spinach: Full of vitamins and minerals like Vitamin E and Magnesium, spinach is a nutritional powerhouse.
Cucumbers: My personal favorite veggie, cucumbers are hydrating and delicious!
Bell peppers: Full of immune-boosting Vitamin C and great flavor! Red bell peppers are my favorite, what are yours? You can let me know in the comments below. 🙂
Sweet potatoes: You must include these. I’m sorry but it’s not optional. This ingredient gives the salad a slightly sweet taste, which lends so well with the savory dressing and spicy arugula. Sweet potatoes also provide complex carbohydrates and prebiotic fibers for a healthy gut and increased energy! Make sure you slice these very finely, I used a cheese grader (lol).
Shredded carrots: Full of Vitamin A, carrots are fantastic! They also lend a sweet and slightly earthy taste to this salad. I tend to purchase them pre-shredded.
Cilantro: My favorite herb, hands down. For those who think cilantro taste like soap, I am truly sorry. Cilantro adds a fresh and citrusy flavor that is irresistible, in my humble opinion. However, if you hate cilantro you could easily leave this ingredient out or substitute it for an herb that you do enjoy.
Mixed nuts: Filled with healthy fats and some protein while adding some crunch, I love adding nuts and seeds to my meals or snacks.
Chicken: I used rotisserie chicken. However, feel free to use grilled chicken or to substitute the chicken out for shrimp or fish. The proteins I put in my meals are always changing. I try to include as much variety into my diet as I can. So one day I might use chicken, the next tuna, the next tempeh, etc.
Bada Bean Bada Boom: These snacks are IT. Full of fiber and high in protein. If you haven’t read why I love them so much already, do that. But, these are the crunch-factor necessary for the most delicious salad. I used the “Everything But The Bagel Seasoning” flavor because why the heck not. However, you can easilysubstitute these crunchy beans for tortilla chips or croutons.
Everything but the bagel seasoning: Trader Joe lovers, where ya at?! You already know this aesthetic and delicious seasoning goes on top of just about everything in my kitchen. However, today I sprinkled some of this seasoning onto the chicken.
Homemade Caesar Dressing: Make it. Or buy it in the stores but making it is so fun and fresh! You can also try Homemade Ranch. I just enjoy a creamy dressing in this salad recipe.
The Step-by-Step Process
- Step 1 – Pre heat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Step 2– Finely shred sweet potatoes until ribbons of them form. I used a cheese grader (lol).
- Step 3– Place in bowl and spray with avocado oil, salt, and pepper.
- Step 4– Bake until crispy/ tender (about 15 mins). Let cool when done.
- Step 5 – Massage and chop spinach and arugula finely. Place in large bowl with lid.
- Step 6 – Chop all vegetables finely. Place in the same large bowl.
- Step 7 – Drizzle with dressing of choice over all ingredients in large bowl.
- Step 8– Add sweet potatoes once cooled and then shake everything together.
- Step 9 – Place mixture in bowl of choice (I like glass or cute designed bowls).
- Step 10- Add chicken and season with Everything But The Bagel Seasoning.
- Step 11– Add Bada Bean Bada Boom snacks.
- Step 12– Add mixed nuts and enjoy! 🙂
Note: complete step-by-step printable instructions are located in the recipe card below.
Notes and Expert Tips
- The key to making any salad taste good is all in the chop. Finely chopping the ingredients into small, bite sized, pieces helps everything to mix into each other easier while also creating a better eating experience. So chop ya veggies finely people!
- Because I know that standing at the cutting board and chopping can be BORING, let’s be honest. I recommend playing some music (I love jazz or 80’s during my chopping sessions) and potentially pouring yourself a glass of vino (wine) to sip. 😉
- Make sure that you thoroughly mix all of the ingredients together. I find using a large mixing bowl with a lid works best.
- Try being mindful while creating this meal. Slow down, create a relaxing atmosphere, and truly be mindful about each ingredient and step in the cooking process. Focus on the smell, feel, and sound, and of course taste of the food.
- Before and during eating, take a minute to appreciate your food. Where it came from, the work that went into producing it, and how it nourishes you. Pause and become grateful for that.
- Q: I want to try Bada Bean, do you have a discount code for percent off?
- A: I don’t as of right now. But if you visit the website you may be able to find a deal!
- Q: What is the best container to store this salad in.
- A: I LOVE glass containers with bamboo lids. But also air-tight container should work!
- Q: How long does this salad last in the fridge?
- A: It can last up to 4 days fresh in the fridge! I would just add the crunchy stuff separate (bada bean and nuts) as well as save the dressing to when your about to eat it because soggy salads aren’t the best.
- Q: How can I easily take this salad on-the-go?
- A: Place all the ingredients (except the crunchy stuff (bada bean and nuts) and the dressing) in a mason jar. Add the crunchies and the dressing once your about to eat into the jar, shake up thoroughly, and enjoy! 🙂
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