A Savvy Week: Salads

Now that it is warm and springy outside, I’m all about adding a little lightness to our meals lately. I want to keep our meals simple and easy, too, so we can go for bike rides in the evenings and still have a healthy dinner.  Salads and half sandwiches are now lunchtime standards, and last week, I played with ways to add some creativity to our salads.


Photos from Stay for Dinner and Joy the Baker

A Savvy Week: Salads

Monday: Thai Beef Salad (from Not Without Salt)
Tuesday: Lentil and Chickpea Salad with Feta and Tahini (from Smitten Kitchen)
Wednesday: Blackened Chicken Salad (from Stay For Dinner)
Thursday:  Lemon, Olive and Parsley Quinoa Cakes (from Joy the Baker) over a spinach salad

On Sunday:

Wash and prep the salad greens for the Thai Beef Salad. You can store them directly in the salad spinner, since you’ll be eating them so soon.

Toast and grind the coriander and cumin seeds for the Lentil and Chickpea Salad.

Cook the quinoa for the Quinoa Cakes. Allow it to cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate.

On Monday:

Make the Thai Beef Salad: While the steak is cooking, whisk together the dressing. While the meat is resting, cut the shallots, mint, cilantro and cucumber.  Dinner in under 30 minutes!

Total prep and cooking time: 25 minutes.

On Tuesday:

Make the Lentil and Chickpea Salad: While the lentils are cooking, make the salad dressing, slice the onion and crumble the cheese.

Total prep and cooking time: 45 minutes.

On Wednesday:

Make the Blackened Chicken Salad: While the chicken cooks, make the Light Buttermilk Ranch Dressing.

Total prep and cooking time: 25 minutes

On Thursday:

Make the Lemon, Olive and Parsley Quinoa Cakes: While the cakes cook, wash the spinach. Serve the cakes on a bed of the spinach.

Total prep and cooking time: 25 minutes

On Friday:

Make the pizza. While it cools, wash your salad greens and toss them with the salad dressing.

Total prep and cooking time: 45 minutes.

Grocery List:

7 cloves garlic
3 shallots
2 fresh sage sprigs
1 1/2 cups fresh mint leaves
1 1/2 cups + a small handful of fresh cilantro leaves
1/3 cup fresh parsley
1 tablespoon fresh chives
1 Thai chile
1 small red onion
1 medium yellow onion
1 seedless English cucumber
8 cups mixed salad (chopped romaine lettuce, bell pepper, cucumber, tomatoes)
3-4 cups salad greens
2-3 cups spinach
1 lemon
1/3 cup coarsely chopped olives
1 1/2 pounds flank steak
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts
4 eggs
1 3/4 cups drained chickpeas (from a 15-ounce can), low sodium if possible
1 cup dried green lentils
1 1/2 cups dry quinoa
2 tablespoons tahini paste
1/2 small preserved lemon (optional)
1 cup panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup feta cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup fat free Greek yogurt
3/4 to 1 cup 1% low fat buttermilk
1 1/2 tablespoons raw sesame seeds


Groceries You Probably Already Have:

2 teaspoons coriander seeds
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon ground thyme
1 teaspoon dried dill
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup lemon juice
3-4 tablespoons lime juice
3 tablespoons fish sauce
9 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 3/4 teaspoon sugar

Happy Savvy Eating!