Salad is often a go-to meal for those trying to pursue a healthy lifestyle. But, do you ever find yourself eating the same thing over and over again when it comes to salads? You might even think they are boring, but ThinkFit is here to change that. Below, we’ve provided you with some of the best healthy meal prep salads.
Salads can be a great place to start when it comes to reaching your health and personal fitness goals. They bring a nice variety to the table as you are able to play around with various ingredients that can be tailored to your taste buds.
You might be asking yourself, where do I even start when it comes to meal prepping salads?
Our customers ask us all the time how to meal prep salads and keep them fresh!
Let’s start off with some general tips when it comes to preparing salads and maintaining their freshness.
Tips for salad prep and maintaining freshness:
- Start off by washing and portioning out your greens for the week. This will save you time later in the week when you might get slammed at work.
- Choose firm greens, like kale, to limit moisture from developing, or place a paper towel at the bottom of the container to absorb moisture from the lettuce and prevent wilted lettuce.
- Portion out toppings and store them in separate containers, so it makes it easy to throw your salad all together.
- Make sure to use a variety of toppings, so you don’t get tired of having the same salad everyday.
- If you cook any of your toppings, like meats or quinoa, make sure they are completely cool before storing them.
- Use small dressing containers. Storing your dressing separate from your base greens will ensure that they won’t get soggy.
- Also, when portioning out the dressing, don’t overdo it. Salad dressing can be a sneaky way to add additional calories to your healthy meal, so just be aware of that.
- You can also prep your salads upside down in a mason jar, starting with the dressing at the base to ensure the greens stay fresh at the top
In need of small containers and maybe even some meal prep bags? Don’t worry, ThinkFit has some for you! These bags and containers are perfect for meal prepping any meal and are great to take into work for lunches.
All of these tips make for an easy week of prepared salads. Having a variety of toppings is important, so you don’t feel like you’re eating the same thing every day. It is important to remember that it can be fun to switch things up!
Here is a list of some toppings you might want to use on your salad: fresh or dried fruit, nuts, raw or cooked vegetables, and proteins like chicken, quinoa, and beans. These are only a few of the numerous options you can add. There are so many you are able to choose from!
If you have never meal prepped before, there is no need to worry. ThinkFit has outlined some ways to prevent mistakes when it comes to meal prep. Don’t be afraid to get started! We have plenty of resources available to you.
Preparing meals for the week ahead can be intimidating. We know that, especially if you are just starting off. But, it can also be exciting. Salads can be prepared in so many different ways. There are so many great recipes out there.
With that said, let's get to the fun part: recipes!
Let’s start with a salad meal plan for the whole week:
When ThinkFit thinks about breakfast, we think about something that is both delicious and is able to kickstart your day. This honey lime quinoa fruit salad does just that.
The quinoa base provides a variety instead of greens, which you typically see making up a salad. It is topped off with a honey lime glaze, adding a refreshing finish to the meal. This salad also includes four different types of fruit, which fulfils the recommended daily intake of fruits.
The original fruits in this dish are strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and mangos, which can easily be swapped out, so make sure you include fruits of your liking! Salads are meant to go through a “trial and error” process until you find something that is both healthy and satisfies your taste buds.
The total prep time is only 20 minutes, and it makes six servings. It is quick, which makes it perfect for making a whole week plan.
We even tried out this recipe for ourselves! Take a look below at the salad in the making:
We first started portioning out the fruits into separate bowls.
Next up, for lunch, we have a chickpea salad with a Mediterranean flare. Chickpeas are a great source of plant-based protein, which make them a good option to add to your salad.
Couscous makes up the base of this salad, and it is another great source of plant-based protein. The combination of couscous and chickpeas brings some new flavors to your taste buds! Like we’ve mentioned before, it is so easy to switch up the bases of your salad, and this is a great example of that.
This recipe is also packed with veggies like cucumbers, tomatoes, olives and red peppers. The salad is topped off with a light olive oil and lemon dressing, which really brings the whole salad together.
This salad can easily be meal prepped! Just portion out the dressing and ingredients into different containers for the week!
For dinner this week, we’re going Greek with a lighter option. It’s a Greek salad with chicken.
This salad originally serves two and takes only 14 minutes to prep, but it can easily be meal prepped by tripling the recipe and then portioning out the prepped ingredients.
Chicken, cucumbers, tomatoes, olives and feta make for the best healthy meal prepped salad.
Don’t like olives? Feel free to substitute with any other topping of your choosing! Again, make sure you are adding toppings that you enjoy and that are healthy for you. Having variety never hurts!
Now that we’ve provided you with a meal plan for the week, let's get into some more salad recipes! This time, we will focus on some lunch recipes.
5 Lunch Recipes:
Let’s start off with one of our favorite salad recipes from our previous blog post: Top 10 Best Meal Prep Website and Recipes Reviewed.
This sashimi tuna salad is to die for! It has a diverse set of ingredients, including cucumbers, carrot sticks, green onions and avocados. While the preparation takes a bit longer, it is well worth the flavor that is packed into this salad.
Tuna is also a great option to add to a salad. It contains omega-3 fatty acids, which are healthy for your heart. Tuna is also high in protein.
What makes this salad even better? The dressing! After trying this carrot ginger dressing, you’ll want to top off all your salads with it. It is low in calories and adds an extra serving of vegetables to the dish, which adds a nice bonus to the salad.
Let’s move on to another lunch salad. This one works great if you are trying to lose weight, hence the name: Flat-Belly Salad.
This is a vegetarian salad that also happens to be gluten-free, high in fiber AND low-calorie. So many health benefits!
Not only does it have all these nutritional values, but it also has some killer ingredients.
This salad consists of avocados, artichokes, hard boiled eggs, chickpeas and is topped off with a vinaigrette dressing.
This salad keeps getting better. The best part of this salad just might be the fact it only takes 20 minutes to prepare, making it an easy go to meal prep salad for weight loss.
This recipe shows that you can have a salad that is packed with different toppings while still being a healthy option that is tailored towards losing weight.
For our third salad, we’ve included a healthy recipe that could be made for lunch or dinner. This kale chicken salad has our mouths watering at the sight of it.
The kale base is a nice switch up from regular greens, like spinach or lettuce. Kale has many health benefits. It is packed with nutrients and antioxidants. It is a great option if you are really looking to make a healthy salad.
This salad also has two great sources of protein: quinoa (optional) and grilled chicken. Are you vegetarian? That’s no problem at all! You can always add more quinoa or even tofu.
These next two salads are salads that are perfect lunch salads for work!
This first one is a southwestern chopped chicken salad.
This chicken is well-seasoned, which really gives a kick of that southwest flavor. It is seasoned with onion, garlic and chili powder, salt, ground cumin, red pepper flakes, and olive oil. Wow, talk about flavor-packed!
Adding seasoning to your salad is another great way to add another level of depth to your salad. Seasonings can easily be added to your protein add-ins or even into the dressing.
Since there are a lot of seasonings added to the chicken, and you have to cook the chicken, this salad takes a little bit longer to prepare. It takes a total of 40 minutes, but, if you have that time available on Sunday before the work week starts back up again, this salad is sure to be a hit at lunch time.
This last salad is also packed with lots of flavor. It is a chopped Thai chicken salad paired with a skinny peanut dressing.
In a time crunch but still looking to meal prep? This salad only takes a total of 20 minutes to prepare, making it the perfect option for your work week ahead.
Kale and cabbage make up the base of this salad. They are both full of nutrients, which makes this a great healthy option for lunch.
No need to fret if you are allergic to peanuts. You can always make the dressing without peanut butter and can ditch the added peanut toppings at the end! Instead, sunflower seeds can be a great option. Again, salads are flexible. Don’t feel like you have to always follow the recipe.
Remember, these are just a few of the millions of recipes for salads available to you. Once you get started with your meal prep journey, the more comfortable you will become in deciding how you want to prepare your salad.
As we wrap up this post, we want to remind you that meal prep isn’t as daunting as it seems, and the ThinkFit team is here to help!
At ThinkFit, we think it is important to obtain a happy and healthy lifestyle. We want to play a role in making your health, nutrition and fitness levels as strong as they can be. Our goal is to provide you with resources to achieve this lifestyle.
ThinkFit doesn’t want nor expect you to go through this process alone. We want to be your support structure by providing you with our knowledge, skills, and experience. We want to go along with you on your journey to reach your health and fitness goals.
We understand that having a support system is highly important in achieving your goals. ThinkFit is here to help you start and keep you committed to your health goals. We want our resources to be a part of your journey!
There is no need to think of meal prepping as a dreaded task that needs to be checked off your list, think of it as a way to express your creativity, especially with salads. Salads are a great place to start your meal prep journey because they are very versatile. You can make your salads colorful by using lots of different toppings, or you can keep them simple by only using a few toppings.
Again, there are lots of options for you! You know your body best, so use foods that are nutritious and will satisfy your stomach.
Now, some final things to remember:
- Greens don’t always have to be your base. You can easily substitute pasta, quinoa, fruit, etc. in place of them.
- Embrace the variety that comes with salads. Switch up your toppings, bases, and dressings as you see fit.
- You are not alone on this journey! Thinkfit is here to guide you towards making the right decisions to reach your health and fitness goals.
- Have fun with it!