10 Healthy Salads for Packed Lunch

It’s that time of year! Many of you are teachers, like me, who are back in school – which means, back to packing lunch every day!

I eat a salad for lunch every single day, and people are always asking me the same questions: How do I eat a salad every day? How do I have time to make a salad every night? Do I get bored of eating salads every day? Andddd I also get some jabs thrown my way about being a health freak, but something I learned a long time ago is that these types of comments are more of a reflection of someone else’s insecurities than myself. So here I am, still eating my plants for lunch and loving life no matter what people say lol!

There are definitely a few tips to packing a salad every day, and it actually starts with planning out your week. Read THIS post to learn more of how I make my weekly meal plans.

I think the other secret to having healthy salads every day is variety. Having a stash of easy, delicious, and healthy salad recipes on hand is the best way to make sure you don’t get tired of your greens for lunch. Which is exactly why I am writing today’s blog post. I want to provide you a list of different salads so you can start incorporating into your everyday lunch routine as well!

But before I jump in – I want to give you a few tips for packing salads in general…

Tips for Packing Lunch Salads

My number one tip is to go ahead and make 5 days of salads all at once on Sunday night. Yes this takes some time, but then that means during the week – your salads are already packed and when Wednesday night rolls around and you are exhausted, you don’t even have to think about packing your lunch since it’s already made!

Have you seen those pretty images on pinterest of those layered mason jar salads? I’ve tried them… and I don’t feel like I can fit enough veggies in them lol. BUT I use that concept of layering my salads in normal tubber ware. I first put my protein (usually grilled chicken, boiled egg, steamed shrimp, or beans) in the bottom of my container, followed by the “wet” veggies or fruits (cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, asparagus, artichokes, berries, grapes, etc). Then I add cheese if the recipe calls for that (feta, goat). Then I layer a huge handful of my greens. And if I am adding nuts, I put these on top of the greens to keep them dry. This layering technique is crucial for ensuring that my salads stay fresh all week long.

Salad Recipes

You’ll notice there aren’t too many measurements of these recipes. That’s because I don’t measure too many things with salads, I just eyeball and taste!

Note: you can substitute any protein in these salads for something you prefer. I like usually adding grilled chicken, boiled egg, steamed shrimp, or beans (which I did all last week since beans require minimal prep and I’m trying to incorporate more plant based meals in my diet). 

 

1. Green Herb Salad (inspired by a recipe in Kelly LeVeque’s Body Love)
  • 4oz grilled chicken
  • 1/4 avocado
  • 1 tablespoon chopped dill
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
  • sliced cucumber
  • blanched asparagus or broccoli, chopped into 1inch pieces
  • sliced cherry tomatoes
  • 2 cups greens (I like spinach or a spring mix)
  • dressing: mix extra virgin olive oil, apple cider vinegar, and a little sprinkle of turmeric

 

 2. Cobb Salad (inspired by F-Factor’s Cobb Salad)
  • 2-3oz grilled chicken
  • 1 boiled egg
  • 1-2 slices turkey bacon
  • sliced cherry tomato halves
  • sliced cucumber
  • chopped red onion
  • 1/4 avocado
  • optional: feta
  • 2 cups mixed greens
  • dressing: mix 0% total fage greek yogurt, white wine vinegar, dried parsley, and garlic powder

 

3. Asian Style Salad
  • 4oz steamed shrimp
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
  • sliced snow peas
  • shredded carrots
  • chopped green onion
  • 2 cups mixed greens or butter lettuce
  • dressing: extra virgin olive oil, soy sauce, juice of half a lime, garlic powder, and a little siracha. Stir, taste, and adjust any ingredients to your preference. I totally eyeball this.

 

4. Classic Greek Salad
  • 4oz grilled chicken
  • chopped red onion
  • sliced cherry tomato halves
  • sliced green bell pepper
  • feta
  • canned artichoke hearts (try to get the ones in water not oil)
  • kalamata olives
  • dressing: extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, chopped parsley, minced garlic, salt and pepper.

 

5. Basil Tomato Salad
  • 1/2 cup cannellini beans
  • sliced cherry tomato halves
  • 1-2 tablespoons fresh basil chopped
  • sliced cucumber
  • bean based pasta (edamame, chickpea, black bean, etc) note the serving size on the box of pasta you choose to use. You don’t want to go overboard.
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • dressing: extra virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar, garlic powder, salt and pepper

 

6. Taco Bowl Salad

Detailed recipe is HERE.

Note: feel free to switch out the ground turkey for a protein listed above

7. Every Color Salad
  • 4 oz protein
  • sliced cherry tomatoes
  • shredded carrots
  • sliced yellow bell pepper
  • sliced cucumber
  • blueberries
  • sliced red onion
  • 2 cups mixed greens
  • dressing: extra virgin olive oil, apple cider vinegar, garlic powder, salt, pepper

 

8. Grape + Almond Salad
  • 4 oz steamed shrimp
  • sliced grapes
  • sliced almonds
  • sliced celery
  • sliced red onion
  • 2 cups mixed greens
  • dressing: extra virgin olive oil, apple cider vinegar, garlic powder, salt, pepper

 

9.  Goat Cheese Salad

Find the recipe HERE… this one is a favorite!

10.  Grilled or Roasted Veggie Salad
  • 4 oz protein or 1 serving size of beans
  • grill or roast whatever veggies you have in the fridge! Ideas:
    • zucchini
    • yellow squash
    • brussel sprouts
    • asparagus
    • broccoli
    • cauliflower
  • 2 cups mixed greens
  • dressing: extra virgin olive oil, apple cider vinegar, stone ground dijon mustard

I hope these healthy recipes make your week a little easier to prep for!

 

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