Maple Glazed Carrot and Black Rice Salad with Salmon

Sweet glazed carrots and nutty black rice make a great pairing in this salad.

I first started doing meal prep three years ago. I found myself getting tired of eating the same old sandwich and fruit every single day. My process has continued to evolve as my schedule and tastes have changed. But I still take the time, at the start of each week, to create delicious and healthy meals to keep me going during a busy week.

For more details on how I plan my meal prep every week, jump over to my Meal Prep page (see top menu). You’ll find helpful tips as well as essential products I use. Subscribe to my blog to get a free download of my meal prep planning worksheet.

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Maple Glazed Carrot and Black Rice Salad with Salmon

Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 3

Equipment

  • Mini food processor
  • Mortar & Pestle
  • Non-stick baking mat

Ingredients
  

For the Salad

  • 3 Large Carrots peeled and cut into diagonal slices
  • 2 tbsp Avocado Oil divided
  • 1 tsp Cumin Seed
  • 1 tsp Coriander Seed
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Smoked Paprika
  • 2 tbsp Maple Syrup
  • 1/2 cup Black Rice (aka Forbidden Rice)
  • 1/2 + 1/3 cup Water
  • 1 lb Salmon
  • 1/4 cup Sliced Almonds
  • 1/4 cup Dried Cranberries
  • 2 cups Arugula
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

For the Dressing

  • Juice of 1/2 a Lemon
  • 1 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 2 tsp Honey
  • 3 tbsp Olive Oil
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Instructions
 

For the Salad

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with a non-stick baking mat.
  • Using a mortar and pestle, roughly grind the coriander and cumin seeds.
  • In a bowl, combine the carrots, 1 tbsp of avocado oil, ground coriander and cumin, turmeric, paprika, salt and pepper. Spread out over the baking sheet and bake 20 minutes. Add the maple syrup and bake an additional 10 minutes. Allow to cool slightly.
  • In a small pot, combine the black rice and water. Bring to a boil. Cover and reduce to simmer. Cook for 30 minutes, until the rice is tender the water has been absorbed. Allow to cool slightly.
  • Season the salmon with salt and pepper.
  • In a pan, heat the avocado oil over medium-high heat. Cook the salmon about 8 minutes per side, or until done.
  • To a large bowl, add the arugula, almonds, cranberries, black rice, carrots, and the dressing. Toss gently to combine.
  • Divide the salad among meal prep containers. Add portions of the salmon. Refrigerate until ready to eat.

For the Dressing

  • In a mini food processor, add the dressing ingredients and blend to combine.
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Pearl Barley Salad with Figs and Chicken

Quick and easy salad, perfect for meal prep

It’s meal prep time again! This salad is a quick and easy combination of lots of amazing super foods. For starters, pearl barley is a good source of potassium and fiber. Figs, dried blueberries, spinach, and pumpkin seeds are all rich sources of antioxidants and other nutrients which help reduce inflammation in the body.

This recipe makes two lunch servings of salad. It can also be doubled and served as a delicious side dish, without the chicken.

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Pearl Barley Salad with Figs and Chicken

Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Course Main Course, Salad, Side Dish
Servings 2

Equipment

  • Mini food processor

Ingredients
  

For the Salad

  • 1/2 cup Pearl Barley
  • 1 1/2 cups Water
  • 1/4 cup Dried Blueberries
  • 1/4 cup Pumpkin Seeds
  • 5-6 Calimyrna Figs quartered
  • 2 cups Spinach
  • 1 Chicken Breast cooked and diced

For the Dressing

  • 3 tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 1 tbsp Coarse Ground Mustard
  • 3 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 tbsp Honey
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Instructions
 

For the Salad

  • In a medium pot, place the pearl barley and water. Bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer, on low, for 30 minutes. The barley should be tender and all the water absorbed. Allow to cool slightly.
  • In a large bowl, combine the remaining salad ingredients. Add the cooled barley. Toss with the dressing to coat.
  • Divide the salad into meal prep containers and refrigerate until ready to eat.

For the Dressing

  • In a mini food processor, add the dressing ingredients and blend to combine.
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Roasted Sweet Potato Salad with Lentils, Barley, Tuna and Herb Dressing

This earthy and delicious salad makes a perfect lunch.

This is something of an “everything but the kitchen sink” type salad. It started off with roasted sweet potatoes, wilted spinach, lentils, and pearl barley in an herb dressing. Which sounded like a nice combination of super foods. Then I decided to add in some hard boiled eggs for a little extra protein. Which lead me to debate adding in some tuna instead of the eggs. Ultimately, I decided, why not both?

The overall combination is an earthy and satisfyingly filling lunch that works perfectly for meal prep. The recipe made three days worth of lunch-sized salad servings. This would also make a great weeknight dinner.

Art of Tea Organics

Start by preheating the oven to 400 degrees. Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with foil. The idea is roast and caramelize the sweet potatoes so I would avoid using a silicone baking mat in this case. Toss the diced sweet potatoes in avocado oil, salt, and pepper. Roast for about 40 minutes until soft. Stir the potatoes halfway through the roasting process.

While the potatoes roast, add the lentils and pearl barley in a small pot and add the vegetable stock. Bring to a boil and simmer until tender, about 40 minutes. When the lentils and barley have finished cooking, turn off the heat. Add the spinach to the pot and cover. This will allow the spinach to wilt in the steam.

I like to use a mini food processor for the dressing. I find it makes creating vinaigrette dressings easier. So I add all of the dressing ingredients to the mini food processor and process until they are combined.

To assemble the salad, add the sweet potatoes, tuna, spinach, lentils and barley to a large bowl. Add the dressing and toss to combine. Top with chopped hard boiled eggs.

This is a great dish for meal prep. Portion it out into your preferred meal prep containers and refrigerate until ready to enjoy.


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Roasted Sweet Potato Salad with Lentils, Pearl Barley, Tuna and Herb Dressing

Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Course Main Course, Salad
Cuisine American
Servings 3

Equipment

  • Mini food processor

Ingredients
  

For the Salad

  • 2 medium Sweet Potatoes peeled and diced
  • 1/2 cup Pearl Barley
  • 1/2 cup Green Lentils
  • 2 Eggs hard boiled, peeled, and sliced
  • 5 oz Tuna drained, if using canned
  • 2 cups Spinach
  • 3 cups Water or Vegetable Stock
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp Avocado Oil

For the Dressing

  • 1/3 cup Olive or Avocado Oil
  • 2 tbsp Dried Dill
  • 2 tbsp Dried Chives
  • 2 tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1 tsp Coarse Ground Mustard
  • 1/2 tsp Honey
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Instructions
 

For the Salad

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  • Toss the sweet potatoes with the avocado oil, salt and pepper on a lined baking sheet. Roast the potatoes for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally. When finished, allow to cool slightly.
  • While the potatoes are roasting, combine the pearl barley, lentils, and water (or vegetable stock) in a small pot. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer for approximately 40 minutes or until tender and all the liquid has been absorbed.
  • When the lentils and barley have finished cooking, add the spinach to the pot. Cover and allow to wilt slightly, about five minutes.
  • In a large bowl, combine the sweet potatoes, lentil mixture, and tuna. Stir to combine and top with hard boiled eggs and herb dressing.

For the Dressing

  • Combine the dressing incredients in the bowl of a small food processor. Process to combine.

Notes

1/4 cup fresh dill and 1/4 cup fresh chives can be substituted for the dried herbs in the dressing.
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Israeli Couscous Salad

This vegetarian salad is so simple to prepare and packed with delicious flavor. This recipe is enough for two vegetarian salads for your meal prep lunch. Or service it as a side dish with chicken, fish, or lamb. I like it along side my Za’atar Lamb Chops. Find the link to this recipe, and more, below.

Israeli Couscous

Also called Giant Couscous or Pearl Couscous, this toasted pasta is a great option to accompany a wide variety of dishes. It’s quick and easy to prepare and adds great texture.

I’ve not found this in a gluten free option. If you are gluten free, I recommend substituting buckwheat, quinoa or millet in this salad.

You’ll want to follow the package instructions when preparing Israeli Couscous. The variety I use calls for one and a quarter cups of liquid to one cup of couscous. In this case, I used a vegan vegetable stock to add a little extra flavor. The pasta absorbs the cooking liquid so feel free to experiment with different cooking liquids.

Bring the vegetable stock and couscous to a boil in a small pot. Reduce the heat to low and cover for six minutes. Fluff the couscous with a fork and you’re ready to enjoy. I recommend not leaving the couscous sit too long before adding sauce or dressing. I will get very sticky when it cools and needs the sauce or dressing to keep from forming one big solid clump.

Chickpeas

Canned chickpeas are great if you’re in a hurry. I look for reduced sodium or no salt added whenever I need to purchase them. But they can’t compete with the flavor of with the flavor of cooking them yourself. Preparing chickpeas is really simple. It just requires a little advanced planning because they do need to soak overnight. For one cup of dried chickpeas, you’ll need four cups of water. Place the chickpeas and water in a large bowl and allow to set on the counter (or in the fridge) overnight.

When you’re ready to cook, drain the soaking water from the chickpeas. Place them in a pot and add four cups of fresh water. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer for about 45 minutes or until the chickpeas are tender. Drain the cooking liquid and you’re ready to use freshly cooked chickpeas in salads, soups, or stews. Prepare your own hummus or roast them for a satisfying, crunchy snack.

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Preparing the Salad

This salad couldn’t be simpler to prepare once the couscous and chickpeas are cooked. In a bowl, combine the couscous, chickpeas, finely diced red onion, and matchstick carrots.

Next, to make the dressing, add the herbs, lemon juice, salt and pepper to a food process. Pulse a few times to chop the herbs. Then with the food processor running, stream in the olive oil. Pour the dressing over the couscous mixture and stir to combine.

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Israeli Couscous Salad

Course Salad, Side Dish
Servings 4

Equipment

  • Food Processor

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup uncooked Israeli Couscous
  • 1 cup Chickpeas cooked
  • 1/2 small Red Onion finely diced
  • 1 small handful Mint
  • 1 small handful Parsley
  • 1/2 cup Matchstick Carrots
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Instructions
 

  • Prepare the couscous according to package instructions. I recommend substituting a vegan vegetable stock for the amount of water called for.
  • While the couscous is cooking, add the mint, parsley, lemon juice, salt and pepper to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse a few times to chop the herbs. Then with the food processor running, stream in the olive oil.
  • In a large bowl, combine the cooked couscous, chickpeas, onion, and carrots. Add the dressing and stir to combine.
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Watermelon Feta Salad

An easy and refreshing summer salad

Watermelon is a stable of any summertime menu. In this recipe, the cool sweetness is paired with the salty bite of feta cheese.

If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you know I tend to avoid using dairy products in my cooking, especially cheese. I’ve made an exception for this salad because the recipe only uses a small amount of feta as a garnish. There are some sources that suggest that cheeses made from goat or sheep’s milk contain a different form of protein than cow’s milk, making them less likely to cause inflammation. If you prefer to avoid dairy, there are plant-based alternatives available, such as tofu feta.

Picking a Watermelon

To start off this recipe, you’ll need a good watermelon. Choosing good produce can be a little bit of a challenge, especially when it comes to melons. But there is a trick to this.

First, the watermelon should be heavy for its size. This is a good rule of thumb for lots of fruits. A lot of that weight is coming from the juice in the fruit so heavy fruit will be nice and juicy.

Next, you want to look for a discolored spot on the watermelon. This is where it rested on the ground while it was growing. Look for this to be a creamy, pale yellow color. If it’s white or grayish, look for another melon!

For the Salad

To make this salad, start off with a melon baller to create pretty, uniform balls of watermelon. You can also cut the melon into cubes if you prefer. To use a melon baller, press the baller into the flesh of the melon and twist to extract the ball. Don’t drag the scoop across the surface of the fruit. This will produce odd ribbons of fruit, not pretty balls.

Place the balls of melon in a large bowl. Add the honey and mint. Gently toss to coat. Garnish with crumbles of feta cheese and a few cranks of coarse Himalayan sea salt, if desired.

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Watermelon Salad

Prep Time 15 mins
Total Time 15 mins
Course Salad, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 4

Equipment

  • Melon Baller

Ingredients
  

  • 1 small Watermelon
  • 1 tbsp Honey
  • 1 tsp Dried Mint
  • Feta Cheese to taste
  • Himalayan Salt

Instructions
 

  • Using a melon baller, scoop the watermelon into a medium bowl.
  • Add the remaining ingredients and toss gently to combine.
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Mexican Street Corn Sweet Potato Salad

Okay, so this recipe has a really long name but is not nearly as complicated as it sounds to make. It’s packed with delicious flavors. Perfect for a side dish in your summer meal prep menu. Or take it along to your next barbecue. I paired it with my Smoky Maple BBQ Salmon but it will also work alongside chicken. This dairy free, gluten free salad is a great summer dish!

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Mexican Street Corn Sweet Potato Salad

Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Course Salad, Side Dish

Ingredients
  

  • 1 lb Sweet Potatoes peeled and diced
  • 1 large clove Garlic unpeeled
  • 1 tbsp Avocado Oil
  • 1 Bell Pepper diced
  • 3 Green Onions sliced
  • 1 15oz Bag Frozen Corn
  • 1 cup Mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp Lime Juice
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Raddish for garnish thinly sliced (optional)

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven for 425 degrees.
  • On lined baking sheet, toss the sweet potatoes and clove of garlic with the avocado oil, salt and pepper.
  • Roast the potatoes and garlic until soft, about twenty minutes.
  • Prepare the corn according to package instructions. Heat a dry, nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add the corn and toast.
  • In a large bowl, add the toasted corn, sweet potatoes, bell pepper, and green onions.
  • In a blender or food processor, combine the mayonnaise, roast garlic clove, and lime juice until smooth.
  • Add the mayonnaise mixture to the potato mixture and stir to combine. Garnish with additional green onions and raddish slices.
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Chipotle Chicken Salad

Sweet and spicy

Summertime is almost here. The weather is finally warming up and that has me in the mood for light and fresh food when I’m creating my meal prep menus for the week.

This salad is a perfect balance of sweet and spicy. It’s mixed greens, sweet strawberries, creamy avocado, and spicy chicken.

The dressing in this case is mayonnaise-based. I used a combo of mayo, honey, lime juice, and a little sauce from chilies in adobo. It also adds a nice creamy element. If you’re not into mayo, it could be swapped for avocado instead.


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Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Course Main Course
Servings 2 lunches

Equipment

  • Mini food processor

Ingredients
  

For the Chicken

  • 1 1/2 lbs Chicken Thighs
  • 1 tsp Chipotle Powder
  • 1 tbsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tbsp Cumin Powder
  • 1 tbsp Smoked Paprika
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp Avocado Oil

For the Salad

  • 3 cups Mixed Greens
  • 1/2 cup Strawberries quartered
  • 1 cup Sweet Corn prepared to package instructions and cooled, if using frozen
  • 2 Green Onions sliced
  • 1 Avocado diced

For the Dressing

  • 1/2 cup Mayonnaise or 1 ripe avocado
  • 1 tbsp Honey
  • 1 tbsp Lime Juice
  • 1 tbsp Adobo Sauce from chilies in adobo

Instructions
 

For the Chicken

  • Combine the spices in a small bowl and generously coat the chicken pieces.
  • In a pan, heat the avocado oil over medium-high heat. Brown the chicken, about three to four minutes per side.
  • Reduce the heat to low and cover the pan. Allow the chicken to cook through, about 30 minutes for bone in pieces.
  • Once cooked, set the chicken aside and allow to cool.

For the Salads

  • To assemble the salads, divide the salad ingredients evenly between two meal prep containers.
  • Dice the chicken and add to the salad.
  • Refrigerate until ready to eat. Keep the dressing on the side to avoid the mixed greens getting soggy.

For the Dressing

  • Add the dressing ingredients to a mini food processor and proces until combined.
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Mediterranean Tuna Salad

A great option for a quick and delicious lunch

Recipes centered around the Mediterranean diet are great options for anti-inflammatory friendly meals because they’re loaded with antioxidants and, often, plant-based proteins. Not to mention heart-healthy fats.

When making this salad, I opted for using dried chickpeas and cooking them. This allows me to control the sodium. Place a cup of dried chickpeas in a bowl with four cups of water and allow to soak overnight. Transfer the chickpeas and water into a pot and add an additional four cups of water. Bring to a boil and allow to simmer until the chickpeas are tender. I cooked mine about an hour. For a shortcut, substitute a 15oz can of chickpeas. Just drain and rinse them before adding to the salad.

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Mediterranean Tuna Salad

Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Soak Time 8 hrs
Total Time 9 hrs 20 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mediterranean
Servings 3

Equipment

  • Mini food processor

Ingredients
  

For the Salad

  • 1 cup Chickpeas dried
  • 9 cups Water divided
  • 1/2 cup Quinoa
  • 5 oz Tuna drained and flaked
  • 3 cups Arugula
  • 1/4 cup Kalamata Olives
  • 1/4 cup Feta

For the Dressing

  • 1/2 cup Olive Oil
  • 1 tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
  • 2 cloves Garlic
  • 1 tsp Italian Seasoning Blend
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Instructions
 

For the Salad

  • Place the chickpeas and 4 cups of the water in a large bowl. Allow to soak overnight. Transfer the chickpeas and water to a large pot. Add an additional 4 cups of water. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cook the chickpeas until tender, about 1 hour. Drain and allow to cool.
  • Place the quinoa and the remaining 1 cup of water in a small pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and cook 15 minutes, or follow package instructions. Allow to cool.
  • In a large bowl, combine the arugula, olives, tuna, cooled chickpeas, and cooled quinoa. Add the dressing and toss to coat. Top with feta cheese and portion into containers for meal prep.

For the Dressing

  • In a mini food processor, combine the dressing ingredients and process until incorporated.
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Strawberry Avocado Pasta Salad with Strawberry Pomegranate Dressing

Perfect for your summer BBQ

This salad is perfect for your summer backyard BBQs. As a dairy-free recipe, it’s perfect with chicken, steak, or fish. I would even pair it with lamb. It’s also egg free so it will hold up to summer heat.

This salad is loaded with super foods and heart healthy fats. On it’s own, it’s a great vegetarian lunch.

The dressing gets a tangy twist from pomegranate molasses which adds an interesting note to the sweet strawberries.

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Strawberry Avocado Pasta Salad

Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 7 mins
Total Time 27 mins
Course Salad, Side Dish

Equipment

  • Blender

Ingredients
  

For the Salad

  • 3 cups Spinach
  • 1 cup Arugula
  • 8.8 oz box Chickpea Rotini cooked according to package instructions and cooled slightly
  • 1 cup Strawberries sliced
  • 2 Avocados diced
  • 1/4 cup Walnuts roughly chopped

For the Dressing

  • 1/2 cup Strawberries
  • 1/4 cup Lime Juice
  • 1/4 cup Olive Oil
  • 1 tbsp Pomegranate Molasses
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Instructions
 

For the Salad

  • Combine the salad ingredients in a large bowl. Add the dressing and toss to combine.

For the Dressing

  • Add the dressing ingredients to a blender. Blend until smooth.
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Apricot Jalapeno Chicken Thighs


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