2 Salad Recipes to Spring into Cookout Season

OutdoorĀ entertaining is finally in full-bloom, so make your backyard the place. to. be. with my springtime spins on classic salad favorites.

First on the menu line-up, Asian Chicken SaladĀ gets healthified by replacingĀ those addictively fried wonton noodles withĀ crisp and colorful matchstick veggies. Next, traditionalĀ Nicoise SaladĀ gets revamped by swapping out anchovies and tomatoes for salmon and strawberries.

The final outcome? A “dynamic duo” of dishes that you’ll want to keep in your recipe repertoire all season long!

Note:Ā To my vegetarian peeps, although both recipesĀ areĀ meat-centic, you can easily eliminate these components and turn the salads into side dishes instead of main courses.

springtime salad sensations

image courtesy of Nocoveglia via Flickr Creative Commonsā€”altered with permission.

Asian Chicken Salad

Ingredients:

1 Chicken Breast (free-range)

2 Baby Bell Peppers (julienne sliced)

1/4 Red Cabbage Head (julienne sliced)

1 Carrot (peeled & chopped)

1/2 cup Edamame (steamed)

1/4 cup Raw Almonds (chopped)

2 tbsp. Soy Sauce (low-sodium)

1 tbsp. Sesame (or Olive) Oil

2 tsp.Ā Rice Wine (or Cider) Vinegar

1 clove Garlic (minced)

1 tsp. Ginger (ground)

1 Lemon (juiced)

Preparation:

  1. Whisk together the Soy Sauce, Sesame Oil, Rice Wine Vinegar, Garlic and Ginger in a small mixing bowl.
  2. Place the Chicken into this mixture and set aside toĀ marinate for about 10-15 minutes.
  3. PrepĀ the Vegetables andĀ AlmondsĀ according to the ingredient specifications, then transfer into a serving bowl and toss to combine.
  4. Preheat a skillet on theĀ medium-high stovetop setting, then addĀ the Chicken and marinade mixture.
  5. SautƩ the Chicken for about 5 minutes on each side, or until cooked thoroughly, then remove from the skillet and cut into strips.
  6. Combine these Chicken strips with the other ingredients and drizzle the Lemon juice on top like a dressing.

Asian Chicken Salad


SalmonĀ Nicoise Salad

Ingredients:

1 Salmon Filet (wild-caught)

2 cups Spinach (whole leaves)

1 cup Strawberries (sliced)

1/2 cup Gorgonzola (crumbled)*

1/4 cup Raw Walnuts (chopped)

2 tbsp. Balsamic (or Red Wine) Vinegar

1 tbsp. Olive Oil (extra-virgin)

1/4 tsp. Himalayan (or Sea) Salt

2 Thyme Sprigs (chopped)

1 Lemon (juiced)

*Make this recipe vegan byĀ omitting the Gorgonzola or usingĀ these substitutes.Ā 

Preparation:

  1. Whisk together theĀ Balsamic Vinegar, Olive OilĀ andĀ Himalayan SaltĀ in a small mixing bowl.
  2. Place theĀ SalmonĀ into this mixture andĀ set aside toĀ marinate for aboutĀ 10-15 minutes.
  3. Spread theĀ SpinachĀ on the bottom of a serving bowl, then prep the Strawberries, and WalnutsĀ according to the ingredient specifications.
  4. Transfer these ingredients into the serving bowl, then add the Gorgonzola and toss to combine.
  5. Preheat a skillet on theĀ medium-high stovetop setting, then addĀ the SalmonĀ and marinade mixture.
  6. SautĆ© the SalmonĀ for about 3-5 minutes on each side, or until cooked thoroughly, then remove from the skillet and peel off its skin.
  7. Lay this Salmon filet over the other ingredients, then add the Thyme and drizzle theĀ LemonĀ juice on top like a dressing.

Salmon Strawberry Salad

Got any seasonal salad creations of your own to share? Awesome…then, let’s get a recipe swap going in the comment section!

Balancing the Crucial Connection Between Fitness & Nutrition

Due to the gradual development of poor lifestyle choices, such as unhealthy diet and irregular exercise, numerous Americans have begun exhibiting risk factors for high blood glucose, metabolic syndrome, cellular oxidative stress and other conditions associated with inadequate nutrition intake and fitness levels.

While the average person knows that consistent physical exertion must be sustained by wholesome eating habits, and vise versa, this balancing act is often difficult to maintain.

In a culture that values pre-packaged convenience over freshly prepared quality, many people consume an overabundance of artificial preservatives, toxic chemicals, saturated fats and refined sugars. These heavily processed ingredients cause unwelcome weight gain and can result in various medicalĀ concerns.

In addition, many people also lack the motivation to incorporate vigorous activity into their daily routines, so when combined with nutrient deficiency, a sedentary lifestyle could trigger the premature onset of serious cardiovascular issues.

To protect your body from these health hazards, practice eating whole foods and exercising every day until doing so becomes a ritual that no longer requires conscious effort.

Healthy eating woman holding a salad and smiling - isolated over white

A well-rounded diet includes plant-based proteins (e.g. beans, lentils, raw nuts, non-dairy milk); lean meats ā€“ unless youā€™re a vegetarian, of course! ā€“ (e.g. chicken, turkey, fish); whole grains (e.g. oats, brown rice, quinoa, buckwheat, spelt); low-sugar fruits (e.g. berries, avocados, papayas, oranges, melons); and leafy green vegetables (e.g. kale, spinach, broccoli, Swiss chard, lettuce).

These powerhouses contain essential nutrients, naturally-occurring chemicals, antioxidants and beneficial fats, rather than those harmful ingredients found in a typical fast food meal.

The other ā€œpuzzle pieceā€ ā€“ habitual movement ā€“ combines aerobic (e.g. running, cycling, swimming, dancing, kickboxing) and anaerobic (e.g. weight lifting, push-ups, squats, crunches, resistance yoga) training.

Together, both disciplines promote muscle tone, cardiovascular strength, skeletal resilience, flexibility, endurance and physical energy. Your body needs these wellness properties to function optimally, experience longevity, and build defenses against illness or injury.

Becoming committed to proper fitness and nutrition can mean the difference between healthy aging and chronic disease development. However, the ultimate decision is yours: would you rather feel vibrant, active and nourished at the cellular level?

Or, are you content to keep avoiding exercise, frequenting the drive-through window and, potentially, suffering from metabolic syndrome or other weight-related complications?


Huge thanks to Nutri Lifescience, LLC,Ā for supplying the research, content and graphics for this post.