Tag Archives: salad

Healthy Italian Style Salad

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Healthy Italian Style SaladYesterday, I stopped at the store on my way home to pick up a couple of things. A huge smile spread across my face when, for the first time ever, I finally saw canned artichokes in water…not oil! My brain started cranking out ideas of what I could make with this.

When I was little and we would go visit my Grandma out of town she would always take us out to eat. One of her favorite restaurants was a place called Antonio’s. The pizza there was good, but the salad was AMAZING! And it was so simple, lettuce, toasted pepperonis, cheese and a really tasty house dressing. That salad sure would taste good with some artichokes! I had everything I needed at home already, so I decided to make this.

It tasted great, and brought back memories of my Grandma.

Healthy Italian Style Salad

Ingredients

  • lettuce (any type or spinach)
  • 12 slices of turkey pepperioni
  • 8 medium sized black olives, sliced
  • 5 or more artichoke quarters (packed in water)
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup reduced fat Italian Cheese
  • ground black pepper (to taste)
  • dried basil (to taste)

Steps

  1. Toast the turkey pepperoni in the toaster oven. If you do not have a toaster oven you can just use your oven, set on broil.
  2. Put the lettuce in the bowl. Top with olives, artichokes, pepperoni and cheese.
  3. Drizzle olive oil and red wine vinegar on top. Add ground black pepper and dried basil to taste.

I just realized I could have also added tomato!

If you are on Weight Watchers this recipe prepared as is has a PP value of 7. Looking to save a few points? Omit the cheese and then it would only be 4 PP.

 

 

Healthy Lunch in a Pinch

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Wow, I have been on out sync for a couple of weeks!  Things have been pretty hectic around here, leaving little to no time for blogging. With that being said, there has been little to no time for packing lunches or making lengthy grocery lists either.

Please do not laugh about this. In fact, this lunch is quite a yummy and healthy solution to not wasting time packing lunch. I know it must be good, because the day after I did this, one of my co-workers did the same thing!

The steps are simple. Go to the salad section of the grocery store. Look for the pre-made salads. Find one that has a lower fat dressing option, or light option. Also, if you work in a nut-free environment, be mindful that some of the dressing and toppings included in these salad packs contain nuts.

Here is my go to salad:

Once you have your salad bag, keep it in the fridge until you are ready to pack your lunch. Dump the lettuce into a container. The dressing and other toppings are in their own separate bags. Keep those wrapped, but throw them in the same container. There’s something about putting the lettuce into the container before heading off for work that makes it seem more sophisticated. I guess it’s more like, I didn’t really have time to pack my lunch, but at least I took the time to put it in a container!

The ENTIRE bag of salad, along with ALL dressing and croutons is only 6 Points Plus if you are on Weight Watchers. It is a large bag, so I am satisfied with just the salad. If you want a more complete meal you could add protein with chicken, steak or cheese.

Sandwich Salad

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Not quite sure what to call this one. It has all of the ingredients I love on a sandwich, so I guess I will just call it the sandwich salad.
In order to pack it as a lunch I just pack the lettuce separate, and throw all the toppings in together like pictured below.

So what exactly is pictured in that mix of stuff?! On the bottom, there are banana pepper rings (from a can) and a little juice from those peppers. There is 1 slice of Provolone cheese, and some chicken lunch meat. Oh yeah, and a pickle (my favorite ingredient). I splash a little bit of balsamic vinegar on top and some freshly ground black pepper. Usually, I also have tomato slices, however all of my tomatoes were nasty and needed to be thrown away.

Here is a picture from the side so that you can see about how much of each ingredient is in the container.

When lunchtime rolls around I just dump the “toppings” onto the lettuce and enjoy it.

Sweet and Salty Salad

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Over the weekend, the hubby and I ventured out to Costco. Since it is just the two of us, buying bulk doesn’t always make sense. However, Costco has a great selection of individually wrapped items, and items that can be easily frozen. With that being said, readers beware, the next week or two may be filled with items that can be purchased at Costco. Oh, and did I mention we spent under $150 (for Hawaii that’s pretty cheap considering we have enough food for over 2 weeks).

 

This salad is the perfect concoction of sweet and salty. It helps to load you up on veggies, fruits and also adds in protein with the cheese.

Here are the ingredients that I throw together:

Lettuce, any type (I used 50/50 spring mix and baby spinach, about $5 for the huge tub at Costco)

Sliced purple onion (already had on hand and sliced prior to making the salad, also sliced my thumb)

Baby sweet peppers (one of my favorite new foods to eat, and they also sell these at Costco. I cut them all up, keep half in the fridge and freeze half for later)

Goat Cheese (I put about 1 oz in. 2 huge logs of it at Costco is only $6 and it has a great shelf life)

About 1/2 sliced pear (already had this)

Balsamic Vinegar (When eating at home I put it right on the salad, farther down I explain how I make it when packing it)

Montreal Steak Seasoning (optional yet delicious!)

 

The sweet flavor comes from the pear, and sweet peppers. The saltiness comes from the goat cheese and steak seasoning. My taste buds thoroughly appreciate the blend of sweetness and salt. Best of all, combining the two of them leaves me craving free at the end of the meal.

 

When I take salads for lunch, I really prefer for them to not be a soggy mess when I eat them. To prevent that from happening, this is how I packed my salad. (I ate my fruit on the side)

Basically, I pack the salad separate, the cheese separate, and then combine the onion, pepper, balsamic vinegar and steak seasoning.

It works out great, and it also ends up smelling really nice. My co-workers who I eat lunch with often comment about how good this salad looks/smells when I pack it. I think the key is those yummy little sweet peppers!

Mexican Crock Pot Chicken

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First of all, I need to apologize that I do not have a better picture. I actually forgot to take a picture as I was packing today. I ate lunch in another teacher’s room and didn’t have my phone. Luckily, another amazing teacher asked me about taking a picture! She snapped it on her phone for me! Thank you Taryn!!

 

As you can see, I ate my chicken as a salad again. This is one of the easiest and tastiest ways for me to ensure I am getting my daily veggies in.

 

I must warn you, this is one of the easiest, tastiest and husband friendly recipes. There was a time that we were making this at least weekly! It can be eaten all by itself, as a taco/burrito, or as a salad. Someone had shared this recipe with me when I first started Weight Watchers, and I just modified it a little bit.

 

Here is how simple it is!

 

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 can salsa (I buy whatever is on sale)

1 can black beans drained and rinsed (I use reduced sodium)

About 1 cup frozen corn

1 zucchini diced (optional, I like it because it makes the meal more hearty and in a healthy way)

Some ground cumin to taste (optional)

 

You literally throw it all in the crock pot, turn it on low and let it cook all day, or at least until the chicken is done. When you’re ready to eat, take 2 forks and shred the chicken. It will just fall apart.

 

Adding cheese, or some fat free sour cream makes it taste even better! It is also obvious that the left overs make a great meal for lunch 🙂

 

This time, I am trying to freeze it to see how it comes out. I will have to update if it works or not!

Salad with BBQ Chicken

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A few days prior, I had boiled up some chicken breasts to use for my lunches and dinners throughout the week. There are so many ways to make chicken, and so many things to mix with chicken, I could possibly eat it every day of the week and never get tired of it.

Here are the main ingredients for my salad, lettuce, homemade healthy ranch, chicken mixture:


To make the chicken mixture, I cooked 2 pieces of reduced sodium turkey bacon and set it aside. In the same pan, I cooked some purple onion, added in my shredded chicken and some BBQ sauce, cut up the bacon and threw that in too.  I did all of this the night before (ate half for dinner, and then put half in a container to take for lunch).

 

The lettuce is self explanatory, and the ranch dressing is just simply so amazing that it deserves its own special post later on.

 

I kept all of the ingredients separate until it was time for lunch. Then I threw them all together. I really like the ranch with the BBQ, it may be one of my newest favorite flavor combinations.

Will likely not be posting every day during the weekend. I have two 12 year old swimmers from Japan who will be staying with me. Hope they like my cookin’!

Lunch and Snack Pack #1

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Here is what I ate for lunch today! I tend to snack as well, usually one before lunch and one for the afternoon after lunch.

My Snacks:

For morning snack I ate a pear. The Bosc pears are my favorite variety, I rarely buy anything else. They are always crispy and have a great flavor. Packed for my after lunch splurge were grapes, wheat thins garden vegetable fiber crackers, celery with a wedge of Weight Watcher’s spreadable cheese (similar to laughing cow). If you are on Weight Watchers my total points plus value for my snacks was 4, 3 for the crackers and 1 for the cheese.

My Lunch:

I like to call this my “relish” salad. The lettuce is fresh green leaf lettuce. I then add the special super “relish” (which I have been told is a very “white” word) chicken breast, fat free feta cheese and some olives. Total Points Plus is 5, and I promise it is very filling.

For the chicken, I just cut it up and cooked it in a pan with some red pepper and garlic spice that I had. You could really cook it any way you want. I cooked up quite a bit of this on Monday and then threw it in my fridge for later use.

The relish stuff is very flavorful, so the salad requires no dressing. This idea was originally given to me by my friend Taryn, she had it on a sandwich and it smelled so good. I modified it a little bit to make it more “friendly”. We also got an amazing gift for our wedding called a vallida chopper, it makes making this SO much faster!
Makes 1 Batch of “Relish” (Enough for 4-5 salads)

2 ribs of celery

2 medium tomatoes

1 onion

Canned Red Peppers (in water and just to taste) I have also added hot peppers for even more flavor

1/2 to 1 package of dry Italian Dressing Mix

 

Chop all ingredients that need to be chopped. Add in Italian Dressing mix, more or less depending on what flavor you want. Then let it set and serve with salads or sandwiches.

 

Another great perk, this relish seems to keep for quite a while before going bad. Sorry I didn’t think to get a good shot of the relish, but trust me, it’s good!
Happy lunch packing! This wasn’t so bad for my first real post!