One of the things I work with many of my clients on is incorporating more veggies into the day. Ideally, we should be aiming to eat 9-12 servings of fruits and veggies each day, focusing more on veggies than fruit, and eating a wide variety of colors so as to benefit from a full range of nutrients and phytonutrients.
Of course, for most of us, especially those of us used to eating the standard American diet which emphasizes processed foods and animal products, this can be quite the challenge. Is it even possible to eat that much produce in one day?!
I assure you, the answer is yes! However, like any lifestyle change, the key here is baby steps!
One of my favorite ways to eat more veggies is to blend leafy greens (like kale or spinach) into smoothies. Another strategy is to eat a big salad every day (I like my salads for either lunch or dinner). In order to keep things fresh and exciting, experimenting with new salad recipes is key!
This delicious salad recipe is one I tried for the first time just last night, and is inspired and adapted from Cooking Classy’s Thai Chicken Salad.
I’m pretty sure the best part of this entire recipe is the peanut dressing. As soon as I tasted it I was reminded of the brief time in my life, several years ago, when I was obsessed with the lettuce wraps with peanut dipping sauce from Tokyo Joe’s. Well, mostly, I was obsessed with the peanut sauce. I probably would have eaten that stuff with anything!
Apart from the delicious peanut sauce, I also especially enjoy bean sprouts, because they are light and crunchy and delicious! And, bonus, they are a great source of fiber, plant based protein, and vitamin c!
But don’t just take my word for how delicious this salad is . . . try it for yourself! The recipe below is for a single serving, but it is quite easy (and efficient) to prepare multiple individual portions all at once (hello easy grab and go lunch)!
- juice of 1 large orange (approximately 1/3 to 1/2 cup)
- 2 tsp orange zest
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
- 1 tsp soy sauce
- salt to taste
- 4 oz baked chicken breast**
- 2 cups mixed greens
- 1/3 cup shredded carrots
- 1/3 cup chopped red bell pepper
- 1/4 cup organic frozen shelled edamame, thawed
- 1/2 cup mung bean sprouts
- 1 handful cilantro, shredded
- 1 small handful peanuts
Start by making the dressing. Place the orange juice, zest, garlic, vinegar, peanut butter, soy sauce, and salt in a blender or mixer (I use a Nutribullet), and blend until smooth (this will yield about 4 servings of dressing). Place in the refrigerator until the salad is ready. Then, assemble the salad – in a medium sized bowl or container, top mixed greens with carrots, bell pepper, edamame, sprouts, cilantro, peanuts, and chicken.
**I recommend baking the chicken in a large batch ahead of time. To do this, brine 1 pound of raw chicken in a saltwater bath for approximately 1 hour, then drain. Drizzle with olive or coconut oil, and season to taste (I use garlic powder, onion salt, and black truffle Be Runa Seed Salt. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes or until chicken is cooked all the way through.
Once the salad is assembled, add a couple spoonfuls of dressing and enjoy! You could also make lettuce wraps by placing all ingredients (minus the mixed greens) in several bibb lettuce leaves. Roll them up and dunk them in dressing, om non nom! 😀
Whatever you choose, I hope you enjoy this recipe and are feeling inspired and encouraged to play around with new ways to eat those veggies!