Five Sexy Salads for Summer!

Five Sexy Salads for Summer!

Nope, summer is NOT over yet. I will milk it as long as possible and enjoy the Marin County sun as long as it’ll let me. Driving over the bridge into San Francisco, well that’s another story! Just 10 miles north of the city, you’ll find me eating salads on my mini deck that overlooks Mt. Tam. 🙂

My summer has been jam packed with planning a wedding (mine!) and going to weddings (other people’s), not to mention the *daily grind* of meal planning, health coaching, masters thesis-writing, and Pilates teaching. #Ilovemyjobs

Though I love traveling, things gets messed up if I get too far out of my exercise and healthy eating routine. For one, my full-blown coffee and sugar addictions seem to creep back in every time I’m away from home for more than a weekend. I eat and drink whatever I want because it’s like my brain thinks being on vacation means “it doesn’t count”… only it does. 

Here’s some advice I give my clients.

Since we can’t avoid holidays, events, parties, trips, etc. we have to figure out a way to experience life’s pleasures while at the same time creating boundaries for ourselves. It’s all about balance, which is easier said than done. The 85/15 rule is a good one to follow: act healthfully 85% of the time and the other 15% of the time do whatever you want. Seriously, have a bowl of ice cream after dinner, but eat healthy, whole foods the rest of the day and hit up a boot camp class after work. Spend a few days partying in Seattle, then be extra good for the next week and a half.

Personally, I choose to accept the fact that I let loose a bit when I’m traveling because it’s really hard for me not go out to eat, have more wine than usual, and remember to put on the running shoes (even though I bring them every time!). This means when I’m home and back in my routine, I whip myself back into shape like nobody’s business. I feel better in no time.


And I don’t just mean some fluffy veggies in a small bowl. I mean serious, hard-core, nourishing and sexy salads that are served in giant serving bowls.

I’m sharing five recipes straight from NutritionPro, the weekly meal plan subscription I’ve been working with Pilates ProWorks on this past year. These recipes you’ll see below were started by taking everything that’s edible out of the fridge, including  a healthy dose of plant-based protein, animal-based protein, and healthy fats (avocado, obviously), and tossing them together with some simple dressing. I’ve refined them — don’t worry! — so they are more palatable to normal people.

These guys are full meals with a balance of macronutrients and huge flavor explosion in your mouth. Hopefully it will inspire you to mix and match, be creative, and enjoy your veggies while detoxing from all the summer festivities.


All the recipes are two servings

1) Blackened Shrimp Salad with Honey Lime Dressing

IMG_2489Ingredients for the dressing:
2 Tbs. olive oil
Juice of 1 lime
1 Tbs. apple cider vinegar
2 tsp. honey
Pinch of garlic powder, cumin, and salt

Ingredients for the shrimp:
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. cumin
½ tsp. cayenne
1 tsp. salt
12 oz. large shrimp, peeled and cleaned
2 Tbs. olive oil

Ingredients for the salad:
4 cups of shredded cabbage
4 cups of shredded romaine lettuce
1 ½ cups chopped cucumber
1 ½ cups shredded carrots
1 tomato, diced
¼ cup chopped basil
½ tsp. red chili flakes
1 avocado, sliced
2 Tbs. toasted almonds

1) Whisk the dressing ingredients together in a small bowl or jar and set aside.
2) Toss the salad ingredients together in a large bowl, saving the avocado and almonds for the end. Set aside.
2) Combine the paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, cumin, cayenne, and salt together in a bowl.
3) Pat the shrimp dry with paper towels and add to the bowl with the seasonings. Toss everything around so the shrimp are coated with the seasoning.
4) Heat a frying pan over medium high heat. Once hot, add 2 Tbs. olive oil and place the shrimp in the pan in a single layer. Sear for about a minute on each side, flip, and continue with the rest of the shrimp.
5) Toss the salad with the dressing and top with cooked shrimp, avocado, and almonds. 

2) Broccoli Salad with Wild Rice and Raspberry Poppyseed Dressing

IMG_2814 copyIngredients for the Raspberry Poppyseed Dressing (with some leftover): 
½ cup walnut oil
2 Tbs. maple syrup
¼ cup lemon juice
½ cup raspberries
1 ½  tsp. dry mustard powder
½  tsp. pepper
2 Tbs. chopped onion
2 Tbs. poppyseeds

Ingredients for the salad: 
2 stalks of broccoli
6-8 cups of spinach
1 cup cooked wild rice (not pictured)
1 cup chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 cup of whole raspberries
3 Tbs. pine nuts

1) Make the Raspberry Poppyseed Dressing. Combine all the dressing ingredients together in a small food processor or blender and mix until smooth.
2) Cut the bottom ⅔ of the stem off the broccoli stalk and discard. Cut the remaining stem into 1 inch size pieces and the head into florets. Prepare a steaming basket with water and steam the broccoli for 2-3 minutes. Drain the water, rinse with cold water and let come to room temperature.
3) Toss the steamed broccoli, spinach, wild rice, chickpeas, raspberries, and pine nuts with a drizzle of Raspberry Poppyseed Dressing. Leftover dressing will last in the pantry or countertop for up to a week.

3) Superfood Salad with Chipotle Dressing

IMG_3678Ingredients for the dressing:
2 Tbs. olive oil
1 Tbs. white wine vinegar
Juice of ½ lemon
1 Tbs. honey
½ tsp. chipotle powder

Ingredients for the salad:
4 cups shredded kale
4 cups shredded cabbage
¼ cup minced parsley
½ can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
½ avocado
3 Tbs. crumbled feta
1 cup blueberries
1 cup halved grapes
2 Tbs. slivered almonds
2 Tbs. toasted buckwheat (also called kashi)

Whisk the olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, honey and chipotle powder together. Toss the salad ingredients with the dressing.

4) Niçoise Salad with Smoked Salmon

IMG_3791Ingredients for the dressing (with some leftover):
½ cup olive oil
3 Tbs. white wine vinegar
2 Tbs. lemon juice
2 Tbs. finely minced shallot
Tiny dab of garlic paste
¼ tsp. black pepper

Ingredients for the salad:
4 hard boiled eggs, peeled and cut in half
4 cups mixed greens
4 cups arugula
1 tomato or 1 cup cherry tomatoes, chopped
½ English cucumber or 2 Persian cucumbers, chopped
½ cup olives (pimento stuffed green olives or kalamata), chopped
4 oz. package of smoked salmon, crumbled
1 bunch asparagus, blanched
1 Tbs. capers
1 cup cooked Israeli couscous or regular couscous
½ avocado

Whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, shallot, garlic paste, and pepper in a small jar or bowl. Toss the salad ingredients with the dressing. Extra dressing will last in the pantry or countertop for up to a week.

5) Brazilian Cobb Salad

IMG_2935Ingredients for the dressing:
2 Tbs. olive oil
¼ cup orange juice (about ½ orange, juiced)
Juice of ½ lime (1-2 tsp.)
1 Tbs. red wine vinegar
1 Tbs. Dijon mustard
1 Tbs. finely minced parsley
¼ tsp. garlic paste
Black pepper to taste

Ingredients for the salad:
4 cups spinach
4 cups chopped kale
1 ear of corn
1 ½ cups black beans, drained and rinsed
3-4 hearts of palm, sliced
½ bell pepper, diced
1 Tbs. shallot slices
1 oz. chopped cashews (20-25 whole pieces)
½ avocado, sliced

Whisk the dressing ingredients together in a small bowl. Shuck the corn and cut off all the kernels. Toss with the rest of the salad ingredients and add the dressing.

How to make healthy, home cooked meals every night this week (yes, it's possible!)

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