Jamie’s Junk Salad

While we were in Florida, my mom whipped up the most delicious and filling salad for us to take down for a big poolside lunch with some friends. It was basically an exercise in throwing in everything she had in her kitchen into a bowl. It’s sort of the Helman style of cooking. A little bit of this, a little bit of that. The salad was so satisfying and got such positive reviews from everyone enjoying it that I decided it should be shared. This is by no means a recipe but more a guide for how to take a bunch of junk in your fridge and make a meal out of it.

I started with about 3 chicken breasts (you could also use rotisserie chicken or a pre-cubed chicken to save yourself some work).

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Then I cubed up a Fuji apple.

Every good salad should have bacon in it (because, bacon) but I have been loving this lower fat alternative to pork bacon. It gives the flavor and texture of bacon but has 70% less fat and only 30 calories in two slices. That’s pretty awesome on the caloric side of life, but if you’re looking for higher fat in your diet or you just prefer good ol porky pig style bacon, then by all means – OINK it up. I added 6 pieces of bacon to my salad.

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Hard boiled eggs are obviously a super food, so I boiled a few of those (2 or 3 will do) to throw in. Is it just me or does anyone else google how to make hard boiled eggs every time you make them? That and boiling corn on the cob. I’ll never remember that. I’m too busy remembering the names of all the characters on Paw Patrol.

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For a little more protein and healthy fat, I purchased a pre-mixed assortment of seeds, nuts and raisins at Martin’s in the bulk food section. If you’re crafting your salad to fit your calorie and macro goals, you may want to break out the food scale on this one. As healthy as nuts and seeds are, they are pretty high in calorie content, so I tried to be moderate with this ingredient and kept it to 4 ounces for my salad (about 3/4 a cup). If you don’t have a food scale, but you’re trying to watch your intake, I highly recommend it. It’s a super helpful tool. Prior to owning one, I had no idea what 4 ounces of meat looked like. Now I can mostly eyeball it, but I still bust out the scale on a regular basis.

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Along with the seeds, I threw in feta cheese. Feta cheese should exist in every salad (and lately I am loading up my roasted veggies with a sprinkling of it, and let me just say YUM!).

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Now when you go to dress your salad, you can make or break it. Dressings are often the calorie killer in a salad, so depending on your goals (eat a salad that tastes frickin amazing, calories notwithstanding or keep it low cal and healthy) you’ll want to choose your dressing accordingly. For mine, I’m going to use the Panera Fuji Apple dressing because that’s what my mom used in her salad and it was delicious. You can always thin out your dressings a little bit by adding some water so that it still coats the salad but you aren’t using as much of the caloric stuff.

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I have a giant bowl with a tight seal lid and since I whipped up such a large salad, I can seal it off and nosh on it for several days (just don’t dress it until you’re ready to eat it or it’ll be soggsville).

This salad it so fulfilling. It’s loaded up with high protein foods so it really does work as a dinner salad without leaving you feeling like you just chewed on some leaves. You can thank Jamie for her kitchen innovation next time you throw all your food into a bowl and make some magic.

Also, while we’re talking about food, can we take a moment to appreciate the beauty of flowy tops?

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I mean, really. They’re so forgiving. They’re so comfortable. They’re easy to throw on with jeans or over workout gear.

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Flowy tops understand me. And the beautiful thing is, you have no idea what is hiding under there. I could have a burrito belly or I could have a six pack. You’ll never know. (Spoiler alert: it’s not a six pack). Shop this top here. Necklace from Vintage Charm (Granger).

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