A Superfood Salad to Make Your Week Easy & Healthy!

How in the world is it Friday already? This week just flew by.

Last Friday, I went into a serious cooking mode. I made a healthy birthday cake (recipe coming soon), helped my boyfriend meal prep, and made a tasty meal prepped salad to take on the Charleston trip with me. This salad was so delicious and flavorful that I could have eaten it for almost every meal, and that’s pretty much what I did. When I finish this post, I’m heading to the grocery store to grab more salad ingredients and food for the week. My fridge is emptier than a grocery store during a blizzard. I’ll also be prepping some veggies for the weekend, so stay tuned on my Insta story! 🙂 I may even whip up a healthy banana bread with the extra-ripe bananas sitting on my counter. 
I will forever love salads.

They are so delicious, easy to change-up, filling, and healthy! Well, healthy when you know what’s in them. I love to change up the ingredients to make them fun and interesting. They also take hardly any time to make! 
You can make cold salads, warm salads, vegan salads, gluten-free salads, dairy free salads, vegetarian salads…ok you get it. 
This salad has…

Avocado (health benefits)
Red Onion (health benefits)
Pears (health benefits)
Brussels Sprouts (health benefits)
Pumpkin Seeds (health benefits)
Pecans (health benefits)
Kale (health benefits)
Butternut Squash (health benefits)
Cinnamon (health benefits)
Protein: Eggs (health benefits)
Green Goddess Dressing (find it here)
Butternut squash adds so much flavor and texture to salads. I used to get butternut squash in all of my salads at Chopt! That is what gave me the inspo for adding butternut squash to my salads. Simply toss the chopped butternut squash in a little olive oil and bake for twenty minutes at 400 degrees! Toss the baked butternut squash with cinnamon and allow it to cool. I find that adding the cinnamon after baking helps it from tasting like burnt cinnamon. 
The reason I choose kale for food prep salads is because it’s strong and doesn’t wilt like the other leafy greens. I can toss it in dressing, and it gets better over time!

I never buy bagged kale because they ALWAYS have stems. The stems make kale bitter, which is why a lot of people don’t like kale. I buy it fresh and separate the leaves from the stems. I always use a pizza slicer to chop it like restaurants. I have a salad chopper, but I find that the pizza slicer is less messy and chops the lettuce better.

Another quick note about chopping and then I promised I’m finished. I only like my kale chopped. I don’t like my other toppings chopped because then it feels likes a scavenger hunt in a bowl of mush. I like the chunky toppings! Now, I sound like a weirdo 🙂
I massaged the kale with Green Goddess dressing. I have been LOVING all of the Tessemae’s dressings. They are so wholesome and clean. If you’re going to eat a salad for health, might as well make sure each element is healthy. Because the dressing contains lemon, it helps keeps the vegetables fresh! This helped the avocados and pears from browning. 
And what’s a salad without crunch? I love adding a couple crunchy toppers! These pumpkin seeds are phenomenal. I tried these for the first time at a CVS event in NYC and was instantly hooked. Superseedz are life 🙂 
Sauteed butternut squash…yum! I sauteed some brussels sprouts and then placed them in the freezer for them to cool down faster before adding them to my salad. You don’t want to add warm food to the salad, or it’ll wilt down. 
I don’t add extra dressing to the fillers because I love the flavor they add on their own. Add all the ingredients to the bowl and give it a good toss! 
You can add any protein you want! I added hard boiled eggs 🙂 You don’t have to add any at all, and you can use this salad as a side to your baked chicken, cooked tofu, fresh fish, or whatever you choose! It’s just convenient to keep a giant prepped salad around for when you’re hungry and need a quick fix. 
Mine came in handy during my trip to Charleston! 🙂 I’ve already had a lot of you send me photos of the salad you created after seeing this on my Instagram story and I loved that! The avocado brownies have been a big hit as well! 😀

Alright, now I’m off to the grocery store!

Questions for you!

  1. What is one food you like to have prepped always?
  2. Kale or NO?
  3. One odd salad topper that you think I’d like?

Comments

  • Deepa

    You are the salad queen! You have gotten me loving salads. The hubs makes a killer Green Goddess dressing so that has helped too 🙂
    1. Not prepped but like to keep cans of black beans handy, they go with everything.
    2. Yes!!
    3. Salsa. I use it in place of dressing sometimes 😉

    Reply to Deepa
  • Melissa

    Oooh- I just made a goal to eat a salad daily and THIS may have to be it! I just ordered that dressing from Amazong!

    Reply to Melissa
  • Dana

    I like to have my greens washed and my protein of the week made for my salads.

    Always kale!

    Savory granola bars. There are a few at whole foods (can’t recall brands right now). I like to crumble on top for crunch.

    Reply to Dana
  • Susie

    You never fail to inspire me when it comes to salads! Although I love bleu cheese in mine and I know you don’t (I don’t understand, lol)

    What is one food you like to have prepped always? Hard boiled eggs. Perfect for on the go breakfast, snacks, and tossing into salads.

    Kale or NO? No. I wish I liked kale….but now that you gave us a good tip, I will give it another try.

    One odd salad topper that you think I’d like? Pickles. I think I got the cheeseburger salad idea from Hungry Girl, which uses a chopped veggie burger, pickles, onions, and shredded cheddar.

    Reply to Susie
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Thanks, Susie!!

      no no no to the bleu cheese lol Kyle loves it, but not me…

      mmmmm always have my hard boiled eggs!

      YES retry it!

      pickles? HMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM I like the hot n spicy salad banana peppers.

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Anonymous

    yum!

    Reply to Anonymous
  • Katie

    I tried your recommendation for marinating the kale and removing the leaves from the stem and it made all the difference! I never thought I’d enjoy kale.

    Your blog is my inspiration!

    Reply to Katie
  • Casey

    Your salad looks delish! I like to have veggies washed, cut up and ready to do. Also I try to have small baggies of tomato paste in my freezer at all times. YES to kale! What about water chestnuts for your salad?

    Reply to Casey
  • Anonymous

    YUM

    Reply to Anonymous
  • Jane

    I always read your blog for salad ideas!

    Reply to Jane
  • Casey

    I always have tomato paste (in small freezer bags) in my freezer.
    YES kale!
    What about water chestnuts for a salad topper?

    Reply to Casey
  • Katie

    You have inspired me to eat more salads and drink less coffee!

    Reply to Katie
  • Amy

    This looks delicious, Taralynn! Thank you for the inspiration.

    I like adding frozen peas and chopped grapes to my salads.

    Have a great weekend.

    Reply to Amy
  • Ruth

    Cinnamon butternut squash? That is brilliant!

    Reply to Ruth
  • Myriam

    You really are an example to follow and a “goal” person to be for me. I admire you SO MUCH for overcoaming your ED disorder, I’ve been 7 years going through one and it just won’t let me be happy… You’re great Taralynn, and very brave.

    So my answers to your questions!

    1) I don’t really prepp food (related to what I just said about my problem) but I guess if I had to, I would love to cook veggie burgers and freeze them!
    2) Definitely YES.
    3) Mmm… you probably have already tried it, but I love to have nutritional yeast in all my salads.

    Take care lovely, and a little too late, happy birthday xxxx

    Reply to Myriam
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Myriam!

      Thank you for the kind words. It’s a tough journey, and some days are great and some days are low. You just have to learn how to deal with a healthy and positive mindset.

      Veggie burgers are a great food to make at home!

      XO XO

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Richelle Ching

    How long will this keep in the fridge?

    Thanks!

    Reply to Richelle Ching
  • Liv

    You should make a salad series and post a food prep salad monthly.

    Reply to Liv
  • Susie @ Mile High Dreamers

    You are seriously the salad queen haha. You’ve always made the best looking salads! I’m definitely going to try this one. I love having a gigantic salad on hand to eat throughout the week, but I SUCK at making them fun. I love these ingredients, so this is just perfect.

    I always like having homemade granola on hand! It makes anything it’s on taste like a treat, even though it’s super healthy.
    Kale… As long as it’s got delicious dressing OR has been crisped up in a pan with olive oil! YUM.
    Pickled veggies or blueberries!

    Reply to Susie @ Mile High Dreamers
    • Taralynn McNitt

      HAHAHA Thanks Susie!

      Hope you had a great week!

      Ohhhhh granola is my weakness. LOVE IT SO MUCH! I’d love to know your granola recipe!

      blueberries for a salad is a great go-to!

      Have a great weekend.

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Brittany

    Great post!
    I always have grilled chicken prepped. It goes with everything!
    Heck yeah kale!
    The strangest things I put on my salad are pepitas, fresh mint leaves or falafels, to name a few. (But not all at once!) 🙂

    Reply to Brittany
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Brittany!

      Yes! I can’t wait for it to be warm so I can grill outside. I’m in the process of searching for the perfect grill for the summer!

      Falafels are SO good in salads and pepitas!

      😀

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Meghan

    What does Green Goddess dressing taste like? Haha I’ve never heard of it until I’ve been seeing it in your posts and I was going to pick up a bottle the other day but I’mt not sure if I’d like it! I always prep lunches with chicken and veggies, otherwise I end up not bringing a lunch to work or not bringing something very filling and then I end up eating junk. I like kale if it is chopped up in small pieces, and I need to have it mixed with romaine. I’m slowly starting to get more accustomed to it, the first time I tried it I HATED it! Chickpeas and edamame are my go to salad toppings! I’m pretty sure I’ve seen you have them in your salads before though haha

    Reply to Meghan
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Meghan!

      It’s funny. The Green Goddess dressing tastes different every time I try a new flavor or have a restaurant’s. This one is like a mild vinaigrette and rich with an herby taste. That is great that you bring your own lunches! Sounds like you’re prepared 😀 & your lunch sounds awesome! I love love love edamame in salads, especially with avocados and cranberries.

      xo xo xo

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Steph

    This looks so good!!! Good tip on the kale, I can hardly eat it because of how bitter is it!! I’ll def try your method. Thanks for the great recipe! Can’t wait for all those dessert recipes.

    Reply to Steph
  • Olivia

    I love to have hard boiled eggs or egg cups. I am a huge breakfast eater, I have to eat within an hour of waking up or I’m DYING and I’m not a huge sweet breakfast person, has to be savory. It always helps having quick grab-and-go egg cup or boiled egg for the mornings that I’m running late.

    I wish I could do kale! My body does not agree with the dark leafy greens (spinach, kale, even romaine sometimes) and I can’t fully process them. I’m okay if they are blended in a smoothie so that’s how I sneak them in my diet but it makes eating salads hard, even though I love them. I’ve recently found though that my body loves arugula! That’s actually thanks to you 🙂 I’d never tried it until your recent arugula kick and I made a few salads and fell in love when I didn’t have any issues!

    My favorite crunchy salad topper is crispy rice noodles and my favorite dressing right now is Litehouse Organic Ginger with Honey Vinaigrette. I know how much you love ginger and this dressing is to DIE for!

    Reply to Olivia
    • Linda @ the Fitty

      I LOVE HARD BOILED EGGS TOO! I bring them with me for fast finger food on days I have classes and don’t have much time to eat in between. I also don’t do kale very much either–do you do Collard greens?

      Reply to Linda @ the Fitty
      • Olivia

        Nope! Can’t do those either unfortunately 🙁 My dad makes the BEST collards for New Year’s and I can only have a bite or I will regret it later! As I mentioned, I recently found I can do arugula and I can usually handle romaine. Spinach only in small amounts or blended.

        Reply to Olivia
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Olivia!

      I couldn’t agree more! I usually do hard boiled egg whites and half a waffle with my coffee around 6 am! I’m always hungry when I wake up and an empty stomach with coffee is no bueno!

      Arugula is awesome! I actually bought arugula for my latest meal-prep salad! The grocery store was out of fresh kale, so I went with Arugula instead.

      Yum!! I used to do that with all of my salads. I forgot about those things! Thanks for the dressing recomendation!

      xo

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Chandler

    Hi Taralynn!

    This looks delish. I’ll have to try it!

    1) I love to always have veggies prepped. I feel like I can form a complete meal as long as I have veggies on hand. I do like to keep proteins and grains or potatoes prepped too, but veggies are more the staple.
    2) Yes, I’ve been getting more into kale lately! Today for lunch I had Gimme Some Oven’s Sweet Potato, Chickpea and Kale salad bowls with a tahini/lemon/garlic dressing. Soooo good and nutritious.
    3) You should try Ortega’s Jalapeno Crispy Taco Toppers. I love them!

    Have a great weekend!

    Reply to Chandler
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Chandler!

      Thanks so much 🙂 Hope you enjoy it!

      Yes same!! Veggies prepped is a must.

      Oh, that sounds so good! Kale and sweet potato go great together, especially with avocados!

      YUM!! Sounds delicious.

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Kelsey Weissner

    This sounds awesome! I’ve actually never had a kale salad, all of my kale experiences have been sauteed (which I thoroughly enjoy!) so I will definitely give this a try. I like that they hold up compared to romaine for example. I tried to prep some breakfast proteins when I can. Since I can’t eat eggs, I like to prep a batch of breakfast sausage patties with either ground beef or ground turkey and a bunch of seasoning. A pack of ground meat will last me several breakfasts! I’m not a huge salad person (I’m not that creative lol) but when I order salads from Nalley Fresh, I love adding toppers like fresh herbs–cilantro, yum!–and olives. Do you like olives?

    xo Kelsey

    Reply to Kelsey Weissner
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Kelsey!

      Lol you lost me at olives & cilantro! hahaha I can’t do either.

      Sounds like you’re on top of the food prepping!! That makes it much easier.

      xo xo xo

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Alexi

    Hi Taralynn,

    I am absolutely obsessed with your blog after finding it on Pinterest! This salad sounds amazing, and I am definitely going to try it as my lunch meal prep for next week. Just one question, do you add the dressing all at once, or do you add it right before you eat it each time? Since I’ll want to spread it out over a few days, just wondering the best way to keep it from getting wilted 🙂 Thanks!

    Reply to Alexi
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Alexi!!

      I am so happy you found my blog and are enjoying it 🙂 Reading that comment put a smile on my face!

      When it comes to kale, I’ll add it beforehand because kale doesn’t wilt or get soggy like the other leafy vegetables. Kale ends up tasting better with dressing overtime, and I do not add too much! If I were to use any other leafy green, I’d probably hold off on the dressing. Kale just tastes better when it marinates a bit!

      But I only add the dressing to the kale, and let the other veggies hold flavor on their own! 😀

      xo

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Chelsea

    This salad looks better than a restaurant’s salad. I can’t wait to make it this weekend.

    What kind of dressing could I make at home?

    Reply to Chelsea
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Chelsea!

      I like to mix olive oil, balsamic, roasted minced garlic, honey, black pepper, oregano, and lime juice together to make a homemade dressing!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Kim

    Wait… I think you may have meant sautéed Brussel sprouts? Under your picture of Brussel sprouts. I was like, wait we already roasted the butternut squash! Haha either way it looks amazing! I’ll definitely be trying 😀

    Reply to Kim
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hahahaha thanks for catching that! Friday afternoon brain got the best of me.

      WAIT…I ALWAYS MESS UP lol Can’t blame the Friday brain…:D

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Linda @ the Fitty

    Oh Tara, if there’s one thing, just one thing that we ever have in common between us, it’s that we both love salads! In fact at one point, I considered naming my blog salad Queen! I go through a bag of romaine lettuce in just one day! I could go through two. but I try to control myself, haha! I just love the variety that you can put in salads, I think of it as like a Raw casserole. And you can put any dressing on tops and can make it taste like whatever you want it to taste like.

    Reply to Linda @ the Fitty
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Yum! Salad queens for sure 😀

      Lol the good thing about vegetables is that you don’t have to “control” yourself. EAT UP!

      😀

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
      • Linda @ the Fitty

        If I have too much it actually creates indigestion and then I can’t sleep at night >.<'' That's the thing! I seriously seriously love romaine lettuce like crazy, though.

        Reply to Linda @ the Fitty
  • Ashton Jury

    I love to always have hard boiled eggs and some sort of sausages like chicken apple or spicy turkey. I like Kale, but prefer spinach, arugula or mixed greens. Its not my usual go to, however Starbucks used to make an amazing kale chicken Cesar with sun dried tomatoes that I loved to get for my lunch. Do you like cheese on your salad at all? Lately I have been obsessed with Trader Joes Mediterranean feta, or there cranberry chevre goat cheese. I think just a bit of cheese really rounds out a good salad. I love that you’re using Tessamae’s too! They were a life saver when I did Whole 30!

    Reply to Ashton Jury
  • Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

    The salad looks delicious, Taralynn! ❤️❤️
    Going to try out the recipe for myself. 🙂

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog
    http://charmainenyw.com

    Reply to Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Previous post

Healthy Charleston Eats & A Relaxing Weekend Getaway

Next post

A Calm Week & Nutritious Eats ♥