A little while back I had a phase, okay more of an obsession, with chopped salad mixes. I know, I know…pre-made salad kits, who am I? But Kris was traveling a lot for work, and they’re so easy for those nights when it’s just me. And I love that all the components of the salad are pre-chopped to be exactly the same size. The OCD part of me revels in the uniformity of the salad. Chopped salads look SO perfect after they are mixed. I just add some protein and, done – dinner for one. Before Kris and I got married, the majority of my dinners were giant salads. Salads are my default meal; you can get creative with a variety of lettuces, veggies, nuts, seeds, cheeses, meat, and dressings. I never tire of giant, dinner salads, in fact, I even crave them, true fact!
The grocery stores have a ton of chopped salad kits. They have their own little growing section, creeping in on the boring pre-cut, pre-washed bags of plain iceberg. And the varieties are endless; there’s pomegranate, Southwest, bacon and blue cheese, Italian, sunflower seed, and most recently the super food mixes. Predicatively, I fall for the super food, “health-boosting” antioxidant mix nine times out of 10….. a sucker for marketing, I guess. The super food mix I like best boasts of kale, brussels sprouts, and pumpkin seeds. And honestly, I really do like the crunch of all those veggies and seeds, but I do always end up adding more pumpkin seeds, and maybe some sunflowers seeds….and then half the time I use a different salad dressing than the one it came with, and then I am usually disappointed by the ratio of kale and brussels sprouts to romaine. So because of my constant altering of the kits, I finally decided to start making my own chopped salad so it would be exactly the way I want it.
Now making your own chopped salad is more time consuming than buying a salad kit, obviously, but getting the perfect salad is worth the time and effort. For this chopped salad, I went with romaine, kale, brussels sprouts, broccoli, red cabbage, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, made my own Greek yogurt-based dressing, and topped it with pan seared chicken thighs. You can easily make substitutions to this chopped salad, use whatever ingredients you have on hand – come up with your own recipe. You could add cheese, dried cranberries, chopped salami, bacon, steak instead of chicken… I mean, any combination you dream up will work, just chop all your ingredients to be the same size. Anything to increase your vegetable intake is a plus in my book.
Enjoy and let me know what you put in your chopped salad!
- One heart of romaine lettuce chopped into 1-inch pieces
- 3-4 kale leaves stems removes, torn into 1-inch pieces
- 2 cups of brussels sprouts thinly sliced
- 1 small head of broccoli florets removed and chopped
- 1/4 head of red cabbage chopped into 1-inch pieces
- 1/2 cup of sunflower seeds
- 1/2 cup of pumpkin seeds
- 1 pound of cooked chicken thighs chopped into 1-inch pieces (if making dinner salad)
- For the dressing: 1/2 cup full-fat Greek yogurt 1/4 cup olive oil, 1/4 cup white wine vinegar, juice from 1/2 a lemon, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper, 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
Mix romaine, kale, brussels sprouts, broccoli, red cabbage, sunflower seeds, and pumpkin seeds in a large bowl.
For salad dressing, combine, Greek yogurt, olive oil, white wine vinegar, lemon juice, and seasonings in a medium bowl and mix to combine.
Toss salad in Greek yogurt dressing or dressing of choice.
Divide into two large bowls for dinner option and top with chicken or serve as a side salad.