Easy Chopped Thai Salad – Perfect for a Weeknight or Lunch Prep-Ahead Meal

I love a good salad! This one is perfect with Thai Chili Chicken Wings or pre-seasoned pork tenderloin for an easy weeknight meal, or use it as a prep-ahead lunch. The edamame and peanuts add protein, so it’s an easy, vegan option. It’s also Whole 30, Gluten Free and Keto friendly, which means it’s healthy and full of good-for-you ingredients!

I kept this recipe super simple by using pre-cut slaw, however, you can definitely chop your own. In the photos, I chopped it myself. Our area is still having supply-chain issues following a recent hurricane. I included kale, purple cabbage, Nappa cabbage, and shaved Brussels sprouts when I make it myself. This was a lot of salad, so I doubled the dressing recipe.

Here’s what you’ll need.

For the Salad:

  • 1/2 bag broccoli slaw
  • 1/2 bag tricolor coleslaw blend
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 cup diced bell peppers (I prefer the colorful ones)
  • 1 bag frozen, shelled edamame
  • 1/2 cup diced cilantro
  • 3-4 chopped green onions
  • Roasted, salted peanuts for garnish

For the Dressing:

  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 3 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce (if using low-sodium, add 1 tsp salt)
  • 1 tablespoon white rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sriracha sauce
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons grated lemongrass (substitute ginger if it’s not available)
  • juice from 1 lime

Assemble the Ingredients

To start, microwave the edamame in a shallow bowl for about 4 minutes until it is hot, but not overcooked.

In a large bowl, assemble all of the salad ingredients, except the peanuts. For a pretty presentation, separate the ingredients into groups. Then mix it all together when you’re ready to serve it.

Oops I added the peanuts! It’s better if you put them on top when you’re done.

Next, assemble the dressing in a microwave-safe container. I like to use a glass measuring cup. Microwave the dressing for 1-2 minutes to warm it and release the flavors.

Pour the dressing over the salad and toss together before serving.

Photo credit goes to Mr. Bayou for this action shot.
So pretty!
I garnished the pork tenderloin and salad with a little extra sriracha sauce. I like it spicy!

Below is a printable PDF version of this recipe:

Let me know if you try this recipe!

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Chicken & Kale Salad with Sorghum Vinaigrette Recipe (and what I’ve been doing lately)

Do you ever have days when you just want to be creative and do something fun? That was me last week. Call it procrastination, lack of discipline, ADD — whatever, but I could not bring myself to be productive! I have several blog posts to write, recipes to try, a closet makeover to finish, and an empty house to clean (while kids are in school). 

Instead, I found myself in a creative frenzy, attacking various areas of the house, rearranging and reimagining, lost in a design trance and loving every minute of it. It started with repainting my living room art because the rust color was bothering me. The best thing about DIY art is that you can adjust it as needed. I still need to make a frame for it, but I’m not really focused on the living room right now.

If you remember, one of my big takeaways from the One Room Challenge this spring was to focus on completing one room at a time. This keeps me from buying 75 throw pillows and never investing in items that make a big impact or help complete a cohesive space. You can see how that project turned out here.

I simplified the shelves above the television and rearranged the fireplace.

For my rearranging, I didn’t purchase anything new, so I’m still technically on track. The gray vase on the mantle is new and was a birthday gift from Mr. Bayou. You can purchase it here. The white planter is from Target and is currently sold out, but if they restock it, you can find it here. Note, this post uses affiliate links, and if you purchase something from it, I might get a little commission.

Painting the (previously terracotta) pot led to rearranging the plants in my house. BTW, this is my next room to tackle, and I can’t wait to share all the details!

I ended up loving the maroon color in the painting so much that I decided to paint a pot too.  Project led to project, and before long, it was time for kids to get home!

I also switched out the gold pampas grass for the brown grass Mr. Bayou and I collected from the side of the road during our trip to Austin, TX. Ignore the Roomba dock… this is real life.

It always takes a while to adjust to new routines, and this is no different. Now that I’m finished with the little pity party I had for myself about waking up at 5 a.m. to get kids off to school, I can start planning my day and accomplishing some things! Yes, it’s early. They are all in middle school, which starts at 7 a.m.

Despite having to overcome my negative thinking about school start times, I did manage to pull this recipe together. I’ve been researching it for a while, collecting ingredients and trying out salad dressings. I’m so excited to share it with you.

Chicken and Kale Salad with Sorghum Vinaigrette

I love a good restaurant salad, but for some reason, it’s never the same at home. With the gorgeous colors and interesting fall flavors, this salad is good enough for guests!

Gather the Ingredients

I’d never heard of sorghum until about a month ago. According to this site, Sorghum is a “super grain, high in protein, rich in antioxidants and naturally gluten-free.” It can be eaten as a grain, ground into flour, or made into a syrup. To me, sorghum syrup tastes very similar to molasses, but it’s a little lighter and has a slightly milder flavor. It’s a natural sweetener like honey.

I purchased my sorghum syrup on Amazon here. The whole grain mustard is also from Amazon, linked here, but I’ve seen similar types in local grocery stores. It adds a ton of flavor to the dressing. It’s also delicious on sandwiches. 

This salad also calls for dried cranberries. Unfortunately, most cranberries in the grocery stores are full of added sugar. I purchased mine at Trader Joe’s, but you can also find them at Whole Foods or on Amazon. Sliced apples would be another great option.

The salad mix I used was also from Trader Joe’s. It contains kale, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, green cabbage, and red cabbage. I’ve seen similar mixes at Walmart, but you could also create your own by slicing the veggies into thin slices with a knife, or use a food processor. See my superfood salad recipe for more ideas.  Buying it this way, and mixing it with baby salad greens, is a huge time saver.

I used prepared rotisserie chicken for my salad, but if I were cooking for friends, I’d either use fresh rotisserie chicken or grill my own. 

Put the Salad Together

One of the keys to making a restaurant-quality salad is temperature. If possible, heat the chicken and the salad dressing just a little bit before assembling the ingredients. I assemble the dressing in a mason jar, and heat it in the microwave for about 45 seconds (without the lid). It’s nice to store it that way, too. Just shake it up when needed. It doesn’t need to be hot, but a cold salad right out of the fridge just isn’t as appetizing.

Just put the lid on, and give it a shake when you’re ready to eat.
It’s so pretty and colorful!

If you’re planning to serve the entire salad, warm the dressing first, and toss most of it with the greens. Then, layer the other ingredients on top. If you’re not planning to eat it all right away, definitely add salad dressing to each plate.

Here’s the printable recipe with all of the details!

Let me know if you try it! I’m planning to share the closet progress tomorrow and a few budget-friendly fall fashion items later in the week. Thank you for being here, and I hope you’ve found something helpful today.

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Chickpea Summer Salad

This Chickpea Summer Salad is just right when you’re craving a light side dish or meal. I served it with grilled chicken to add some extra protein. With tons of veggies and just a few carbs, this is a great option for a keto diet or anyone watching their carbs. If you’re doing the Whole 30 diet or limiting dairy, omit the feta cheese.

Prepare the Ingredients

  • Before you begin cutting the veggies, make sure to cook the quinoa. It is fine to add it to the salad warm, but if it’s too hot, it will melt the feta cheese. I usually cook 2 cups at a time and place the extra in the freezer for later.
  • Dice the avocados into small bites, and add them to a large mixing bowl. Squeeze 1/2 a lemon over the avocado to prevent it from turning brown.
For the freshest avocados, ripen them near bananas. Then, store the avocados in the refrigerator until you’re ready to use them.
  • Canned chickpeas do not have to be cooked, but they taste much better when rinsed thoroughly with warm water. This is a necessary step! Add those to the bowl as well.
  • Next, chop up your veggies. The cucumber is best when cut into small bites. I cut it lengthwise into quarters, and then slice it.
I prefer English cucumbers, but two regular cucumbers will work. Just make sure to remove most of the peel.
  • Dice the red (or yellow) bell pepper into small bites, and cut the cherry tomatoes into quarters. Add both to the bowl.
  • Once the quinoa has cooled some, add it as well. If using the feta cheese, add it to the bowl.
Any type of quinoa works in this recipe, but the tri-color is my favorite.
  • Finally, add the chopped Italian parsley. Cilantro will also work.

My “Secret” Ingredient

The Greek Seasoning is available at my Walmart, but you can also find it on Amazon.

Now, it’s time to mix up the dressing for this salad. I used olive oil and white wine vinegar, but red wine vinegar will also work. Add the salt, pepper, onion powder, and my “secret” ingredient, Cavender’s Greek Seasoning. Mix those together before tossing with the salad. Garnish with a little extra feta cheese on top.

I could eat this every single day.

This would be great as a prep-ahead lunch or to add to a meal. Chickpea Summer Salad has 309 calories per serving (assuming 6 servings). The macros are 21 grams of fat, 23 grams of carbs, and 9 grams of protein.

Below is a printable PDF version of this recipe:

Let me know if you try making this! I’d love to know how it turns out.

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Superfood Salad: A Nutrient Dense Make-Ahead Lunch or Side Dish

This healthy lunch or side salad is packed with ingredients that fight cancer and heart disease. The term “superfood” is more of a marketing gimmick than a nutritional category, but the foods in this meal are definitely good ones to include in your diet. Also, there’s no lettuce in this salad, so it’s a nice change of pace. It’s good for gluten-free, Whole 30, keto, or low-carb diets, just watch out for extra sugars in the dressing.

What Makes This a “Superfood” Salad?

Here’s why I’m calling this a Superfood Salad, even though that may be a misleading name.

  • Cruciferous vegetables like the broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, and kale are an excellent source of fiber, vitamins, and phytochemicals, which may prevent against some types of cancer. Also dark, leafy greens, like the kale in this salad, are a good source of vitamin A, vitamin C, and calcium. (source)
  • Chia seeds are high in fiber, protein, and antioxidants. Fun fact, “chia” is the ancient Mayan word for “strength.” (source)
  • Walnuts are a good source of plant protein, high in fiber, and contain monounsaturated fats. They can also help prevent heart disease and fight inflammation. (source)
  • Blueberries are rich in fiber, antioxidants, and disease-fighting nutrients. They can help fight inflammation and lower the risk of heart disease and cancer. (source)
  • Pumpkin seeds, also called pepitas, are a rich in protein, vitamins and minerals, and magnesium, which can help regulate blood sugar. (source)

How to Prep the Veggies

How you chop these veggies can make or break this salad. For the broccoli, slice the florets into thin strips, rather than chopping into bites. It will taste better with the other ingredients.

When using kale, I prefer to buy it whole rather than chopped. I fold the leaf in half, and cut out the center rib. This keeps it from being as bitter.

Removing the center rib on the kale makes it more palatable.

For the Brussels sprouts, chop off the ends, then cut them in half. Slice them very thin. The thinner, the better.

Slice the Brussels sprouts as thin as possible.

Finally, make sure to toast the walnuts. They taste much sweeter and nuttier after being toasted. I make a little foil “boat” and stick them in the toaster oven for about four minutes.

You can also toast them on a pan in the oven, but this is less cleanup.

Assembling the Salad

In a large bowl, combine the coleslaw mix, broccoli, kale, and Brussels sprouts. Mix those together. If you’re making this for lunches, divide the salad into three containers. If it’s going to be a side salad, divide it into four or five bowls.

I used three of these plastic containers. I used a small metal cup to hold the dressing.

Next, add the berries, walnuts, and chia seeds (dividing them among the containers). This keeps all those yummy ingredients from falling to the bottom. Add a healthy vinaigrette dressing when you’re ready to serve the salad.

For my lunch portions, I put the dressing in a little metal container (from Walmart), cover with plastic wrap, and store it inside the salad container (also Walmart).

Salad Dressing

You can make your own dressing or use a bottled vinaigrette. If I’m using a bottled one, I look for a low sugar content and natural ingredients. I like the one below, but I do find it a little on the sweet side.

This dressing is a good option, but it does have a small amount of added sugar.

I like to make my own using the recipe below. I just add the ingredients to a small mason jar, and shake it up before using it.

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup good quality balsamic vinaigrette
  • 1/4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt

You could add a little feta cheese to make the salad even tastier, but it would add calories. Another option would be to add a boiled egg or chicken breast to boost the protein content.

Superfood Salad has 361 calories per lunch-sized serving (without dressing). What is impressive is the 9 grams of fiber and all the Vitamin A and C you need for a day! The macros are 26 grams of fat, 25 grams of carbs, and 15 grams of protein.

Below is a printable PDF version of this recipe:

Let me know if you try making this! I’d love to know how it turns out.

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