A salad a week… an experiment

Happy Friday! I’m so glad the weekend is finally here – it’s been a heck of a week. Not a bad one, just very busy and full. I am so looking forward to a slow weekend and hopefully catching back up on some sleep. We’re still working through the “joys” of big boy bed transitioning and middle of the night visits from said big boy but we’re dealing with it.

I’ve been meaning to share this post for a while now so here goes! In January, Casey and I decided to be totally cliché just like the rest of the population and eat healthier. Shock! Besides from the seemingly endless snacks we always have in the house, and my “slight” treat obsession, we generally keep our meals balanced and healthy. But we were kind of over our usual rotation of dinner options. And you know me; I am always up for trying new food and experimenting in the kitchen.

So we decided to dedicate one night per week to eating something so simple, you’d think it would be boring: dun dun dunnnnn… a salad. I love salads – I eat them a lot for lunches and know where all the best grocery store salad bars are located from a LOT of experience. I like weird stuff in salads – more than just your standard cucumbers, carrots etc. Gimme all the artichokes, edamame, mini corn and olives you can find. Note: the best I’ve found is Fresh Thyme on Bluemound if you’re in the MKE area. YUM.

Casey was very skeptical at first because lettuce is bland and how could we possibly get full from just a salad. Plus, one big requirement would be meat. Okay, fine, I thought… and began to brainstorm. So for the four Tuesdays in January – aside from the 1st, we experimented with a new salad or “salad” as we called the last one – you’ll understand when you get there. I’m going to list ingredients we used and not portions because salads are flexible like that! 😉

Week one: Grilled steak salad with avocado cilantro jalapeño dressing

For the first week we brought out the big guns: STEAK. I suck at cooking steaks so I left this to our grill master and they turned out really great.

What we included:

  • Salad greens
  • Steak – we used strip steak and seasoned it with paprika, cumin, garlic powder and salt/pepper
  • Black beans
  • Corn
  • Tomatoes
  • Cilantro lime rice – recipe here

For the dressing, I followed this recipe from Gimme Delicious and it was just that, delicious!


Week two: Zesty chicken salad with quinoa and goat cheese

This was my favorite of the entire experiment. I loved the heartiness the quinoa adds plus if you ask me, goat cheese make everything better.

What we included:

  • Salad greens
  • Chicken tenders cooked in a spice mixed called Kick’n Chicken
  •  Cooked quinoa (I added a little garlic powder to help the flavor)
  • Tomatoes
  • Peas
  • Goat cheese (for the win)

For the dressing, I used a lemon vinnagrette and it was the perfect add-on.


Week three: Thai shrimp salad with peanut sauce 

I loved this one too – close second to week two’s salad.

What we included:

  • Salad greens
  • 1 lb shrimp, seasoned with salt & pepper
  • Broccoli slaw & raw broccoli florets
  • Edamame
  • Water chestnuts
  • Chopped cilantro as a garnish

For the thai peanut dressing I followed this recipe by Gimme Some Oven.


Week four: Tuna salad on lettuce wraps

This was sorrtttt of a cheat salad, right? But it was delicious and refreshing.

What we included:

My tuna salad consists of canned tuna, mayo, diced celery & pickles with salt and pepper to taste. We picked up some butter lettuce for the cups, and topped it with tomatoes. Super yummy.


So, we’ve lapsed in our salad journey for now, but I want to get back on board – please, SEND ME ALL THE RECIPES! We’re open to literally anything.

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Wisconsin wife and mama to Dane (4) and expecting baby girl in May. Navigating life post-cancer. Lover of food, red wine and laughs. Forever grateful for my wonderful life.

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